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