Mutual benefits

The recession has led to lots of people looking for volunteering opportunities, but do museums have the capacity to help them, asks Deborah Mulhearn

Staff matters

A museum's staff has always been its most important asset. Penny Ritchie Calder looks at how the workforce is changing to meet new challenges

Big Society is already here

Let's not abuse it

Slippery slope

Volunteers mustn't replace staff

Volunteers as guiding lights

Many museums depend on volunteers, especially as tour guides. Julie Pybus explains how recruiting, training and nurturing volunteers is critical to improving the visitor experience

Labour of love

Volunteers do vital work and without them many museums would find it difficult to carry on. But to get the best from people, you need to manage them effectively, says Julie Pybus

Volunteers and conservation

Under expert direction and with training, volunteers can play an important role in your preventative conservation strategy, says Julie Nightingale

Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham, Berkshire

A relatively small investment has made a vibrant gallery run entirely by volunteers an even better place to visit, says Caroline Worthington

A friend indeed

Felicity Heywood meets Elizabeth Mackenzie, a passionate supporter of Friends of museums who is busier than ever in the Year of the Volunteer

The write stuff

A volunteer-run museum in Birmingham tells the story of how the city was once the centre of the world pen trade. By Sharon Heal