Juneau officials recommend moving city museum to Library Department

The Juneau Douglas City Museum. Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO.

The Juneau Douglas City Museum. Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO.

The Juneau Douglas City Museum would become part of the Library Department under a proposal discussed by a Juneau Assembly committee this week.

City Library Director Robert Barr told the Assembly Human Resources Committee that the move makes sense from an operational perspective.

“We see opportunity for staff to collaborate more where our missions intersect,” Barr said. “The museum and the library share some common efforts in terms of curation and collections, programming efforts.”

Barr also said there could be a financial benefit in terms of helping the city secure grants.

“The primary federal granting organization for libraries and museums is the IMLS – the Institute for Museum and Library Services,” said Barr. “And there are granting opportunities that come up from time to time that we would be better positioned for applying for jointly.”

Of course, he says, that won’t always be the case. So the museum and library would maintain their own separate accounting operations.

The move is not expected to impact the overall city budget. The museum has four full time employees and a budget this year of $419,100.

Parks and Recreation Director Brent Fischer supports the change, as does the city manager’s office.

An ordinance making it official is expected to be introduced at the next Juneau Assembly meeting, January 27th. It would then come up for a public hearing and vote in February.