ACM Publications

As an exclusive ACM member benefit, all ACM publications* are free to ACM Museum and Business Members! This includes a digital copy of ACM’s seminal book, Collective Vision: Starting and Sustaining a Children’s Museum, as well as all ACM Trends Reports.

Publications can be accessed and downloaded via ACM’s online community, ACM Groupsite. Place a publication order today, or download the free electronic versions as indicated below.

*ACM Individual Members will continue to receive exclusive discounts on these products. Benefit does not include the 2016 ACM-ASTC Workforce Survey, available at an exclusive discount to ACM members.

Questions? Contact

ACM Trends Reports

ACM has partnered with Knology to create the ACM Trends Reports series, which shares practical information for children’s museums to tell the story of our field, drawing from more than a decade of ACM member data.

The ACM Trends Reports help museum professionals use data to become more accountable to their mission and fiscal responsibilities. Concise and easily understood, the reports can be shared in internal communications with your organization’s stakeholders, including staff, Board members, and funders, or for use in marketing materials and presentations.

Volume 1

The first volume, released over 2017/2018, includes twelve reports highlighting emerging trends and opportunities for advancement on subjects from measuring museum size to reaching nontraditional families.

Members (See ACM Groupsite, contact for access.) — Free
Nonmembers (All 12 Reports) — $150
Nonmembers (Single Report) — $15

Volume 2

The second volume of three reports, released in Fall 2018, shares findings from ACM’s study on the economic impact of children’s museums, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Members (See ACM Groupsite, contact for access.) — Free
Nonmembers (All 3 Reports) — $35
Nonmembers (Single Report) — $15

Volume 3

The third volume, released in Fall 2019, includes three reports on foundation funding and measuring diversity.

Members (See ACM Groupsite, contact for access.) — Free
Nonmembers (All 3 Reports) — $35
Nonmembers (Single Report) — $15

Volume 4

Starting in Spring 2020, the fourth volume in the series, Museums in a Pandemic, reports findings from regularly conducted surveys by Knology and ACM about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the children’s museum field. Read all 14 reports for free on the ACM blog.

Hand to Hand

Hand to Hand is ACM’s quarterly publication highlighting issues and trends in the children’s museum field. Articles include interviews with trendsetters and museum leaders, program overviews, museum profiles, and more. Each issue is centered around a theme relevant to the children’s museum field. To see past themes, articles, and authors, download the Hand to Hand Index.

Hand to Hand Annual Subscription

One free annual digital subscription is included per ACM membership. The second most recent issue is posted as a free trial. To purchase a separate subscription or access your ACM member benefits, contact

Hand to Hand Archive—Single Issues

Order digital issues of Hand to Hand. To select, review the complete index.

Members (See ACM Groupsite, contact for access.) — Free
Nonmembers — $10 per issue

Individual Hand to Hand articles are available on the ACM blog. Interested in contributing to Hand to Hand? Contact Mary Maher, Editor, at

ASTC-ACM 2016 Workforce Survey

This report provides up-to-date numbers on a range of workforce metrics in the children’s museum and science center fields, including compensation, educational requirements, and benefits. The report contains a project overview; a compensation overview of 25 staff positions; CEO profiles containing demographics, education background, and more; and data on four categories of floor staff (permanent full-time, permanent part-time, seasonal paid, and unpaid volunteer). A separate chapter is devoted to operations trends identified by more than 150 responding CEOs and Executive Directors. 161 pages. Due to the electronic format of the report, this item cannot be exchanged or returned for refund.

ACM and ASTC Members — $75
Nonmembers — $200

Submit an Order

Collective Vision: Starting and Sustaining a Children’s Museum

A comprehensive guide for new and existing institutions, this resource guide is a 337-page compilation that addresses children’s museum philosophy,  audience and mission, governance, educational theory, exhibits, programs, planning, fundraising, marketing and much more.

ACM Museum and Business Members (See ACM Groupsite, contact for access.) — Free Digital Copy
Individual Members — $25
Nonmembers — $50

Submit an Order

Standards for Professional Practice in Children’s Museums

Standards for Professional Practice in Children’s Museums was developed by ACM in 1992 with a grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services. This document outlines the standards for professional practices in children’s museums and is helpful for newly founded or start-up museums and those museums seeking accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.

Download the Free PDF

ASTC-ACM 2011 Workforce Survey Report

This report provides up-to-date numbers on a range of workforce metrics including compensation, educational requirements, benefits, demographics, and diversity. Easy-to-read tables present an overview of 24 staff positions, in-depth analysis of 14 core positions, and three categories of floor staff (permanent full-time, permanent part-time, and seasonal paid). A separate chapter is devoted to CEOs and Executive Directors and includes data from 25 top executives at institutions outside of the United States. 280 pages, plus introduction and appendix.

Members — $50
Nonmembers — $100

Submit an Order

Reimagining Children’s Museums Leadership Pre-Conference Proceedings Report

This report documents the very beginnings of Reimagining Children’s Museums, a three-year leadership project that explores what it means to experience a children’s museum in the twenty-first century. Read what children’s museum directors and nationally-known thought leaders from the worlds of technology, philanthropy, management, education, and design fields have to say about community vibrancy indicators, the changing faces of museum visitors, the Maker Movement, interactive and gaming media, trends in education philanthropy, and meeting the expectations of digital natives.

Download the Free PDF

Healthy Kids, Healthy Museums

Healthy Kids, Healthy Museums is a 100-page publication profiling 30 best practices at children’s museums that offer family-friendly strategies to combat the childhood obesity epidemic. The publication is a resource to give children’s museum professionals ideas and tips for implementing successful models to support healthy families. The articles included in the publication show the range of innovative health-related programs, exhibits, initiatives, and other practices at children’s museums across the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom.

Download the Free PDF

Kids Dig Dirt! Green Paper

A product of a dynamic planning project funded by the Civil Society Institute, Kids Dig Dirt! Green Paper explores the ways that children’s museums can connect children to nature through outdoor play. The Green Paper provides the vision as well as guiding principles and resources for developing outdoor environments in children’s museums.

Download the Free PDF

Integrating Teens Into Your Museum Family

Created by Please Touch Museum® upon receiving the MetLife Foundation and ACM Promising Practice Replication Award, this toolkit is a 111-page book and DVD that addresses partnerships, recruiting, staffing, funding, and programming to help children’s museums create youth programs that fit their communities.

PDF available upon request

Toolkit for Reimagining Children’s Museums

This toolkit represents a synthesis of the three years of ideas and questions around the Reimagining Children’s Museum project funded by MetLife Foundation. It’s an invitation to imagine the future of your museum and provides areas to consider—sustainability, design, community, collaboration, change, learning, and technology—as well as processes for reimagining, and resources for further investigation.

Download the Free PDF