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Become a Museum Docent
Thank you for your interest in the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum’s docent program. Here you will find information on how to become a volunteer docent, what a museum docent does, and what benefits there are to being one.
What is a docent?
The word docent is derived from the Latin verb, “docere,” meaning, “to teach.” A museum docent’s primary task is to educate the visitor about the museum’s collections and exhibits. At the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum docents are trained volunteers who guide visitors through the museum and are available to answer questions.
What does a docent do?
Docents engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds in an active exploration of art, history, and archaeology. They are the museum’s public representatives. In addition to facilitating the visitor’s experience, docents are responsible for staffing the docent’s desk, monitoring museum equipment and displays, maintaining the docent log, managing audio tour iPods, and encouraging visitor feedback through visitor survey forms. Experienced docents may be asked to give guided tours.
What is expected of a docent?
Active docents are asked to make a minimum 1-year commitment to a schedule of at least 2 hours per week or 8 hours per month. They are expected to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the content of the museum’s exhibitions and have a basic knowledge of the objects in the museum. In addition, every docent must attend docent meetings and may be asked to participate in the museum’s special events. Finally, a docent is expected to adhere to the dress code and dress appropriately when on duty.
What are the qualities of a docent?
A good docent is punctual, reliable, helpful, and cordial to all visitors. A good docent has a positive attitude, a strong interest in the Bible and archaeology, and demonstrates the ability to speak to groups and follow established lesson plans. As tour guides, docents must be willing to actively improve their interpretive skills and increase their knowledge of biblical archaeology.
What kind of training is involved?
Those entering the docent program must attend two 1-hour training sessions with the Curator or the Museum Coordinator. These sessions will include a guided walkthrough of the museum’s exhibition areas, a detailed explanation of the museum’s daily operations, and a brief overview of the museum’s emergency response protocols. In addition, docents may participate in a museum studies class (when available). Within the first four months after joining the program, docents are evaluated through an oral and written examination that will demonstrate knowledge of the museum and the docent handbook.
What are the benefits of being a docent?
- An initial training program in museum education and interpretive techniques.
- Invitations to symposia, gallery talks, and other continuing education events.
- Field trips, including docent-led tours at neighboring museums.
- Time with others who are passionate about art, archaeology, and learning.
- Time with archaeologists, biblical scholars, art historians, and museum professionals.
- Invitations to exhibition opening receptions at the museum.
- Invitations to various Institute of Archaeology events and activities.
- Free Museum membership and subscription to DigSight newsletter.
- Unrestricted access to the William G. Dever Research Library.
- Annual docent appreciation dinner and/or excursion.
DOWNLOAD AN APPLICATION: HERE