Tour Reflection by Andrew Schafer
Our first stop was the North Independence branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library. Housing the largest print reference collection in the system, this branch serves as the main reference location for the Mid-Continent Public Library system. Our guide provided insight into the way public libraries with many branches manage their branches and focus their services on local needs.
The next stop on our tour was the Midwest Genealogy Center, another branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library and the largest freestanding genealogy library in the country. Here we were given a behind the scenes look at how the library is management and the work that goes into maintaining its large national collection of genealogy materials. This library serves as a great example of the Mid-Continent Public Library’s commitment to focus-driven branches which fulfill specific needs of their patrons. Their outreach program alone could serve as a model for how libraries can and should promote themselves.
The last location we toured was the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. While we didn’t get to go behind the scenes, we were able to learn a lot just from touring the museum. The narrative and chronological layout of the exhibits is a lesson on one very effective way in which museum patrons can be pulled into the story a museum has to tell. The vast knowledge of the docent who led our tour in conjunction with the wide variety of artifacts on display resulted in a complex and complete look into the life and legacy of an American president.
View more pictures from the tour here.
Also be sure to read student Bee Love’s post about the tour on her personal blog: https://writerbeeblog.wordpress.com/