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PodCamp: Curator of the Governor's Mansion Takes Us Inside

Caleb Shuff and Justin Blandford pose
Katie Buck
/
NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS
Caleb Shuff and Justin Blandford

Hello, I’m Caleb Shuff for the 2018 NPR Illinois PodCamp.

Justin Blandford, is a superintendent and curator of the Illinois Governor’s Mansion, and lives in Springfield, Illinois. 

Superintendent Blandford has to count how many guests visit each site and what state they’re from and whether or not they’re from another country. Over the years he has experience with the Governor’s Mansion as well as Lincoln’s Tomb and the Veterans’ Memorial in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

“Some sites might use a vehicle counter and then a multiplier and were very familiar with these methods. We emphasize the personal interaction with our guests and we like to welcome each guest. You know have an interaction with history education where were sharing a narrative or information about the sites.”

Each of the tour guides provides information on the site that they learn interacting with other tour guides and staff at each site.

If you were to visit some of these historic sites, it’s nice to know that there’s someone to actually teach you something at all of the sites. You will come away with having had a good time and having learned some new knowledge. At any of these sites you’ll be safe inside the site and safe on the way out.

“Before they leave it’s also important for us and our service model that we help guests before they leave and provide any additional information. This our chance then to refer them to another site because we can ask them where are you going next? That one question is really important to maybe not the attendants at that site anymore but the potential attendants at another location.”

To see more information, go to www2.Illinois.gov/governor’s mansion.

This has been Caleb Shuff for the 2018 NPR Illinois PodCamp.

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NPR Illinois PodCamp is an annual program teaching media literacy, civic education, journalism, and technical skills to aspiring students.

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