Museum enhances offerings with new kiosk

MILFORD — Visitors to the Milford Museum are often greeted by the friendly faces of volunteers such as Barbara Jones who are more than happy to share their wealth of local historical knowledge.

A new kiosk now makes it even easier for visitors to hear those stories of the past, in addition to visiting exhibits throughout the building.

Thanks to grants given to the organization by the Milford Lions Club and the Delaware Humanities Forum, the new and easy-to-use kiosk is set up with 21 stories professionally narrated at under five minutes each.

The new kiosk at the Milford Museum allows visitors to hear 21 stories complete with professional narration and digitized images of MIlford’s past. Basement exhibits are also featured in the kiosk as that area is not handicap accessible. Special to The Chronicle

The new kiosk at the Milford Museum allows visitors to hear 21 stories complete with professional narration and digitized images of MIlford’s past. Basement exhibits are also featured in the kiosk as that area is not handicap accessible. Special to The Chronicle

Curious visitors can navigate through the program with mere taps to the kiosk screen, listening to stories of old time recreational pastimes, occupations and other interesting stories from years gone by.

Executive Director Claudia Leister said grant money for the kiosk totaled $7,500, but it didn’t start there.

“When I first started here, one of the first things we did was get a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum to digitize 3,500 images. Having a handle on that was important to me,” she said.

Once that task was completed, Ms. Leister said the museum was ready for the next step.

“It took a lot more time than I had anticipated to do this,” she added.

Construction was paid for by a $4,500 grant from the Milford Lions Club with original plans for the kiosk involving both the digital photos and narration by Ms. Leister and other museum volunteers.

“We tried to do it homemade, but there was this hiss and click every time we changed the photo slides. So, we were awarded a $3,000 grant to have it professionally narrated,” she said. “That has made all the difference.”

The kiosk not only offers a permanent space for some of the stories found inside the museum, but it also allows visitors who cannot visit exhibits in the basement to see those exhibits, as well.

The museum currently features education, baseball and nursing exhibits in the lower portion of the building which is not handicapped accessible.

“That was really important for us to include those basement exhibits. Some people just can’t get down there. I don’t want them to miss out,” Ms. Leister said.

Ms. Jones, volunteer at the museum, says sharing the stories of Milford’s past is fun for all ages.

“I’m grateful for this kiosk,” she said. “We have so much to share and this is just a great help. Did you know we had nine governors from Milford? You can learn about them all right here in the museum.”

For Ms. Leister, the kiosk adds value to not only the offerings of the museum, but the town as a whole.

“I think Milford is right on the edge of greater things happening here. There’s enough things happening here for a full days venture and we want to be a part of that,” she said.

“Milford has always been a bustling town, an important place for people to come. I hope we can reinstate that and realize how important of a place it was in the past and can be again.”

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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