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Living History Farms Selected to Participate in National Museum Assessment Program

Posted January 23, 2013 in Community Web Exclusives, Urbandale

Living History Farms has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP).  Through guided self-study and on-site consultation with a museum professional, participation in MAP will empower Living History Farms to better serve the citizens of Central Iowa by helping to meet and exceed the highest professional standards of the museum field.

The program is funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and throughout its 30 years has been administered by the American Association of Museums (AAM).  As part of the IMLS National Leadership program, MAP advances best practices and fosters improvement in museums. MAP is a self-motivated program; each local institution initiates application to and participation in MAP and those accepted invest considerable human and institutional resources into the assessment.

“We are very excited to be chosen for the MAP program,” said Ruth Haus, President of Living History Farms. “Living History Farms is an iconic symbol of Iowa’s agricultural heritage. We are committed to connecting our community to their agricultural roots even as we grow further removed from our rural heritage. This assessment will help us further evaluate the future needs of our community and how we serve it.”

MAP is a confidential process of self-study, peer review and implementation. Museums use the assessment process to strengthen operations, build capacity, and enhance communication throughout the organization and in response to community needs. Participating museums choose one of three categories for their assessment: Collections Stewardship, Organization, or Community Engagement. Living History Farms will take part in the Community Engagement assessment process. Small and mid-sized museums of all types, including art, history, science and technology, children’s, natural history, historic houses, nature centers, botanical gardens, and zoos participate in the program.

“Choosing to be part of the MAP program is indicative of the commitment to civil involvement, public service and overall excellence on the part of Living History Farms,” said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM. “Studies have shown American’s museums to be among the country’s most trusted and valued institutions, MAP is designed to make them even better.”

Since its creation in 1981, the MAP program has served over 4,300 museums. MAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with IMLS. For more information, including a complete list of museums participating in MAP, please visit or call 202.289.9118 or email

AAM is the only organization representing the nation’s entire museum community and has been dedicated to promotiong excellence within the museum field for over 100 years. For more information about AAM, visit The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. To learn more about the Institute, please visit:

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