264 pages, Tabs
Libraries, museums, and the ways in which they are used by patrons have drastically changed in past decades. Digitization projects, infotainment, and the Internet are redefining the library's and the museum's roles in the community. What are the implications for the future of these institutions? These authors examine the unique social roles of libraries and museums, review historical precedents as well as library-museum partnerships funded in recent years through IMLS grants, and forge an exciting vision of a new library-museum hybrid. The juxtaposition of library collections and museum artifacts, they assert, has the potential to create authentic, interactive experiences for community members, and it can help establish a distinct, meaningful, and sustainable role for libraries. In the authors' words, libraries can then "reassert themselves as places devoted to contemplation, wonder, knowledge acquisition, and critical inquiry." Commercialization, edutainment, and the library as a learning community are just some of the fascinating topics addressed as the authors explore the future's terrain, and suggest how libraries might situate themselves upon it.
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