Behind the Scenes: MAP Self-Study Workbooks

In response to your frequently asked questions about the MAP self-study workbook, the MAP staff offer this short Q & A as a refresher.

Peer Reviewer: What’s the purpose of the self-study workbook?

MAP staff: The purpose of the workbook is twofold: it gives the museum a better understanding of standards and best practices in the field as well as its strengths and weaknesses; it gives you, the peer reviewer, a better understanding of the museum and what the museum sees as its greatest needs.

The workbook is not used to verify information but as a source of information to begin a consultative conversation between you and the museum staff.

Does the MAP staff review the workbooks before I see them?

No. You get the workbook at the same time as the MAP staff.

This strategy allows you to get the workbook as soon as possible so you have enough time to prepare for the visit, and ensures the information in it is as current as possible.

I notice the workbooks sometimes aren’t complete when I get them. Should I be worried? What should I do about this?

Museums are not required to answer every question. You might receive a hand-written workbook with a number of questions unanswered or perhaps answers showing that the museum misunderstood a question, issue or standard in the field. Because MAP is a learning process and about helping museums improve, we don’t want to penalize museums that don’t have the knowledge to answer all the questions.

These gaps are signals to you about where the museum likely needs the most help from you. Pre-visit or when on site, ask the museum staff about why they passed over a certain question or why they answered it the way they did.

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