UA Museum takes its story to Fayetteville Public Library

UA Museum takes its story to Fayetteville Public Library


“Museums provide an outlet to encourage curiosity about the world around us and how we interact within it,” muses Laurel Lamb, curator of the University of Arkansas Museum. “They can provide insight into what it means to be human.”

Following her “passion to share a museum’s collections with others — to make a collection come to life” took Lamb to the University of Oklahoma, majoring in anthropology and history, then to Georgia State University for a Master of Heritage Preservation degree with an emphasis in public history. The UA Museum job suited her perfectly — even without a real, physical museum to work with.

“Our unique setup encourages us to think outside the box, which is incredibly useful for considering how we can be most effective and relevant for our 21st century audiences,” says Lamb. “It also encourages building closer ties with the surrounding communities and providing a more individualized visitor experience.

“We actually have several small displays around the UA campus (Old Main; Arkansas Union; Silas H. Hunt Hall) that are up all year long,” she adds. “We’re working on a new exhibit space in Gearhart Hall featuring geology specimens as well.”

And a new exhibit at Carnall Hall will be open through Dec. 15. “Chill Tonic: Special Topics in Artistory” “asks how [art and history] can collaborate to uncover meaningful notions for the present and serve as a vehicle for understanding our collective experience in an ever-changing world, as well as explores the background of Inn at Carnall Hall.”

Another one of those collaborations takes place at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12, when Lamb visits the Fayetteville Public Library for Museum in the Library: Arkansas Birds.

“The monthly Museum in the Library events are another example of how we are thinking outside the box and how it raises awareness about us,” Lamb says. “At the heart of it, we go to the community rather than the community having to come to us. We started partnering with the library in June, coming out once a month with a different themed selection of collection materials (July was all about sharks for Shark Week!). The public has a chance to view these collections up close and chat individually with museum staff. These events are about starting conversations, fostering interests, and encouraging curiosity about the world around us.

“So far, these events have been well-received, and I’m excited to say that we’ve already scheduled our next Library events through May 2020! The topics will include UA artifacts, rocks and minerals, Arkansas archaeology, mollusks, and historical medicines.”

As for birds, Lamb is “still narrowing down the selection we’ll bring. However, expect to see primarily birds from Arkansas, especially owls. The collection represents birds from all over the world though, so who knows!”



Museum in the Library:

Arkansas Birds

WHEN — 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12

WHERE — Fayetteville Public Library

COST — Free

INFO — 575-4370

Categories: Maker Space