Update from Esther’s Place
A blog post by Chris Sniezek, Manager (Esther’s Place). To read more posts from Chris, click here.
Hello everyone! Shop manager Chris again with a blog post for you. It has been great getting back to work at the museum even with the reduced hours of operation and limited days. While not as busy as pre-pandemic days, we have had a few guests take advantage of the opening to stop by and say hello. The closing of Scrap Yard wasn’t as glamourous and crowded as I’m sure it would have been, but those who stopped by to walk through it one last time left with some good impressions. With Scrap Yard closed, we have opened up the Voices of Lombard Street exhibit once more and, as I’m sure you’ve seen, we have set up a temporary lobby exhibit featuring the life of Sadie Crockin.
It is easy to forget that we, as a nation, are not that far removed from such monumental moments in our nation’s history. While the 19th amendment might seem like a thing of the past, we still deal with and strive to understand the magnitude of this law and its effect on our daily lives. Luckily, there are historians and other individuals who are exploring the outcomes of the 19th amendment and the broader field of women’s history. The museum shop offers some books for further education (pardon me while I step onto the salesman soapbox, but you can find those books here) or you could ask a local librarian for recommendations as well if you don’t see anything on our site. Maybe someone in your family could recommend a good book?
First off, we have a lot of really interesting items. At the end of the fiscal year in June, inventory is required so that all the auditors know what we’ve been up to. I just completed my first inventory count of the store and it was a doozy of a job. Usually, the shop is closed for three or four days while interns and volunteers work in teams to count every single item in the shop and in the storage. However, due to a global pandemic, volunteers are unable to help out in the museum at this moment (we all miss you volunteers and can’t wait until it is safe for you to come back!) and we didn’t have any interns. So instead, I spent the entire day with a notepad in hand while I inventoried all the items in my solo team of one. I have to give a shout out to Talia here because without her voluntarily taking my shift at the front desk, I wouldn’t have been able to focus solely on counting. Some days I still feel like I’m counting books or postcards (Sorry, back on my soapbox again, find books and postcards on our store too! Alright, now I’m done, I promise). After three and a half straight days of counting and a half day of double checking all the numbers, I had completed inventory.
I should have done this sooner because I discovered some items squirreled away in the storage spaces I didn’t even know about! This experience definitely helped me learn what is in the shop and just how much really cool Judaica we sell. Finding some of these items has also given me some new ideas so be on the lookout for those. Overall, I think the experience was good for me and I learned a lot about the shop. I even found some items that had been marked as missing in the past.