Objective Lessons: Self-Care for Museum Workers - MuseumNext

Objective Lessons: Self-Care for Museum Workers

Museum work is wonderful and exhausting. This creativity book helps you maintain your sanity at home and at work. 

Seema Rao’s new book offers advice and inspiration for people working in the culture sector, particularly museums.

Many culture sector institutions have collections, from art to animals. Professionals are mission-driven to work in this sector. Yet, the sector often matches the staff passion with low salaries and long hours.

This book focuses on the well-being of these people working passionately in museums, libraries, historic homes, zoos, aquariums, and other culture institutions. Seema’s approach is a creative one. She offers the reader over 50 exercises to explore their own strengths as well as their feelings about working in the sector.

Taken together, the challenges help readers find a way to navigate their role in the sector. The self-care posts provide direction and support in a playful, imaginative manner. They tackle issues including failure, negativity, toxic colleagues, personal mission, and professional strategy.

Seema’s tone is gentle but thoughtful and truthful. She combines the object-based methodology of museums with the playfulness of self-care books. Overall, she supports her readers in their chosen path.

“There’s so much about culture work that is amazing. We can truly change lives and communities. If we are not careful, we are also changed. The work is serious, but the salaries are not commensurate with the importance of our labors. This book is a way of encouraging the people in our sector to maintain their passion, sanity, and joy. This book took shape over nearly a year of hands-on experiments and after nearly two decades of time spent in the field.”


Author Bio:
Seema Rao has worked in museums for nearly 20 years at the interstices of visitor experience, education, and technology. She started her career with an interest in medical illustration. While no longer drawing dinosaur bones and bird neurology, she employs her rendering skills to develop books that blend meaning-making, creativity, and visual appeal. This is her third book. Her previous books include Self-Care for #TheResistance and Beyond Defensiveness.