Volunteer Accepts New Role

Marilyn Gottschalk, a long-time volunteer at the Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums, recently added the responsibilities of "volunteer coordinator" to her list of leadership roles.

She has served several years as an at-large member of the Platteville Museum Board; plus, she stepped forward this year to become chair of the Volunteer Committee tasked with writing the Museums' volunteer manual. In the process of redefining volunteer descriptions and refining she agreed to make sure new volunteers undergo thorough training to guarantee quality experiences for visitors to the Museums.

Ms. Bolander thanked Ms. Gottschalk for her willingness to lead the design of a revised structure that will increase the reliance on volunteers. "Our dedicated volunteers are helping the Museums become a stronger organization," Ms. Bolander said. "We are absolutely depend on really committed volunteers in several roles," Ms. Gottschalk explained.

A new handbook written by the Volunteer Committee for volunteers clearly sets forth the expectations of volunteers and staff in the roles of store clerks, tour guides, collections assistants, grounds maintenance, and various projects.

Ms. Gottschalk said that the Museums plans to offer volunteers flexible schedule options, opportunities to pursue specific interests, and support to give volunteers confidence with their new roles. She welcomes volunteer newcomers and experienced volunteers to join the team.

Brochures for those who wish to submit a volunteer application are available online or at the Museums' Gift Shop. 

Ms. Gottschalk began her involvement with the Mining Museum in the 1970s after she and her husband moved to a house in the Museum neighborhood. She said her interest and involvement in the Museum grew because an acquaintance, Jerry Daniels, the librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was active in moving the Rollo Jamison collection from Beetown to Platteville. Her children and grandchildren also were frequent guests or participants in events at the Museums.

She lives close enough to the Museums that the staff often contacts her to assist with correspondence, mailing materials, and routine tasks. 

Ms. Gottschalk invited residents and tourists to not just drive by the Museums, but to take a tour and become better informed about the site's preservation of unique history. She also said visitors will enjoy meeting the wonderful people who are engaged in continual efforts to do research about regional history and the visitors will find that on each trip there's more to learn about artifacts in the collection.

"I keep using the word unique in referring to these resources. That's because we've got a very unique Museum here," she concluded.

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