Use of objects within pre-defined programmes (e.g. booked workshops)

In a pre-booked workshop, there is more of an element of control of touch and contact points for museum objects and art material handling. This might be a school workshop at the venue, an outreach workshop, or a booked activity for family or community group.

Consider the following:

  • The overall learning environment, including surface cleaning, air flow and circulation, light levels, and position of furniture to allow social distancing. Discuss building and space needs with colleagues, and risk assess for outreach.
  • Handwashing is key. Have you got access to handwashing facilities before and after object handling (standard best practice)? If not, can you use hand sanitiser, or bubble-group buckets of hot soapy water? How will this be managed in the space and time? Consider conservation impacts of cleaning products on museum objects.
  • Given the Covid Secure timeframes above, how many ‘sets’ of objects and materials do you need for rotation? Extra sets of art materials may have cost implications. Work closely with collections colleagues around museum object access.
  • If you only have one ‘set’ of objects, how often can you repeat a session safely and how long needs to be left between groups?
  • Will the facilitator alone hold the object? Will each group have a ‘set’ of objects, or single objects? How will this impact on workshop delivery, and quality assurance?
  • If you usually handle museum objects using nitrile gloves (it’s possible that PPE may be in short supply), are there alternatives you can use such as cotton gloves, or alternative ways of working to enable access? Consider access needs in terms of textural dislikes for nitrile gloves, and potential allergies.
  • For use of loans boxes as outreach participation, refer to the guidance around Covid Secure handling for groups and schools.
  • Consider quarantine processes for materials, tools and equipment between group use. Library examples of the 72-hour quarantine procedures may be useful here.