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Thank You Volunteers! - Feat. Lynne Nylander

As we enter this next season of thankfulness, we at the Plainsman Museum would like to take the time to give thanks for our many volunteers who help make our mission possible! Since the Plainsman Museum's beginning in 1976, volunteers have been essential in carrying out the day-to-day functions of the museum, as well as helping to preserve the history we have been entrusted with by the local community. Whether it's cleaning the glass on display cases, building new shelving, sorting through photographs, updating our digital catalogue, organizing probate records, or restoring antique cars - ALL of the efforts of our volunteers are valuable, and we wouldn't be where we are today without them!

Thank you all!

To help give a further glimpse into the work of our volunteers, we have asked several of our regular volunteers to answer some interview questions about what they do here at the museum, and we will be featuring them in a series of blog posts for the next few weeks. The first to be featured in this series is Lynne Nylander!


Lynne Nylander

Q: When did you first visit the Plainsman Museum?

"Well, we moved here in the late 1970's. I'm sure it was right after that because I like to visit museums!"

Q: When did you start volunteering here?

"I think it was sometime in the fall of 2015, about September or October."

Q: What work do you usually do as a volunteer at the museum? What's your favorite thing to do as a volunteer?

"My favorite thing to do is work with the computer, and enter artifacts into the digital catalogue. To do that I have to research a lot of artifacts that people bring in using an online database. I search online to find the 'real' name - or the name of the artifact as it would be published - and then combine it with what the donor put in writing to the museum so it matches."

Q: What skills have you applied while volunteering at the museum? Were there any previous job or life experiences that you were able to draw from to do your work here?

"Job experiences definitely, because I worked with the public. I did a lot of computer work with my job in the county court system in Hamilton County. I worked myself up to the job of magistrate, which entails working with a lot of people, and searching for items that needed to be entered into the computer. So it continues to keep me in touch with the public when I work here."

Q: Tell us about one of your favorite artifacts or exhibits here at the museum!

"One of the things that I look at and try to explain when people come in is the loom - how people could possibly make a rug or a blanket or whatever they made with that machine. I call it a machine because I know it's a hand-worked machine, but to be able to work that in the amount of light that was provided - which was hardly anything; it was all candlelight or natural light - and to be able to make wonderful works of art with that is just beyond me. I don't know how they could do that, because I do a lot of crocheting and sewing, and boy if I don't have a strong light there with me it's hard to do! And they were just beautiful! I mean, they would make things that lasted forever - on their beds, and on their tablecloths in that small, small tatting, and it just amazing me how they could make things that lasted for such a long time."

Q: What's been one of your fondest memories of your time here at the museum?

"Well, the conversations that you have with the volunteers, and with the staff, and the people that come in. Some people come in just wanting to pay their money to go in and look, and I kind of stop them and make them visit for a minute and warm them up a little bit to the museum and explain things. They may be in a hurry, but I visit with them and I just like to visit with people. And then people always come back after they've been through the museum, and just are in awe of what's been done here! And I'm very proud of that, and I always give accolades to our director, who does a wonderful job of making this place such a pleasant place to visit for outsiders, especially people outside of Nebraska; people that haven't heard of this place and they're just like, 'Well why aren't you more advertised?' And I say, 'Well, we don't have to be advertised. Word of mouth is just wonderful!'

"I just love working here! And sometimes I think, 'Oh, I forget to do this and I forget to do that,' but everyone here is so easy to work with, and it's a joy to get up and come to have something to look forward to! I know my mother would be so proud of me, because growing up I was such a tomboy, and it was hard for me to sit still and get any handiwork done. But now I can, and I'm so glad I get to work here at the museum!"


Thank you Lynne for all you do!



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