San Bernardino County Museum earns 10-year National Re-accreditation
The American Alliance of Museums has again awarded the San Bernardino County (SBC) Museum with a 10-year re-accreditation. This marks the fifth time the SBC Museum has earned the highest national recognition presented the nation’s museum.
The accreditation process is a peer-based review centered on what the museum industry considers the “Characteristics of Excellence,” which are the national standards and best practices in museums. These standards include high quality in the museum’s mission, institutional code of ethics, strategic planning, public engagement and collections management.
The alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. The accreditation program has been developed and sustained by museum professionals for more than 45 years.
To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.
“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Alliance president and CEO Laura L. Lott. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”
According to the museum’s accreditation report, the visiting team wrote that “with recent changes in governance, new leadership, new staff, and investment by the County and Museum in the in-depth planning and implementation of strategic goals, the [Museum] has the leadership, organizational culture, structure, and capacity to be a viable, sustainable, and cherished community asset for the foreseeable future.” The report also noted the active support of the County Board of Supervisors and County Administrative Office for a “demonstrated deep understanding of the County’s cultural and historic assets and educational and social needs.”
“I’m particularly proud of the enthusiastic and exemplary teamwork performed to achieve accreditation,” said Leonard Hernandez, deputy executive officer for the Community Services Group, who served as the museum’s interim director during some of the preparation work.
“The museum staff was highly engaged in this process to ensure that every aspect of the museum strengthens our capacity to deliver excellent service to our county residents, said Museum Director Melissa Russo in concurring with Hernandez. “We are immensely proud to have achieved our 10-year accreditation status.”
Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, just 1,070 are currently accredited. The San Bernardino County Museum is one of only 69 museums accredited in California.
“This re-accreditation gives us continued confidence in the museum as an essential component of our Countywide Vision, and recognition that the Museum’s public and educational programs and care of our county’s precious heritage remain relevant and valuable to our residents,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood.