Van Poll earns Small Museum Pro! certification


HURON — The Dakotaland Museum Board of Directors are pleased to announce that Executive Director Louise Van Poll has earned a Small Museum Pro! Certification from American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).

Small Museum Pro! is a nationally recognized professional program for history practitioners who work in small history organizations. It provides practical guidance and education on a variety of topics. To receive a certification, applicants must complete and pass five courses from the program with a ‘B’ grade or higher.

Van Poll has completed nine courses: Basic Archives; Developing Exhibitions: Design; Developing Exhibitions: Planning; Caring for Museum Collections; Collections Management; Introduction to Financial Management; Financial Structures and Strategy; Museum Education and Outreach; and Leadership and Administration in History Organizations.

“When I accepted the job as the executive director of the museum, I knew I wanted to expand my education beyond my teaching degree and journalism experience,” said Van Poll. “These courses have been extremely instructive and helpful to me in my position. All the new exhibits that have been added at the Dakotaland Museum were the result of the Developing Exhibitions courses, which included units on research, design elements, graphics, display and more.

“The Museum Education and Outreach course has been a real eye opener,” Van Poll continued. “It has broadened my thinking beyond the formal, classroom setting I was familiar with and helped me realize education in museums is much, much more and includes all ages.”

AASLH is a national membership association dedicated to helping the history community thrive. For the better part of a century, AASLH has provided leadership and resources to its members who preserve and interpret state and local history to make the past more meaningful to all people.

Today AASLH provides crucial resources, professional development, advocacy, new publications, and field-wide research to more than 5,500 institutional and individual members, as well as leadership for history organizations nationally. It is the only comprehensive national organization dedicated to state and local history.