Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory CultureThe mission of librarians and museum professionals is to foster conversations that improve society through knowledge exchange and social action. The Salzburg Curriculum aims to bring together the training processes for both library and museum professionals in order to align them with each other.
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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.
The Salzburg Curriculum is an attempt to define what librarians and museum professionals need to meet these challenges.