In his book, Graham Black argues that museums must transform themselves if they are to remain relevant to 21st century audiences – and this root and branch change would be necessary whether or not museums faced a funding crisis. It is the result of the impact of new technologies and the rapid societal developments that we are all a part of, and applies not just to museums but to all arts bodies and to other agents of mass communication.
Through comment, practical examples and truly inspirational case studies, this book allows the reader to build a picture of the transformed 21st century museum in practice. Such a museum is focused on developing its audiences as regular users. It is committed to participation and collaboration. It brings together on-site, online and mobile provision and, through social media, builds meaningful relationships with its users. It is not restricted by its walls or opening hours, but reaches outwards in partnership with its communities and with other agencies, including schools. It is a haven for families learning together. And at its heart lies prolonged user engagement with collections, and the conversations and dialogues that these inspire.
The book is filled to the brim with practical examples. It features:
- an introduction that focuses on the challenges that face museums in the 21st century
- an analysis of population trends and their likely impact on museums
- boxes showing ideas, models and planning suggestions to guide development
- examples and case studies illustrating practice in both large and small museums
- an up-to-date bibliography of landmark research, including numerous websites
Sitting alongside Graham Black’s previous book, The Engaging Museum, we now have a clear vision of a museum of the future that engages, stimulates and inspires the publics it serves, and plays an active role in promoting tolerance and understanding within and between communities.