Notes from IHA
One of the benefits of IHA membership is use of the circulating library, which contains about two thousand publications relating to nonprofit operations, ranging from legal and ethical concerns, stewardship of collections, and developing interpretive programs, to more specialized interests reflected in books such as Wallpapers for Historic Buildings, Caring for American Indian Objects, or Practical Evaluation Guide: Tools for Museums and Other Informal Educational Settings. Currently, one of our members is spending some down time where it’s warm looking over books about civic engagement, operating historic house museums, board responsibilities, and raising funds; another has borrowed the complete set of CDs from the 2012 American Alliance of Museums conference, which includes transcripts from 155 sessions covering nearly every conceivable topic relating to museums. The IHA library has the sets from 2006-13, with the exception of 2011.
Additional resources in the IHA library that can be borrowed include periodicals and journals from professional organizations. Some examples are bound volumes of The Magazine Antiques from 1972-81, and long runs of Museum (formerly Museum News), History News, Midwest Open Air Museums, Museum Store, Historic Illinois, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, and Journal of Illinois History.
The IHA is constantly adding new publications to its holdings. These can give you a preview if you are considering purchasing them for your own library, or they can offer the latest information about a topic of interest. We also have some materials that are out of print but still considered important publications about cultural heritage. A very recent book on museum leadership referred to America’s Museums: The Belmont Report (1969) and Museums for a New Century: A Report of the Commission on Museums for a New Century (1984), publications of the American Association of Museums. Our library has both, and they provide context for the quotes and discussion in the newer volume. The IHA has been fortunate to receive several donations of collections from retiring professors at theUniversity ofIllinois and from the personal library of Bud Baker, IHA’s founding president. We have been given three collections of publications about historic costumes and accessories, making the library quite strong in that area. We also have acquired numerous cookbooks that could assist in research or serve as models for this kind of popular publication.
The IHA circulating library is a valuable resource for members. We encourage you to use it. Professional training opportunities are wonderful, but sometimes a good read can bring new insights that help meet professional standards. To use the library, look at the listings on our website (http://illinoisheritage.org) and contact the IHA office with your choices. We will mail your selections to you. The loan period is approximately four weeks but you can sometimes renew the loan, if needed. The only cost is for return postage. If you are not sure what publications meet your needs, contact the IHA office for advice. We can suggest books and journal articles or even point you to online resources that could be helpful. It’s amazing what is available on the Internet if you know where to look.