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Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture

June 02, 2012

Recently, the Salzburg Global Seminar and the Institute of Museum and Library Services convened a conference entitled “Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture.” The session plunged fifty-eight library, museum, and cultural heritage leaders from thirty-one countries around the world into discussion, debate, and the development of a series of practical recommendations for ensuring maximum access to and engagement in museums and libraries, as they examined the meaning of “participatory culture” writ large.

Given your interest in these issues, we want to take this opportunity to share with you some of the thinking that took place in Salzburg. The conference report is available for download at www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/SGS_Report_2012.pdf.  As you will read in the report, accepting the notion of democratic access, placing a major emphasis on public value and impact, and embracing lifelong learning were “imperatives for the future” that emerged from the deliberations (please see page 30 of the report for a list of key messages from the seminar). Additional session resources can also be found at: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/482wrapup. Please feel free to share these materials with colleagues.

We welcome your comments and reactions to this report and its recommendations. As a result of this session, we are also exploring ways to continue and deepen our work in this area and would welcome your thoughts in this regard. The directors of this session, Susanna Seidl-Fox, Salzburg Global Seminar, and Nancy Rogers, Institute of Museum and Library Services, would be delighted to hear from you and to answer any questions you might have. Please contact them at: sfox@salzburgglobal.org and nrogers@imls.gov
[ A copy of the report is posted at http://www.spnhc.org/35/reports ]