An Invitation to volunteer in a new way
Want to put some excitement in your life? Being a Docent at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum can give you rewards you might never have imagined. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a volunteer the Docent Guild provides an opportunity for you to find out. Several times a year the Docent Guild sponsors a special event, an Information Open House just for people like you. Beginning at 10:00 am on a Saturday you’ll meet with current Docents who can tell you firsthand what this volunteer activity entails.
During the two-hour event we’ll take you through the Oval Office, the Birthplace and the Helicopter where you’ll see firsthand what Docents do. You’ll have a chance to get all your questions answered by talking one-to-one with a Docent. To get the date of the next Open House and to sign up please call 714-798-3707 or email your name and telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. On our website you can learn a lot more about being a Docent. Go to www.nixondocents.org. There’s even more good information on our Facebook page. Go to facebook.com/nixondocents.
Why should you be a volunteer at the Nixon Library?
There are so many reasons–where to start! For one you meet the most interesting people. Our Docents come from all walks of life and bring a lot of varied experiences. Business men and women, teachers, police officers, health workers, attorneys–you name it. Working together creates friendships and mental stimulation. The rewards of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. Experts say the right match can help you to reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. The benefits of volunteering help you feel healthier and happier according to helpguide.org.
You get a feeling of purpose and satisfaction by offering a service to the community. You experience a sense of accomplishment as you learn new skills. Medical experts tell us that volunteering makes you stay more physically and mentally healthy and happy. Also volunteering is a way to give back; to pay forward and share the good life we Americans have. For the newly retired volunteering offers a sense of accomplishment and challenge which may seem to be lost when a job ends. For volunteers who are still working volunteering offers a change of pace and the chance to do something different from the job. All volunteers experience renewed creativity and motivation. If you’re not yet convinced read this excellent article at www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/volunteering-and-its-surprising-benefits.htm#why
The wow Factor
How great is the New Nixon Library? At our grand re-opening the OC Register wrote: “The Nixon Library reopened in Yorba Linda after a $15 million re-imaging-more interactivity, eye-catching graphics, historical honestly – that includes 70 new exhibits, more than 300 artifacts that have never before been displayed, and an even-handed approach illustrating the 37th president’s success and failures.” Wow!
Docents walk the walk and talk the talk
The Richard Nixon Foundation and the National Archives and Records Administration have provided a tremendously rich environment at the Nixon Library for Docents to help preserve the Nixon legacy. From the new state-of-the-art galleries including an authentic Oval Office to the Birthplace to the Helicopter Docents are the grease that make the wheels turn. They tell the stories that help visitors understand history in a new and personal way.
Does being a Docent require a big time commitment?
The really good news is that being a Docent gives you a lot of bang for the buck. To get all those wonderful volunteer benefits those still employed are required to do only two four-hour shifts per month, scheduled at your convenience. Those not employed put in three four-hour shifts per month. You pick the times that fit your schedule–morning or afternoon, weekday or weekend.
What about training–what can I expect?
The Docent Guild has a training program that will provide you with all of the information you need. You will have trainers who will guide you through the process and give you tips and techniques to make you a successful and fulfilled Docent.
What inspires Docents at the Nixon Library?
We asked Docents what they like best about the time they spend meeting with the public at the Library. Some have many years of service, others are relatively new. Some are retired, some still employed. They live all over Orange Country and in LA and Riverside Counties as well. What they all have in common is a passion for history and to tell the Nixon story. What motivates and satisfies them?
Bernd is a Fullerton resident who has been a docent for 14 years. Before he became a volunteer at the Library Bernd worked for the LA County Sheriff’s office and retired as a Lieutenant. He says, “I love meeting and conversing with people. The Library is the ideal place to meet people from different backgrounds and areas. I love history and am a fan of President Nixon so the library is the perfect place for me to do what I like to do.”
Sue was a registered nurse and lives in Los Alamitos with her family. In her third year as a docent Sue says, “I was inspired to become a Docent eager to share our piece of impressive history with the community and those visiting our library from afar. I have gained so much insight and historical knowledge; however the greatest pleasure has been meeting and capturing the excitement from our visitors that are so impressed as they tour our facility, often anxious to return for more. I gain much more from them than I could ever give; it is so exciting!”
Dan is a former travel marketer who lives in Anaheim Hills. He’s been a docent since 2015. He says his greatest satisfaction in being a docent comes from sharing history with our guests and opening their minds to new information about the life, times, and presidency of Richard Nixon. He adds, “If you love history – especially if you lived through the 60’s and 70’s – being a guide and Docent is a truly satisfying and fulfilling ‘hobby’. Takes only a little time each month. You meet great people, expand your knowledge and provide a valuable service to the community. Hope many will see this, investigate and come learn if being a docent is right for them.”
Presidential Libraries belong to the American People–You and me
There are 13 official Presidential Libraries under the auspices of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Richard Nixon Presidential Library is one of them. They are not actually like your everyday libraries. According to NARA, “The presidential libraries are archives and museums, bringing together in one place the documents and artifacts of a president and his administration.” The Richard Nixon Library gives us a unique and personal look into the life of the 37th President born here in Yorba Linda.
Where are the Presidential Libraries? Check out this map:
When a president leaves office, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) establishes a presidential materials project to house and index the documents until a new presidential library is built and transferred to the federal government. These are repositories for preserving and making available the papers, records, collections and other historical materials of every President of the United States since Herbert Hoover (31st President, 1929-1933). In addition to the library services, museum exhibitions concerning the presidency are displayed.
See them all at https://www.archivesfoundation.org/visit/presidential-libraries