For the first time, the U.S. museum profession's current operating standards in areas from public accountability to facilities and risk management are available in a single publication. This guide is an essential reference work for the museum community, presenting the ideals that should be upheld by every museum striving to maintain excellence in its operations. An introductory section explains how virtually anyone associated with museums will find the book valuable, from trustees to staff to funders and the media. It is followed by a full outline of the standards, including the overarching Characteristics of Excellence and the seven areas of performance they address. Throughout the book is commentary by Elizabeth E. Merritt, former director of AAM's Museum Advancement and Excellence Department and founding director of AAM's Center for the Future of Museums. "Insightful commentary by Elizabeth Merritt rings loud and clear and accompanies a concise compilation of policies, practices and plans for managing museums in the twenty-first century. Every museum professional should look to National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums for direction in museum administration and collection stewardship, education programs and exhibitions." - Tim White, assistant director for collections and operations, Yale Peabody Museum; president, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Also available from Amazon as a Kindle e-Book: National Standards & Best Practices for U.S. Museums.