Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Conference Presenter: Rebecca Lawrence

As we get closer to the big conference next month (have you applied yet?), we will be hosting some blog posts from various presenters, committee members, and others involved with the conference. This post is from Rebecca Lawrence, who is leading a session on Monday, February 21, 2011 entitled, ROUNDTABLE - SMA Book Club: Audience Participation and Nina Simon’s The Participatory Museum.

I'm excited to be part of the first SMA book club about Nina Simon's The Participatory Museum. Her text raises key questions about how a museum defines its relationships with various audiences, addresses key trends in technology, how creating participatory programs cross traditional department lines, and ultimately how one participates in a museum! Information about her book can be found online at http://www.participatorymuseum.org/.

It is a text that's inspired me to change the way I think about education programs at the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center, our institution's presence on social media networks, and how our exhibit themes and objects relate to our visitors. Her real world examples and applications to the museum context even serve as great creativity exercises (for example, consider how the personalized voice we see in most major marketing campaigns can impact your institution in a positive way). Simon also provides a participation model you can modify for your own institution, that you can consider as you evaluate your projects.

  • How has reading her book left an impact on your practice? 
  • What questions has it raised for you? 
We hope to engage in a book discussion on one of the most popular books in our field.  If you've just started reading, what phrases, thoughts, examples resonate with you? Join me, Rebecca Lawrence, and engage in a discussion about the many ideas in Nina Simon's The Participatory Museum. Bring some of your own examples with you to our session and share with us on the SMA blog before and after the conference!

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