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Springfield Museums Chosen for Assessment Program

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums have been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP), a program funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and administered by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Last year, the Springfield Museums received full accreditation from the AAM, a milestone that only 6% museums in America have achieved.

As part of the IMLS National Leadership Program, MAP advances best practices and fosters improvement in museums. Museums of all types and sizes are eligible to participate in the program, including those focused on art, history, science and technology, children, and natural history, as well as historic houses, nature centers, botanical gardens, and zoos.

MAP is a self-motivated program; application to and participation in MAP is initiated by each local institution, and those accepted invest considerable human and institutional resources into the assessment. The main steps in the MAP process include a confidential process of self-study, peer review, and implementation. Museums use the assessment process to strengthen operations, build capacity, and enhance communication throughout the organization and in response to community needs. Participant museums choose one of three categories for its assessment: collections stewardship, organizational, and community engagement. The Springfield Museums will take part in the collections-stewardship assessment process.

Kay Simpson, vice president of the Springfield Museums, supervised the two-year accreditation process and will serve as the project manager for the MAP process. “We’re proud and excited to participate in the MAP program,” she said, “as it will serve to emphasize the national significance of our collections and our standing as a cultural treasure for the region.”

Choosing to be part of the MAP program is indicative of the commitment to civic involvement, public service, and overall excellence on the part of Springfield Museums, said Ford Bell, president of AAM. “Studies have shown America’s museums to be among the country’s most trusted and valued institutions. MAP is designed to make them even better.”

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