Resources for Reopening Strategies

May 04 2020

Resources for Reopening Strategies

Resources for Long Term PlanningOur local heritage sites have done a fantastic job in adapting and adjusting to the current crisis. Now is the time to start planning ahead to reopening and determining what’s next for your organization. The below resources have helpful guides to assist you in the process.

American Association for State and Local History

First, read AASLH’s It’s Strategic to Think of the Future: Strategic Planning in the Time of COVID-19 to understand why you need to start thinking now not only about your pending reopening, but what your organization will look like well into the future.

AASLH will be hosting a Live Webinar, Planning for Reopening, on Tuesday, May 5 at 2:00 pm as part of its AASLH Conversations series. Amid unprecedented closures, history organizations across the country are contemplating questions around the eventual reopening of their sites to the public. This conversation will explore solutions organizations can bring to the tiered, cautious reopening that lies on the other side of the current crisis.

AASLH also has recorded webinars available including Planning for an Uncertain Financial Future and Planning for an Uncertain Financial Future Part 2.

There is a minimal cost to watch AASLH’s webinars, however, if you are an organization that is facing financial strain due to COVID-19, you can use promo code FREEWBR20 to waive the registration fee for these webinars.

American Alliance for Museums

AMM has developed a Resource Guide on Museum Openings. They recommend that museums build flexible plans for reopening that are regularly reviewed and refined based on the latest science. This guidance is based on the best available information as of publication and is not intended to supersede guidance from public health officials, medical experts, and federal/state/local governments. Museums are encouraged to seek legal and other expert advice on their specific circumstances.

AAM also runs a Center for the Future of Museums Blog providing advice and strategies for the reopening process. Topics include Using Scenarios to Plan Your Museum’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response and How to Get Ready to Open the Doors.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is closely monitoring COVID-19 and its impact on museums, libraries, and the communities they serve. They recently announced a new COVID-19 Research Partnership to Inform Safe Handling of Collections, Reopening Practices for Libraries, Museums. The collaboration is intended to support the nation’s libraries and museums as they consider safe reopening practices in light of COVID-19.

Oklahoma Museums Association

The Oklahoma Museums Association has created a Museum “Open to the Public” Guideline Considerations document. It includes ideas to demonstrate a museum’s commitment to provide a comfortable, safe, and healthy space for visitors and staff. OMA hopes that museums will consider following these guidelines to keep the staff, visitors and collections safe, but ultimately it is up to each museum and their board of directors to adopt their own policies and procedures.


Watch Cuseuem’s webinar Preparing to Reopen – Strategy, Planning & Process on the Road to Reopening Museums. This webinar will explore strategic planning, design thinking, and innovative approaches to welcoming your audiences back.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Looking for a more international perspective?

Watch the OECD’s webinar on COVID-19 and Museums: Impact, Innovations and Planning for Post-crisis. This webinar gathered representatives of the museum community, local and national governments to review the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on museums, the innovative solutions put in place by museums across countries, and the policy supports put in place by national and local governments to alleviate the short and long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis on museums and their broader ecosystems.

Additional Resources (updated)

Colleen Dilenschneider, Chief Market Engagement Officer at IMPACTS Research & Development, shared a blog post on Meeting Visitor Needs: What Will Make People Feel Safe by Age & Income.

What does your reopening plan look like? Let us know if you’ve found or developed any best practices you think we should share with our heritage community.