It takes a village they say, or as we say, a “Committee.” Here at the Museum we owe a debt of gratitude to the many volunteers who comprise the following committees. Together they help deliver a rich offering of programs and experiences that have built the Museum into an integral and valued community resource. To learn more about each committee, click on their links below.

Collections (FULL)

The Collections Committee assists with a variety of tasks associated with collections care, accessibility, and management. Associated tasks include, but are not limited to, reviewing policies and procedures, data entry, cataloging, researching, and implementing proper storage techniques. Committee members should also be familiar with the history of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.


The Demographics Committee gathers monthly data about the Museum’s visitorship, volunteer hours, and attendance at special events. The committee also assists with the production of the Annual Report by consolidating monthly data and highlighting trends. Committee members must be discreet as they have access to sensitive information, including annual financial reports and donor profiles.


Museum docents are responsible for welcoming visitors, and are considered the face of the Museum. Docents are responsible for tracking visitorship information and leading tours of both the Museum and the J. Gilbert Smith House. Docents should have enthusiasm for the Museum and a desire to share that enthusiasm with others!


The Education Committee conducts education tours for 3rd and 4th grade classes of local schools. The committee also hosts an annual essay contest along with the City of Los Altos Historical Commission. Committee members should have experience in education or with the school district, although this is not required. 

Exhibits (FULL)

The Exhibits Committee works with staff to plan, develop and install temporary exhibitions. The Committee also organizes and implements exhibit programs during the course of the exhibit. Committee members will be most active in the weeks leading up to an exhibit opening.


The Facilities Committee makes recommendations regarding upgrades and repairs necessary for the effective operation of the Museum. The committee inspects potential problem areas and evaluates potential solutions, undertaking small repairs as needed. Committee members may also collaborate with other committees regarding exhibits or Museum events.


The Finance Committee monitors the financial well-being of the Museum and reports any financial concerns to the Board. The committee also recommends financial policies and procedures to the Board, reviews the proposed budget and ensures the Museum’s financial performance is aligned with the budget, and manages investments for the Museum’s long-term funds. Committee members should have expertise in the financial affairs of the Museum or nonprofit financial matters in general.


The Fundraising Committee oversees the development and implementation of the various activities and programs of the Museum’s fundraising efforts. This includes the Annual Appeal, Weathervane Society, annual fundraising auction, planned giving program, and corporate sponsorships. It is responsible for helping to meet the financial goals of the Museum, monitoring fundraising efforts, and seeking potential new sources of funds.


The Garden Committee maintains the landscaping around the Museum for both daily visitors and for events. Committee members usually meet on Thursday mornings, and work alongside the Museum’s gardener.


The Hospitality Committee is responsible for providing and serving food at Museum events. Committee members are present at most Museum events and help to display and serve the food and beverages.

Marketing & PR

The Marketing & PR Committee promotes the Museum and its many exhibits, events and programs. The committee also assists with developing a publicity schedule, designing advertisements and marketing materials, and diseminating relevant content to the community.


The Membership Committee supports the Director of Communications with membership duties and works to expand the outreach of the Museum. The committee staffs informational tables at Museum events, as well as at events around the community.

Museum Store

Museum store volunteers manage the Museum’s gift shop during open hours and special events. Store volunteers operate the register, unpack, display, and price merchandise, and occasionally train new volunteers.

Oral Histories (FULL)

The Oral History Committee runs the Museum’s Oral History program. The committee finds prospective candidates, conducts and records interviews, and catalogs the information. Committee members are thoroughly trained before completing their first interview.

Orchard Commons

The Orchard Commons Committee supports the growth of the Los Altos Heritage Orchard while also promoting community engagement through events and educational programs. Committee members may have a background in the care and management of an orchard, agricultural practices, biodiversity stewardship, local history, graphic design, writing, and public speaking.

Smith House

The Smith House Committee maintains the J. Gilbert Smith House at Los Altos History Museum. The committee cleans and decorates the house, assists with exhibits in the Smith House gallery, plans events in the house, and helps with the annual holiday market hosted by the Museum’s Store Committee.


The Train Committee maintains the train layout and diorama in the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition. The committee ensures the train, trolley, and handcar are working properly along with the buildings and animatronics in the diorama.

Volunteer Development

The Volunteer Development Committee recruits potential Museum volunteers. The committee also hosts volunteer get-togethers, including the Museum’s annual Volunteer and Membership Appreciation event. Committee members will often collaborate with the Membership Committee for events and outreach.

For more information on how you can participate on a committee – click here