Describing Items
What information can you collect about Contributors and their Items?

Steps to Success: At the Event


Prepare the Information Station and work with Volunteers to describe their Items.

On the day of the event, after the Opening Meeting, the Project Team will break up into station specific assignments. The Information Station Captain will confirm that all the required supplies, handouts, and forms are available and ready to use. The Information Station Captain will also confirm volunteers staffing and attendance and answer any questions. 

Information Station Volunteers will then practice their role by assisting volunteers and Project Team members in describing their Items. Allowing a few volunteers and Project Team members to complete Descriptive Information Forms before the event opens to the public gives the Information Station Volunteers a chance to practice the process and work out any issues that arise. It also provides an opportunity for volunteers and Project Team members to begin adding their Items to the collection while they are not working at a station.


At the Information Station, help Contributors complete a Descriptive Information Form for each Item.

<p>Information Station volunteer and Contributor at the Show 'Em Whatcha Got Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition event in 2018.</p>

Information Station volunteer and Contributor at the Show 'Em Whatcha Got Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition event in 2018.

The Information Station Volunteers will greet Contributors, invite them to share their story and talk about their Items, and help them complete the Descriptive Information Form.

Contributors are likely to have questions; remind volunteers they can refer to the Understanding the Descriptive Information Form handout (download as MS Word or PDF document) and give a copy to Contributors to read. This handout includes recommendations for engaging Contributors and helping them tell the story about their Items. Information Station Volunteers should be prepared to address these commonly asked questions with Contributors and to help engage them around the Items they plan to contribute.

After a Contributor completes each Descriptive Information Form, the Information Station Volunteers will complete the Item ID Number. Each Item being contributed must have a unique identification number. The Contributor’s first Item will be 1, the second Item will be 2, and so on. 

The Information Station Volunteer will also need to review the forms for legibility. If everything is legible and the form is completely filled out with a unique Item ID Number, the volunteer will enter their initials in the “For Project Team Use Only, Information Station” section on each form. If the volunteer can’t read someone’s handwriting, have them ask clarifying questions and make corrections. By confirming that the form is clear and legible, the volunteer ensures that it will be readable to others in the data entry process.


Direct Contributors to Copying Station with their Items and Descriptive Information Forms.

After the Information Station Volunteers have reviewed the completed Descriptive Information Forms, they will place the forms and corresponding Items into a folder in order of their Item ID Number. The volunteer will then give the folder to the Contributor to bring to the Copying Station. Welcome Station Ushers will help guide the Contributor to the Copying Station to complete the last step in the process.


Pack up the Information Station.

After the event is closed to the public, Information Station Volunteers will join the Information Station Captain in cleaning up the station area and packing away supplies. Try to put furniture back as best you can. Leave the event space in the condition requested by the host location.