IMLS Issues “Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture” Report

The Salzburg Global Seminar and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently announced the publication of Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture. The report details the events of the October, 2011 convening of fifty-eight library, museum, and cultural heritage leaders from thirty-one countries.

The participants developed a set of recommendations to help libraries and museums embrace new possibilities for public engagement that are made possible by societal and technological change. The deliberations identified “imperatives for the future” including accepting the notion of democratic access, placing a major emphasis on public value and impact, and embracing lifelong learning.

Building on the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) initiative The Future of Museums and Libraries as well as on past museum and library sessions convened by the Salzburg Global Seminar, this session brought together library and museum leaders, cultural and educational policymakers, cultural sector researchers, representatives of library and museum education programs, technology experts, sociologists, journalists, and library and museum associations.

The report captures perspectives about the changing roles and responsibilities of libraries and museums. The publication describes each of the five

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plenary sessions and the working group recommendations that resulted from them: culture and communities; learning transformed; building the skills of library and museum professionals; and demonstrating public value. It includes descriptions of innovative case studies from around the globe and a summary of the concluding keynote lecture given by Vishakha Desia, president and chief executive officer of the Asia Society.

A limited number of hard copies are available. Contact imlsinfo@imls.gov for more information.

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