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.