The Chippewa Valley Museum is a great resource for information about regional Wisconsin history, and the museum’s staff is eager to collaborate with libraries! IFLS Library System hosted a virtual meeting with the staff of the Chippewa Valley Museum on May 24, 2022, to discuss some of the ways that libraries may be able to utilize the museum’s resources in their programs:

  • The museum has several virtual exhibits that you could share with library patrons, including web exhibits on Hmong in Eau Claire, Pioneer Breweries of Western Wisconsin, and a virtual tour of the museum itself.
  • If you’re looking for resources that you can share in person at your library, check out their circulating displays and history kits. Their interactive kits could be used for setting up “micro exhibits” or at library events. There is a $25 charge to borrow a history kit, and at this time they have to be picked up at the museum in Eau Claire. If the distance is a barrier for you, contact Karen at the museum or Leah at IFLS to see if some of the smaller kits could be sent in the delivery system.
  • The museum’s Research and Photo Library may also be a great source of historical photos and information for researchers, social media posts, and more.

For more information or to inquire about ways that your library can collaborate with the museum, contact archivist Jodi Kiffmeyer at the museum or Katelyn Noack at IFLS.

Katelyn Noack, IFLS Library System Public Services Consultant, also shared this summary of the meeting for those who could not attend.

Chippewa Valley Museum Collaboration Meeting Summary 

If you missed it, do not worry, below are some highlights from the meeting and ways to contact members of the Chippewa Valley Museum.  Representing the CVM in the meeting was Jodi Kiffmeyer, an archivist and previously from the Rice Lake PL, Rachel Meyer, the CVM development manager and Karen Jacobson an educator for CVM.

First, Jodi explained to us the archives at the CVM. Some possibilities for collaboration here are sharing local historical photographs to be shared on social media and connections with local historical societies. Jodi is currently working on a project collecting COVID-19 diaries and archives, amongst other information. If you are intrigued, please email her for more information regarding current projects and ways to collaborate.

Karen then shared some wonderful resources that the museum offers, such as online exhibits and virtual 3D tours, as well as circulating kits and displays. CVM has two full-length, 3D tours on their website, complete with listening portions and historical information pop-ups that provide a rich experience from the comfort of anywhere, a great addition to a library website! Other opportunities to enrich programming come with their virtual exhibits. There are several of these on a variety of topics such as Hmong in Eau Claire and Barn Stories. Finally, the CVM owns many history kits available for circulation on different topics. The kits are $25 to rent and check out for two weeks. If you are interested in the kits, but cannot afford to borrow one, please reach out to Karen at (715) 834-7871 or to discuss options. At this time, your library should go to the museum to pick up any rented kits. If this is a barrier for you, please reach out to Karen and Leah or Katelyn at IFLS to discuss. Some of the kits are quite large, but some smaller ones might be able to be sent via courier. The circulating displays or traveling exhibits can also be quite large and demand a decent amount of space. Rachel at CVM talked about setting them up in your local school gymnasium or partnering with another local organization if your library does not have the space to set up these displays. Shout-out to Augusta PL who will be utilizing the Farm Life display from CVM for the Augusta Bean and Bacon Days! 

The Chippewa Valley Museum is eager to partner with libraries and there are many opportunities yet to be thought of. Currently, they have received grant funds to refresh and add to their circulating history kits. Interested libraries could consider partnering with them on the development of the kits and perhaps develop some smaller kits that would be easily transported by our courier system.

At the end of the day, the Chippewa Valley Museum is a valuable resource with persons interested in collaborating with libraries to share knowledge and resources. We discussed some potential ways for libraries to partner with CVM, but there are many more yet to be thought of. If you or your library is interested in working with CVM, please reach out.

Jodi Kiffmeyer –
Rachel Meyer
Karen Jacobson –