VIARC Renamed Office of Visitor Services

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VIARC, the Visitor Information and Associates Reception Center, is renamed the Office of Visitor Services, OVS. It's mission is to greet, serve, guide and educate our museum services. Its two key programs are Visitor Information and Volunteer Management. The Visitor Information Program helps visitors navigate the Smithsonian and learn more about what the Institution offers. It provides people with options to give us feedback and ask questions through email, telephone and mail. It supplies visitors with information through the web site content (see, and, outdoor information signs, and pan-institutional publications. The Volunteer Management Program supports how the Smithsonian greets and serves its visitors by recruiting, training and placing volunteers at the museum information desks and at behind-the-scenes projects across the Institution. Sherri Wheeler is the OVS Acting Program Manager.


  • Wheeler, Sherri
  • Smithsonian Associates, The
  • Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center
  • Office of Visitor Services
  • Behind-the-Scenes Volunteers


Chronology of Smithsonian History


SI Email Announcements, February 16, 2012, Call Us OVS, by Evelyn Lieberman.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


February 16, 2012


  • Information services
  • Museums
  • Volunteers
  • Museum visitors

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