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December 2, 2008

ULM’s Museum of Natural History selected to participate in National Museum Assessment Program

The ULM Museum of Natural History has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP), a positive first step toward national accreditation of the museum.

According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, ULM’s participation in the program will better serve the region by meeting and exceeding the highest professional standards of the museum field.

"The objective of the Museum Assessment Program is improvement. Participant museums discover ways to improve all aspects of their operations." said Dr. Anne-lmelda M. Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“The ultimate beneficiaries, of course, are the people and communities these museums serve," she said.

MAP is an entirely self-motivated program; each local institution initiates application to and participation in the program, and those accepted from among the dozens of annual applicants invest considerable human and institutional resources. Of America's estimated 17,500 museums, less than one-half of one percent participates in MAP each year.

The American Association of Museums – through a cooperative agreement with the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services – administers the program.

Since its creation in 1981, the MAP program has provided over 5,000 assessments for 3,500 museums. Museums representing 37 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been accepted into the program this year, using its confidential process of self-study, peer review and implementation. Museums use the assessment process to strengthen their organization in response to community needs.

All types of museums participate in the program – including museums of art, history, science and technology, and natural history, as well as children’s museums, nature centers, historic houses, botanical gardens and zoos.

ULM’s Museum of Natural History will take part in the institutional assessment process which will assess and strengthen all aspects of museum operations.

The ULM Museum of Natural History is composed of three divisions, offering world-class collections of plants, archeological artifacts, fossils, rocks, minerals, fish, amphibians and reptiles.

Over 5,000 visitors have visited the museum in the past three years, representing 28 states and nine foreign countries. The museum is open to school groups, as well as drop-in visitors. Its mission is to “to promote and advance an understanding and appreciation of all aspects of natural history (especially of north Louisiana) based on its collections, exhibits, education and research.”

Located on the third floor of Sandel Hall, the museum is open on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment. More information on the museum is available by calling 318-342-1868, or visiting the Web site at

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