AASLH Professional Development Resources

I’ve been recently informed about some really great professional development resources put together by the AASLH’s Professional Development committee that you’ll want to check out.

Basic overview is here: Careers for History Professionals

There’s a good (though short) bibliography, some good thoughtful information about public history education, and some questions to consider about your career path.

They also link to a great white paper called Museum Careers: Fit, Readiness, and Development. Presumably since you’re part of the Tufts community you already have an idea about the fit – but this paper does a good idea of presenting the realities of the museum job world and making suggestions about a way forward. It’s also current to early 2011, so apropos for the current economic climate.

NEA & NEH Funding

The AASLH, on top of things as always, has made it very easy to write in to your congressperson about the recent slash in funding for both the NEA and NEH:

AASLH is a proud member of the National Humanities Alliance, and we are asking you to please write your Members of Congress and ask them to support the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by opposing cuts to the agency’s funding in the FY 2012 House Interior Appropriations bill.

The bill was marked up by the Subcommittee on July 7th and includes $135 million in funding for NEH. This represents a $20 million cut from the FY 2011 level of $155 million and is $11 million less than the President’s budget request of $146 million. The proposed cut to NEH is 13% below the FY 2011 funding level, while overall funding for the Interior Appropriations bill was only reduced by 7%.

The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the bill on Tuesday, July 12. Messages from advocates are needed to help oppose these cuts.

The Alliance has set up a template message for you to customize, including sample bullet points. We strongly encourage you to personalize this message by telling your Representative why NEH and its programs are important to you, your institution, your field, your state, and/or district.

  • If you have received or worked on an NEH grant, please consider the local or long-term impact of this funding.
  • Citing specific accomplishments can be especially helpful (e.g. numbers of students taught, workshop participants, federal dollars leveraged, program viewers, collections protected, awards received, articles published).
  • You may also wish to indicate what would be lost without this funding.

Take Action Now! Click here to read the full message from the Alliance and to contact your Representative Now!

AASLH Book Series Survey

Very cool news from AASLH – read through the whole thing, take a few minutes to do their survey, and you might win a great prize!

For over 40 years, the AASLH Book Series (www.rowman.com/bookseries/SLH <http://www.rowman.com/bookseries/SLH> ) has been a primary source of professional support for historical organizations large and small. On behalf of AASLH and AltaMira Press, our publishing partner, we are contacting you now in the hope that you will take a few minutes to complete the brief survey at http://tinyurl.com/aaslhbooks so that we can serve you even better in the future by publishing books on topics of key interest to you.

Everyone who submits a completed survey will be eligible to win a gift certificate toward free books from the AASLH series. We’ll select 1 first prize winner, 2 second prize winners, and 3 third prize winners.

First prize: $200 worth of free books
Second prize: $100 worth of free books
Third prize: $50 worth of free books

In order to be eligible, you must supply name and contact information. Should you choose to remain anonymous, we still welcome your feedback

Spaces still open in AASLH’s Project Managment for History Professionals Workshop

Heads up, Tufts – this is an AMAZING workshop, and there are still spaces left. I attended the session in Atlanta at the beginning of March, and it was a useful, practical, and ridiculously fun intro to the world of project management. I’ve already taken skills that I learned in the workshop back to my day job. Best of all? It’s free. And they give you a $200 travel stipend. So what are you waiting for? More info below.


Spaces Still Available for AASLH Project Management Workshop

Missouri History Museum, St. Louis, MO
April 12-14, 2011

AASLH is offering its Project Management for History Professionals workshop at the Missouri History Museum, April 12-14, 2011.

  • Workshop is one of twelve nation-wide workshops
  • 35 total hours of formal project management training
  • 24 hours of onsite workshop training
  • 11 hours of follow-up live webinar training
  • Qualifies professionals in the history field to sit for the project management certification exam through Project Management International (PMI).

The workshop is free for participants through a generous grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). A $200 travel stipend is awarded to workshop participants when the follow-up webinar training is completed.

The goal of the program is to improve how history museums operate by:

  • Bringing in the expertise of certified project management trainers from outside of the discipline to teach the fundamentals of project management to history professionals;
  • Instructing history professionals in best practices for establishing project requirements and planning and organizing work to meet them;
  • Teaching skills that strengthen the processes history professionals apply in their everyday work including exhibitions, education programs, fundraising initiatives, special events, outreach activities, and collections-based projects.

These skills developed at AASLH’s Project Management Workshop are critical to the development of improved processes and, therefore, an institution’s improved ability to serve its community.

There are a limited number of slots still available for the workshop. Applications for the workshop will continue to be accepted until all workshop slots are filled.

Visit the Project Management Website for more information or contact:

Steve Hoskins
AASLH Project Coordinator

Know Your Professional Organizations: American Association for State and Local History

Next up in our continuing series is a more specialized organization. Don’t worry, we’ll be featuring organizations that cover all the wonderfully specific portions of the museum world as we go along!

So, for those historians out there: the American Association for State and Local History.

The AASLH, as it’s called, “provides leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all Americans.” That’s a huge mission, and the AASLH really does a great job of addressing its tenets.

Membership is $70 for a basic membership, and $30 for a student membership, but be aware with the student membership that you will only receive the newsletter, not the subscription to the quarterly History News. (You will get online access to History News, though.) Other benefits are the usual ones: reciprocal admission, professional development opportunities, and discounts on publications such as those from AltaMira Press.

Here’s the thing: the professional development opportunities are fantastic. The AASLH goes above and beyond to think of ways in which history and museum professionals need help, and then address them. They have a great series of workshops, both online and onsite. Their Seminar in Historical Administration (an intensive four week program focused on preparing history professionals for leadership and administration) is celebrating its 51st consecutive year in 2011, and counts among its alumni some of the top people in the field. Right now, they’re piloting a new program on project management for history professionals – all paid for if you apply and are accepted. (I’m attending in March in Atlanta, and will be blogging here about the experience, so watch this space!) They also have an intensive mentoring program.

They also have some really interesting programs and national initiatives, among them:

Spend some time on their website, apply for some of their professional development programs (there are still spots in the project management workshops, which are free AND offer a small travel stipend), and consider becoming a member. Even if you don’t necessarily consider yourself an historian, there’s a lot to like at the AASLH.