Volunteering their opinion

If you missed the first Town Hall meeting exclusively for Smithsonian volunteers last month, here’s your chance to catch up on the discussion.


Grpoup selfie with David Skorton at center

Secretary David Skorton takes a selfie with (from left) Valerie Virta, David Trumble, Dave Norman and Nancy LeBaron.

On May 17, Secretary David Skorton hosted a Town Hall meeting for all active Smithsonian volunteers to give them a chance to share their perspectives and ask the Secretary questions. The meeting began with a panel discussion led by Dr. Skorton that highlighted the different experiences of volunteers who serve in various roles around the Smithsonian. Among those participating in the discussion were Dave Norman, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center volunteer; Nancy LeBaron, docent at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; David Trumble, National Museum of African American History and Culture volunteer; and Valerie Virta, a volunteer with Smithsonian Associates. Following the panel discussion, Smithsonian Call Center volunteer Julia McCrossin interviewed Secretary Skorton about his views on the volunteer program and its impact. The meeting ended with an open Q&A session.


Group photo

From left, panel discussion participants Dave Norman, Nancy LeBaron, David Trumble, David Skorton, Julia McCrossin and Valerie Virta. (Photo courtesy Office of Visitor Services)


Crossin and Skorton on stage

Smithsonian Call Center volunteer Julia McCrossin interviews Secretary Skorton May 17. (Photo courtesy Office of Visitor Services)

Watch the entire meeting (approximately one hour):

Posted: 8 June 2017
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2 Responses to Volunteering their opinion
    • Jeffery Cohen
    • Many visitors to the American History museum only want to spend a limited time there (1-3 hours) and they ask us, at the information desk, what are the highlights that you would recommend that we see, We try to be more specific and ask them it they have any particular interests, but often they say no, just direct them. Also, we mention the tours, but often they want to go on their own, and do not want a tour.
      It would be helpful if the Museum would put out a guide of the highlights for those only wanting to spend 1 -3 hours at the museum.

    • Mary L Fisher
    • I was unable to attend the meeting and I would like to have a summary of what questions and answers concerned accessibility at the museum (especially the new ramp at NMNH). I also would like more information on the removal of the IMAX there and the new restaurant facility and how that will impact the volunteers and employees both during construction and after.
      Also, what was the rational for these changes?