Beyond the Walled Garden – An Essay in SJSU SLIS Student Research Journal

I have an invited contribution in the new issue of SJSU SLIS Student Research Journal:

I recently participated in a meeting convened at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria. For five days, over 50 librarians and museum professionals from all over the world gathered to critically examine the impact of participatory culture on library and museum work. The event was sponsored by both the seminar and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Participatory culture, defined by Henry Jenkins in Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture (2006), “is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices” (p. 3). When barriers fall away, participation is possible.

The seminar included presentations, working groups, and discussions centered around how library and museum service should adapt to an environment in which participation is not only possible, but encouraged. The working group I joined developed curricula for new professionals in both arenas. One aspect we highlighted was the importance of engaging with technology. Within that area were three skills our group strongly believed future professionals should possess: the ability to engage and evolve with technology, the ability to impart technology to cross-generational communities, and the ability to create and maintain an effective virtual presence.

Use the link to read the whole essay.

Citation: Stephens, Michael (2011) “Beyond the Walled Garden: LIS Students in an Era of Participatory Culture,” SLIS Student Research Journal: Vol. 1: Iss. 2, Article 2.
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