Imperatives for the Future

For the world’s libraries and museums, an era of participatory culture demands that we:

  • Recognize the importance of cultural, economic, and social diversity in our communities.
  • Accept the principle of democratic access.
  • Acknowledge the need for new language and vocabulary to describe our work, reflecting the changing realities and expectations for our institutions.
  • Create innovative partnerships with the community and community organizations.
  • Accept new obligations, accountability, and responsibilities within our institutions.
  • Place a major emphasis on public value and impact.
  • Embrace the changing nature of authority, allowing for cocreation of content and input from both on-site and virtual visitors as an accepted part of our work.
  • Recognize the blurring of distinctions between in-school and out-of-school learning.
  • Embrace early and lifelong learning as key to our mission.
  • Accept the need for changes in the internal culture of our organizations and practice participatory culture internally as well as externally.
  • Recognize that technology is a tool and that authentic participation depends upon people, not merely upon technology.
  • Incorporate social media into our mission and strategic thinking.
  • Join a new wave of collaboration with other cultural institutions via sharing of staff and collections and other means.
  • Open our walls, break down boundaries, and orient ourselves outwardly, becoming the modern equivalent of the agora as a hub of communication.
  • Change the curriculum for the training of museum and library professionals in order to address the demands and realities of participatory culture.
  • Act with passion and creativity as agents of permanent change.

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