A Healthy Museum

Recently I was out of commission due to the flu and missed out on a few days at work. Thankfully our Education Section is a well-oiled machine, and the team was able to help cover my duties while I was away!

Working with the younger public, I see a lot of bodily fluids. During the winter, it’s sniffle season, and we work to keep a box of tissues available in our discovery room and hand sanitizer at the door. The sanitizer is a hit with kids, the novelty of the size and shape of the dispenser perhaps helps its popularity. One of my goals in visiting museums and historic sites is to keep in mind the different sanitary techniques and tools available for visitors in both restrooms and public spaces such as galleries.

Have you seen any other type of sanitary measures taken in museums?

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8 thoughts on “A Healthy Museum

  1. Nicholas says:

    I don’t know of anything special that we do as a museum besides the standard tissues, sanitation stations, etc. However, this did get me thinking, creating an exhibit specifically about germs oriented at the kids level would be a great temporary/travelling exhibit for science and children’s museums. The exhibits could be created to show how easily germs spread, make some fun videos/graphs/charts about the speed of a sneeze, a cough, and those kinds of things. Even have bio-suit type things for kids to try on to see how doctors keep away germs. There could be a lot of little ‘gross’ things for kids to touch, etc. Obviously, the room would be off to the side and kids would be sure to use hand sanitizer after all their fun experiments, etc. Maybe even call it “Germ Zone” or something. Sure parents might be concerned but if you planned it out there wouldn’t be any issues. Maybe they already have something like that at various museums, but it would sure be fun, educational, and cool, especially in the sick seasons of the year, i.e. winter. Anyway, keep up the great blog!

    • samantha says:

      That’s a cool idea, Nick! Maybe they could have one of those black light things that shows germs? Or a really intense microscope? Might be too intense!

      • Nicholas says:

        Definitely, I like the black light idea and the microscope. I think kids that young enjoy it rather than get grossed out. You just have to market the right age group!

  2. samantha says:

    Our conversation made me think of the Bodies Exhibit…think of all the marketing that went into work here! http://www.bodiestheexhibition.com/about-the-exhibition.html

  3. Recently having pink eye made me think of this too. We also have hand sanitizers outside of all of our exhibits. They are great, but often it is too much hand sanitizers for the younger children. We almost need children’s sized ones as well!


    • samantha says:

      I love the Sesame Street exhibit – looks like a traveling one too! Sounds like a good one for the target audience. Thanks for sharing!

      That’s interesting that your institution offers sanitizers outside each exhibit area. I believe our institution offers a couple of key sanitizers near restrooms, large galleries and the main entrances/exit. Child sized sanitizers would be fun – and likely colorful.

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