Beverly Sheppard is an independent museum consultant with a wide range of expertise in museum practices and a deep commitment to museums as essential learning resources and partners in building livable communities. Beverly brings a strong focus on planning for meaningful and transformative audience experiences in a variety of museums, nature centers, professional associations, libraries and other cultural organizations committed to lifelong learning. As an experienced educator, she works closely with museum and exhibit designers to incorporate learning as a core principle of the museum experience. She has further drawn from her extensive background in museum leadership to build a consultancy around interpretive and strategic planning, creating and sustaining community partnerships, and identifying and serving audience needs.
Beverly describes her professional life as having provided a full circle of perspectives on the challenges, pleasures and promises of culturally-based non-profits. As the Acting and Deputy Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, she experienced a national view of the strengths and challenges of museums and libraries across the country, as well as deep appreciation for the importance of policy and leadership as facilitators of institutional success. Beverly also worked with “feet on the ground,” serving as President and CEO of Old Sturbridge Village, Associate Director of the Chester County Historical Society, and a jack-of-all-trades on a four person staff at the Everhart Museum. Each experience brought essential learning and insight into museum management and organizational structure. Her final formal position as CEO of the Institute for Learning Innovation provided the research and evaluation understandings that placed the audience at the center of the museum experience.
Beverly has served the museum field in numerous ways. She is a past Board member of the American Alliance of Museums and Council member of the Association for State and Local History. She has served in advisory capacities to the American Library Association and the American Alliance of Museums and is a frequent speaker and writer on museum issues. She has authored and edited three books, Thriving in the Knowledge Age with John H. Falk, An Alliance of Spirit: Museum and School Partnerships with Kim Fortney, and Building Museum and School Partnerships, along with numerous journal articles. Her white paper, Museums, Libraries and the 21st Century Learner became the centerpiece of a multi-year series of conferences and grant-funded projects.
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