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  • Jefferson County Public Library Announces Call for Volunteers for the Water/Ways Exhibit:

    Madison, IN, December 30, 2021 – Volunteers needed for a national touring exhibit Water/Ways

    Jefferson County Public Library is recruiting volunteers to welcome visitors to the upcoming Water/Ways Exhibit. Water/Ways volunteers will support visitors learning about water thru interactive exhibits in the Library’s Auditorium. Water/Ways is a nationally touring exhibit produced by the Smithsonian Institute and hosted by the Madison Public Library in January and February 2022. It highlights the role water plays in our daily lives and how it affects our local community.  


    Primary responsibilities will include welcoming visitors to Water/Ways and directing them to appropriate activities; supporting visitor learning by providing explanations of the purpose and function of Water/Ways and associated programs; and providing support to the JCPL staff by assisting with the upkeep of exhibit and directional information. 


    Volunteer shifts are scheduled in 2-3 hour blocks. The exhibit will be hosted in Library’s Auditorium  seven days a week: Monday thru Saturday during normal operating hours, and on Sundays and holidays, beginning on January 8 and ending February 20.

    Mondays – Fridays 10a-7p
    Saturdays 10a-4p
    Sundays and Martin Luther King, Jr Day 12p-4p

    Ideal Water/Ways volunteer candidates will possess the ability to work with families, students, and visitors of all ages in a patient and friendly manner, and the willingness to help with a wide variety of tasks such as encouraging engagement, cleaning the exhibit, assisting with event setup and teardown, and tracking participation. Volunteers must be comfortable working in both a slow-paced and fast-paced environment. Water/Ways volunteers must be punctual and reliable. Minimum age is 16. Volunteers may submit applications at https://mjcpl.org/waterways-volunteer or in person at the Madison Public Library.


    Water/Ways Volunteer Training includes an overview of the Water/Ways Exhibit given by a JCPL staff member, and a review of the Water/Ways Docent Handbook and JCPL facilities and policies. Orientation for all volunteers will be held on Thursday, January 6 at 3p and 5:30p in the Madison Public Library Auditorium. On-the-job training will be continuous. 


    “The Water/Ways volunteer opportunity provides a fun and interesting way for patrons and community members to engage with individuals of all ages as they experience a quality presentation of the vital resource that impacts our lives on a daily basis at so many levels. The Library is looking forward to this unique way to engage Jefferson County residents and visitors from out of town in a valuable and substantial way as we showcase our local heritage and ties to water,” noted Library Director Judi Terpening.


    The Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit is famous for not only being an open door to the scientific nature of water, but also as a fun approach to the most important element on Earth. The exhibit reveals the central nature of water in our lives by exploring its usage, how it affects our lives, how we care for it, and what story each of us can tell. The exhibit has traveled around most of America, as well as other parts of the country. 

    Water/Ways explores the endless motion of the water cycle, water’s effect on landscape, settlement and migration, and its impact on culture and spirituality. It looks at how political and economic planning have long been affected by access to water and control of water resources, and how human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment. Designed for small-town museums, libraries and cultural organizations, Water/Ways serves as a community meeting place to hold conversations about water’s impact on American culture.

    The program is sponsored in part by the Indiana Humanities’ Water/Ways Program, with support from the Smithsonian Museum, Museum on Main Street, Indiana American Water, and Discover Indiana.

    About Jefferson County Public Library

    Jefferson County Public Library was founded in 1818 and serves the community with opportunities to obtain and use information in a variety of formats, to pursue lifelong learning, to explore recreational interests, and to better understand personal and regional heritage. In addition to books and movies, the Library offers community meeting spaces, cultural and educational programs, entertainment, one-on-one computer assistance, outreach services to homebound and children, genealogy and local history research assistance, early literacy programs and reading and viewing suggestions. Libraries are located in Madison and Hanover, Indiana.

    About Indiana Humanities

    Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at indianahumanities.org

    About Water/Ways

    The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water—an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Water/Ways was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul (www.smm.org), in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore. Learn more about exhibit content at https://museumonmainstreet.org/content/waterways

    About Museum on Main Street

    Museum on Main Street is a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about Water/Ways and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org.

    About Indiana American Water

    Indiana American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.32 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


    Ann Inman

    Programming Coordinator