Belleville – The Labor and Industry Museum is doing well – so well that it could use some volunteer help.
The museum, located at 123 N. Church St. just north of downtown Belleville, has been busy lately during its regular public hours, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. It’s in the old Conrad Bornman House, circa 1837, and has a new annex as well.
The museum has also been getting good use at other times from school groups and, in particular, Lindenwood University, which has a campus nearby in Belleville.
“We have tours scheduled clear up into October, and once schools get back on schedule, we’ll probably be getting more,” said Bill Thurston, president of the Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council and of the museum board.
“Lindenwood has really taken advantage of that museum. They are now talking about bringing students from St. Louis over here to go through our museum,” he told the Council.
The museum’s website has been developed further, too, reflecting the progress that has been made on the museum.
One key feature is the photo archive, which lets users easily search and access thousands of photos and accompanying information.
Also, it offers a new book, “Belleville 1914 and Beyond” that serves as a successor to “Belleville 1814-1914,” both in the Images of America series.
The new book was written by local historian Judy Belleville plus Roberty deV Brunkow and Robert Arndt, and it has 250 photos, many of them never published before. It sells for $22 at the museum, or $42 for both books. Or email Judith.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website also has information about the history of the museum and a list of volunteer opportunities.
Thurston said the museum especially needs people to help with visitors on Saturdays.
“We will use you, but we won’t burn you out,” he said. “The main thing is that on Saturdays, we need somebody there who is familiar with the layout of the museum and the annex so they can talk about it.
“Most people who come through, they wander around, and we always have somebody there with them,” he said. “Anybody who is interested in volunteering is welcome.”
To volunteer, call the museum at (618) 222-9430, send an email to email@example.com or fill out the form on the website’s volunteering page.