Building the Skills of Library and Museum Professionals

“Building the Skills of Library and Museum Professionals” Lecture to the Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture Summit, Salzburg Global Seminar, Salzburg, Austria.

Abstract: This is the world we have asked for, this is the world we have worked for. Why showcase culture if we are not enabling contribution to that culture. Why information if not for informed participation. Why educate if not for advocacy. Why is it when we espouse the values and virtue of empowerment, we are surprised they seek power in shaping our destinies as well?

The time for introspection is done. The time for trivia is done. The time for looking for the future of libraries in catalogs, and strategic plans is done. The needs of our communities is too great, and our promise for improvement too large. Already at this summit we have heard about the need for education, jobs, food, and disaster assistance. Many of us, including myself, are returning to riots and civil unrest. Our appetites for energy are unsustainable, and the very memory of our society is eroding behind walls of commerce, false scarcity, and obsolescence.

For too long have we defined the core of our profession – service – as standing ready to serve. No one ever improved the world by standing ready.