Livestock Care in Museums

Animals play an important part in museums, but not without careful thought. Check out the living history guidelines.

ALHFAM

kevin1248024240 Oxen from Howell Living History Farm being used at Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation

Recently a dedicated group of ALHFAM members, primarily from the Farm Professional Interest Group, took the time to develop and/or revise three documents relating to the use of livestock in museum settings.

They are:

Position statement on the Use of Livestock in Museum Settings (2016)

Adopted by the board in 2016, this document clarifies ALHFAM’s official position on the use of livestock in museum settings

Livestock Care in Museums (2016)

A “guidance” document intended for individual site’s resource and risk assessment when developing livestock programs and management plans/policies.

Handling Public Concerns on the Use of Livestock in Museum Settings (2016)

This document provides guidelines to help museums using livestock address and respond to public concerns regarding this practice

All documents are available via the links above or on the ALHFAM website.

Many thanks to Deb Arenz, Jon Kuester…

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Quote: Monkey First

Big Think’s description of this video is “Astro Teller, the CEO aka ‘Captain of Moonshots’ of innovation factory X (formerly Google X) illuminates a critical difference: when undertaking a project, do you want to feel you’ve accomplished something, or do you want to accomplish it?”. That does sum up what he’s talking about on the importance of making it OK for people to fail and to go on to other things rather than feeling compelled to push on with a project they don’t think is going anywhere.

Although I think it’s worth watching as a whole, the phrase that really jumped out at me was “Monkey First.”

There are many times that “once you get it done it will look like you’ve made progress, but you haven’t, you’ve made motion…..Our shorthand for this at X is we joke #MonkeyFirst….If you’re trying to get a monkey to stand on a pedestal ten feet high and recite Shakespeare monologues and you have a choice between training the monkey first and building the pedestal, if you build the pedestal first when your boss walks by he’s like, “Hey nice pedestal!” And then you feel good. You just did something useful, you just got a little bit of attaboy. That’s why people do that. But you’ve utterly wasted your company’s money [and your time] if you build the pedestal first because all of the hard part is getting the monkey to recite Shakespeare. If you can get the monkey to recite Shakespeare, we can always build the pedestal afterwards. But if you can’t, thank goodness we didn’t spend a moment or a penny building what turned out to be a useless pedestal.”

Teller then talks about how they try to fight that instinct at Innovation Factory X, but I think it’s the idea that important no matter what you are doing. Are you building the pedestal because it’s easy and people will say nice pedestal or are you doing something real and important and figuring out how to train the monkey.

In the quote above a cut a few sentences and phrases to keep it a reasonable length, but the full text is within the video. It has corrected closed captioning if you want all the words.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Registration is Open for CSAA 2017

Reblogging from CSAA Blog:

Registration is Now Open for CSAA Schoolhouse Conference!

Colby Sawyer College, New London, NH, June 11-14, 2017

The response to our 2017 annual conference has been phenomenal, and sooner than anticipated, we already have a complete schedule of presenters! Registration is now open for those planning to attend and we certainly promise a well-rounded program. Below we have posted the titles of our presentations and will be adding full descriptions in the coming weeks.

Be prepared to meet schoolhouse enthusiasts from all over the country, writers, teachers and professors, re-enactors, historians, artists, preservationists, former students, museum curators, historical society members, and friends of country schools.

We all recognize the importance of these tiny little schools to the history of American education and wish to preserve those remaining for as long as possible. Please consider attending the CSAA in New London, NH, our second and possibly last in New Hampshire. Popularity of this annual conference has found us alternating between east and west. In 2018 we will be heading to the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, Nebraska!

IMG_0950

Coach to Mt. Washington summit, New London Historical Society Museum

We now have a full complement of presentations for our two-day program! See the list of topics to date.

General Conference Information:
Download 2017RegistrationInformationCSAA

For On-Line Registration:
 ON-LINE REGISTRATION – EVENTBRITE

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Choose your category.
  • Click REGISTER.
  • Scroll down the page to complete information on payment by credit card or check.
  • Scroll down and choose your options for ALL-DAY BUS TOUR and/or DORMS.
  • Click PAY NOW

For Registration via US Mail –    Download REGISTRATION 2017CSAA

Website: CSAA WEBSITE

Presentations for 2017 include:

(detailed descriptions and presenter bios will follow when the program is complete)

“19th Century Tablets: Slates”

“Finger Lakes Preservation”

“Bitter Fight Over Consolidation”

“One, Two, Buckle Your Shoe, Three, Four: Now How to Open the Door?”

“What the Hectograph? A School System’s Copy Machine”

WORKSHOP: “Nooning in the 1800’s: Hands-on Experience with Period Toys”

“New England Teachers, Western Schools: Catharine Beecher’s Moral Crusade”

“School of the Very High Mountains”

“De-Lighted!”- An Encounter with Theodore Roosevelt

“Yesterday’s Schools: Capturing Their Stories Through Photography”

“Launching a 50-Year Teaching Career: Burnt Bay School and Beyond”

“Learning the Recitation Way: 19th and 20th Century Classroom Recitation Lessons”

“Invisible Assets: Rise of Delaware African-American Schools”

“Location, Location, Location: The Placement of Restored Country Schools”

“Oxen Power: Moving the Orleans County Grammar School!”

“Country School Innovations”

“The Praxis of Disability and One-Room Schools in Ohio”

“Back to School: Lessons from Norwich’s One-Room Schoolhouses”

“Horance Mann: Father of Country Schools?”

And More!

Our keynote speakers include historian, former Commissioner of Agriculture, farmer, and founding Executive Director of the NH Humanities Council, Steve Taylor, “NH’s One-Room Rural Schools: The Romance and the Reality,” and local artist and author Sue Anne Bottomley, who has visited and painted scenes from EVERY town in New Hampshire for her book “Colorful Journeys” and “Pep Talks for the Would-Be, Should Be Artist.”

We will be making a special visit to the New London Historical Society on Monday afternoon to visit their 18 restored historical buildings and their museum housing antique carriages and sleighs.

We will be treated to the New England premiere of the award winning film by Kelly and Tammy Rundle, “Country School: One Room * One Nation.”

We will hear from the spirits of some prominent citizens of Hooksett, NH, buried next door to the Head Schoolhouse. (an autumn schoolhouse fundraiser)

Black Squirrels

Looking for the black squirrels.

Sarah's Notebook

Black Squirrel of Council Bluffs Black Squirrel of Council Bluffs

One of my favorite stops in Council Bluffs was the recently redone Bayliss Park. Bayliss Park is surrounded by Railroad sites and businesses that used to do business with the railroad. The official Union Pacific Museum is housed in the former Carnegie Library Building which runs along one side of the park. This Union Pacific Museum  is the most interesting railroad site today.

Council Bluffs is known for its famous black squirrels. It’s a color variation on the common fox squirrel.  Council Bluffs is so proud of its black squirrels there is a city ordinance protecting them from being bothered. I’ve included a photo of the real thing and the giant statues of black squirrels that surround the fountain in Bayliss Park.

Black Squirrel Statues Black Squirrel Statues

UPDATED February 17, 2017: I enlarge the photos and added links describing the squirrel “breed” and the city ordinance…

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Trading Card 2017

Drumroll please! It’s time once again to reveal my trading card for the year.

I started working on this project in 2011, but due to some issues I didn’t get it rolled out as early as I hoped and card number 1 and card number 2 both came out in 2013.

Previous Card Countdown

Card Number 1 shows me as young Laura ringing a school bell to bring Laura fans to my Laura Ingalls Wilder building, standing in the doorway.

Trundlebed Tales Trading Cards 1 and 2
Trundlebed Tales Trading Cards 1 and 2

Card Number 2 shows me as young Laura again, this time it’s fall and I’m wearing a wool shawl made on a loom. I’m holding a tin punch lantern like the one Laura describes in Little House in the Big Woods. This was a night shoot and took some experimentation, but I think it turned out well.

Card Number 3 shows me in the basement kitchen of the Masters Hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa. I’m once again as young Laura, but I chose this location in honor of my new program coming out In the Kitchen With Laura. That program is set in the 1930s, but I wanted the connection anyway.

trading card 2014

Card Number 4 shows me in the other kind of Laura clothes — a Laura t-shirt and shorts. I’m doing one of my favorite things in Walnut Grove, Minnesota and wading in Plum Creek.

2014

Card Number 5 has me in a Laura t-shirt, but this time I’m in front of a little house…a very special little house owned by “seven tiny little men” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride on our family trip to Walt Disney World. I only had one Disney t-shirt so I wore my Laura shirts the rest of the days and got many positive comments on them. So let’s make that a thing. After all you could say Laura is Disney’s prairie princess, she was on The Wonderful World of Disney. Let’s see your photos of wearing Laura shirts at Disney or other non-Laura vacation spots.

Sarah in front of Snow White Cottage

And Announcing the 2017 Card

This year’s card is a little different since the place that I got them printed before doesn’t have that template anymore. The photo was taken last July on DeSmet, South Dakota on the Ingalls Homestead. It’s outside their dugout which faces the Memorial Marker. I’m wearing my 1890s Laura outfit. I was there giving my “Pioneer In the Kitchen With Laura.”

Trading Card 2017

I won’t be printing any more for previous years, but I still have some available of the collector cards from all years. Want some? I send some each year to each of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites. Ask when you visit. Or come see me present. I always have them available.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Quote: Best Lack All Conviction

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell

O’Toole, Garson. “The Best Lack All Conviction While the Worst Are Full of Passionate Intensity.” Quote Investigator. 4 March 2015, quoteinvestigator.com/2015/03/04/self-doubt. Accessed 9 January 2017.

Why I’m Citing Quote Investigator

I first found this quote in a list of book quotes that were sent around, but even librarians when they are looking for something cool sometimes fall pray to accepting an attribution without checking. The library didn’t have the source I wanted to check and it wasn’t in the ones we did, so I checked with Quote Investigator that is a thoroughly reliable source that does in-depth searching on quotes to find out who said what.

“The problem with internet quotes is that you cant always depend on their accuracy” -Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Which ironically enough travels around without attribution.

People Who Know Least Tend to Win Arguments

The trouble with knowing a lot about a subject or even similar subjects is that it allows you to see gray areas, shades of meaning, times when things that aren’t generally the rule might in fact happen. That means that in any argument or conversation the people who truly understand the subject will tend to hedge. They will be able to see the nuances and nuances are terrible for convincing people.

The World Isn’t Flat

Unfortunately people who only know one thing or THINK they know one thing will be very sure about that one thing, after all it’s all they know. They can’t admit they’re wrong and they don’t understand enough about it to see the different sides.

For example:

Person A: “The world is flat.”

Person B: “Well, it may APPEAR flat due to…..”

Person A: [Snorts] “Of course it’s flat any fool can see that, use your EYES! [To third person who doesn’t know anything about it] You can SEE it looks flat, can’t you?”

Who is going to convince that third person?

Sometimes You’re Wrong

Wrong ideas are often short, simple, easily explained. That makes them easier to win arguments, but you shouldn’t let them convince you.

So make it a practice to believe….or at least seriously consider…6 impossible things before breakfast…to paraphrase Alice in Wonderland. Or to follow Gibbs’s Rule #51 “Sometimes you’re wrong.” I think that’s his most important rule for everyday life. I say it to myself daily, “Sometimes you’re wrong.” You may not win arguments, but you’ll understand things much better.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Homestead Images on Quarter

You can still find the Homestead on a quarter.

Sarah's Notebook

50 State Quarters

Do you remember a few years ago the U.S. Mint released a series of quarters, with a unique design for each one of the states? It became a craze, raising awareness of coin collecting and the mint and in general. My great-aunt collected a complete set from both the Denver and Philadelphia mints for each grandchild. (A sample of those of interest to Laura Ingalls Wilder fans were Vermont gathering maple syrup, the Braille on the Alabama Helen Keller design, and the Iowa one-room school.) IMG_0079

America the Beautiful Quarters

Buoyed by the success of the program the U.S. Mint launched others including the Westward Journey Nickels, the Lincoln Pennies, the Presidential Dollars, and the Native American Dollars. None of these has seemed to catch the same fire in the public’s imagination. The one they had the most hope for was…

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