As a History teacher who has visited many (most) of the actual Lincoln sites, I was appalled at the shallow "Lincoln Presidential Museum" in Springfield. There are much better and more authentic sights all around Springfield - New Salem is excellent and Lincoln's Home and Tomb are both very educational and interesting destinations. The "Lincoln Presidential museum" is a real embarrassment to actual history students, with a plastic cabin to represent Lincoln's early years and animatronic style shows with ridiculous special effects including choking smoke, thumping, military music soundtracks and vibrating seats. The Ghost in the Library script is slick but pandering. It's also confusing, with its shift from historian to battlefield soldier. Don't go in the "Theatre" show if you have the beginnings of a headache (no warnings given until you are already seated). Overall, I found the museum slick, but nor especially truthful or well done. My spouse and I agreed it was Disneyland in Illinois, even before reading these reviews.
Museum rules are somewhat vague and inconsistent, so, read over the card they hand you before you pay. (See the posting by the visitor who had to delete his pictures.) After I had paid and passed by four representatives, I was told I had to go back to the entrance and put my small backpack purse containing my medicine and water to swallow it in a medical supplies bag! When I put the bag in their sizing cubby, they pulled it upright and fluffed it until it stood over the top by a few inches! They told me there was no customer onsite service rep, when she was standing twenty feet away! My husband and I counted at least ten larger bags in the museum, including one child and one adult wearing a backpack. All they had to do was ask me to put the water bottle inside the bag and carry it at my side, but instead they ruined my visit.
The exhibit signs are small and placed so that only one or two people can read them (while blocking the sign and artifact), so the crowd moves at a snail''s pace. While there are a very few actual artifacts related to Lincoln, you can see more elsewhere. The section on the Washington gossip around Mary Todd was one dimensional and sensationalist, not exploring her Confederate family officers at all. (Look it up, as the exhibit designers should have!)
If you want to be entertained, this is an OK place. If you expect actual history and a respectful staff, look elsewhwere. I would heartily recommend actual Lincoln sites such as the National Historic Sites in Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana which are not made of plastic. Docents have more freedom to answer questions and even the recreations offer more authenticity. This is a ridiculous, cheap. Disneyesque version which totally subverts and cheapens everything Abraham Lincoln stood for throughout his life!!!