This week’s guest blogger Lauren Silberman, thinks museumers have something to learn from the "Librarians of the Future" and their kin about how to shape the image of their profession. Lauren hearts museums but still likes libraries and books. In addition to serving as the coordinator for AAM’s Museum Assessment Program and on the board of the Small Museum Association, she was the education and program coordinator for the Jewish Museum of Maryland and is currently working on her second book, Wicked Baltimore (The History Press, expected 2011).
I’m annoyed with librarians.
Apologies to my husband, who happens to be one. It’s not that librarians have done anything wrong. In fact, the reason that I’m annoyed is because of what they’re doing right. Librarians have gone viral. Across YouTube are videos of book cart drills and Lady Gaga parodies. The “Old Spice Guy” has done a bit on libraries (and there’s another video parodying him to promote libraries!). There are so many blogs about the new hip vanguard of librarians that their entries could more than fill many brick and mortar locations.* NPR has done a piece suggesting that libraries may be next “pop-culture wave” after cupcakes. They even have an action figure with “amazing push-button shushing action.”
So, it leaves me wondering, “Where are the museums?”
Why aren’t there videos of museum staff and visitors singing parody songs in the galleries? Are there any crudely drawn animations of museum collections coming to life? How about a reality tv show featuring the crazy world of registrars? You can almost see the sharpened pencils and white gloves flying!
Okay, I’ll admit that “annoyed” is not the right word choice. To be honest, I’m just jealous. I want to see videos and links to museum oriented fun being exchanged on Facebook. I want the New York Times to one-up NPR and espouse a duel between museums and libraries for the social media throne. I want people to talk about us in a new way. And I want you to do it.
Yes, that’s right. You have to help us museum lovers out. I can’t get us viral on my own. I need your assistance. So, I challenge you – no matter your museum specialty or work expertise – to help me show up those trendy librarians. I want to see what you’ve done and what you’re thinking about doing. I want to know what fun items exist or could exist for museums. Is it already out there and I’m simply missing it? Is it an idea just waiting for the right person or people to come along and bring it to life? Let me know! Let the social media revolution begin. Include your links, ideas, and whatnots in the comments below.
*You are correct. Every single word in that sentence links to a different library focused blog. The author of this post does not necessarily agree with anything mentioned on any of these blogs.