OVS Open House

The Office of Visitor Services welcomed staff and volunteers to an Open House March 28 in the Castle Library where guests had a chance to meet and mingle as they learned more about all the services OVS offers. Enjoy this photo album from the event—and if you attended, let us know in the captions! All photos by Lauren Hellendall.

Eric on the phone at his table.

The Smithsonian Call Center fields phone calls from the public about everything from hours to exhibitions to lost magazine subscriptions. Visitor Service Coordinator Eric Grace keeps his ear to the ground (or the handset) to present unit metrics and opportunities for collaboration.

Balog at her presentation table

Bridget Balog, Visitor Services Coordinator (Public Inquiry Mail). discussed how OVS promotes the Smithsonian museums in the context of One Smithsonian — via the Great Hall banners, the Start Here and Wayfinding graphics in the exterior signage program, and the Smithsonian Guide and Map (in English, 10 foreign languages, Braille, and large-print).

Abbey stands by her presentation

Abbey Earich, Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Coordinator, with her presentation on how the Smithsonian recruits enthusiastic and qualified volunteers and the efforts we make to ensure their experience is a valuable one.


Kristi and Pepper

Deputy Director Kristi Delich introduces Pepper, a 4-foot-tall interactive humanoid robot, who encourages Castle visitors to explore robotic technology, while learning about the Smithsonian’s rich history. The Castle offers much more than Pepper; it showcases highlights from the collection, a cafe, museum shop, and digital interactives to help visitors plan their visit.

Rubin at presentation table

Michael Rubin, Visitpr Servies Coordinator, stands at the ready to explain the digital resources available help visitors and volunteers plan a tour of the Smithsonian.

Phillip and Kelly at presentation table

Philip LoPiccolo, left, chats with Kelly Joy at the OVS Open House.

Attendees listen to Michael Rubin

Guests at the OVS Open House had the chance to learn more about the services offered to both visitors and volunteers.

Savannah and Karen Keller at presentation table

Karen Keller, left, chats with Visitor Services Assistant Savannah Loebig. In addition to working with and scheduling volunteers, the Office of Visitor Services offers enrichment opportunities that aid in retention. As of November 2018 the office has launched Smithsonian-wide enrichment which includes hosting a variety of continuing education opportunities for all Smithsonian volunteers including tours, talks, and other special programming at internal and external locations. The next opportunity for volunteers is a tour of the Lunder Conservation Center on May 6th, 10th, and 29th. To sign up for a spot on the tour go to Vsys under Training and Enrichment! For any questions email OVSRSVP@si.edu.

Attendees gather around presentation table

Attendees at the OVS Open House had a chance to learn more about the services offered to both visitors and volunteers.

Jacks at presentation table

KJ Jacks, left, chats with Michael Rubin.


Posted: 10 April 2019
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The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.