Monday, August 18, 2008

TAM: about docent shifts

By now it is very clear that The Saint John’s Bible exhibition is always very busy!


I have been working hard to make sure that weekends and all private tours are fully covered by docents, and that there is always a docent every day. That said, most days are busy enough to easily use a second docent! If you would like to add an extra shift or two or three over the next three weeks, on whatever day works for your schedule, please let me know and I will sign you up!


Several of you have commented on being exhausted after your docent shift. It is perfectly acceptable and desirable for you to take a break during your shift – either to have a drink, or lunch, or spend some quiet time on your own (as long as it isn’t during a scheduled tour, of course). I know it’s difficult to do so when visitors are constantly finding you to ask questions but don’t be shy about telling visitors that you’ve been touring for 2 hours and that you are going to take a 15 or 30 minute break, and will be back in the galleries later.


The museum tracks all types of anecdotes about visitor experiences. If you have stories from your tours, please send them to us! I do look through the Docent Log binder every month, and we do use things you write in there, but if you email them to me directly, that is a little easier. For example, Terry Dew shared the following with us and this is the type of story that we can put to use in a grant or article:  

I thought you would appreciate hearing: during 2 different small group tours, visitors remarked about how "they had traveled to Europe specifically to see "The Book of Kells" & were so disappointed & by comparison, they were thrilled with scope & magnitude of "The St. John's Bible Exhibition" which was beyond their greatest expectations!" 


Thank you so much for all the time you are dedicating to this exhibition!


Heide Fernandez-Llamazares

Museum Educator and Docent Coordinator



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