Volunteer Spotlight: Daniel Williams
What kind of volunteer projects have you been involved with at the Western Illinois Museum?
Most projects I have been involved with at the museum are archives/collection management. I process and catalog documents and objects that came from Macomb locals who donated them to the museum.
How long have you been volunteering and what keeps you coming back?
I started volunteering at the museum during the fall semester in 2015. What keeps me coming back to the museum is the experience and training I develop every week.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering at the museum?
I decided to pursue a Master’s in Museum Studies at the WIU-Quad Cities Campus from the work experience I developed during the past year. I will be starting fall of 2018. I thought about the master’s program during the summer of 2015, and then I started volunteering at the museum during the fall of 2015. After a couple of semesters of volunteering in the museum, the Museum Studies plan was officially “green-lighted.” As stated earlier, I work with archives and I decided to pursue a career with archives thanks to the work I’ve been doing with the museum.
What benefits do you think preserving local history provides?
One benefit is learning the actual local history. A town like Macomb might look like a “simple college town,” but from working with the museum I have learned interesting things that happened in Macomb, especially about the locals, almost every day.
Why do you feel the museum is an important place to volunteer?
I feel the museum is an important place to volunteer because you’ll get that “on the job” experience. It’s a small museum, but we all have to start somewhere.
Is there a memorable volunteer experience that you would like to share?
Honestly, the most memorable volunteer experience I have at the museum is every hour I’m volunteering because everyday I’m training for my future career on becoming an archivist.