Salzburg Report Released – Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture 1

The Salzburg Global Seminar and the Institute of Museum and Library Services announce 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. Together, 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 rich perspectives about the changing roles and responsibilities of libraries and museums. The publication describes each of the five 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.

Download the report.

A limited number of hard copies are available. Contact for more information.

I was honored to participate in this event last October. Thanks to IMLS and the Salzburg Global Seminar!
My blogging of the sessions is here:

One thought on “Salzburg Report Released – Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture

  • William James

    It is impossible for me to comment on all aspects of the report on the Salzburg Global Seminar, especially since I am a first-year information management student from Australia. First of all, I must show some patriotic enthusiasm for the contribution of Dawn Casey from the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Her suggestion of ‘breaking down both institutional barriers and silos’ in order to draw more meaningful participation in institutions such as museums was thought provoking.

    I was particularly interested in the section concerning the keynote address given by Vishakha Desai from the Asia Society in New York. Her observations concerning the relevance of understanding the dynamics of the modern, multicultural and multi-polar world provided much food for thought. Desai’s notion that information institutions must prepare for the decentralization of power has interesting anarchist connotations (I’m talking more Kropotkin than vigilante-style computer hackers), which should probably be more pronounced than they are considering libraries, museums and archives are more or less run on the classical anarchist principles of mutual aid and co-operation.

    Her phrase ‘glocal’ – a combination global and local – sounds like a good starting point for a few hundred PHDs. I of course have not written one here, and probably not write one in the near future, but am certainly glad of the report’s availability and I thank Tame the Web for providing it.

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