One of the trends being explored by CFM is the rising expectation on the part of users that museums provide avenues for them to contribute their opinions and expertise—to be co-creators, not just consumers. Some museums are harnessing users’ expertise through social tagging (see, notably, the STEVE project) Other projects like the Open Museum invite users to curate their own exhibits on-line.
So, I am eager to alert you to this call for papers issued by Library Trends, an academic journal that explores future directions in the fields of library and information science. The journal is preparing a special issue on Involving Users in the Co-Construction of Digital Knowledge in Libraries, Archives, and Museums.
As the call for papers notes “We need to consider what social computing really means for the future of libraries, archives, and museums, and think carefully about the future trends and long-term implications of involving users in the co- construction of knowledge online. It is important to have broad-based discussions about what happens when users are involved in shaping and directing and guiding the development of online libraries, archives, and museums and their information resources.”
In my experience, moderating discussions on this theme around the country, there is a great deal of anxiety in the museum field about what it means for our field to lift the curtain and let the public participate in what is, traditionally, behind-the-scenes work. I look forward to reading a thoughtful exploration of these issues, and encourage you to direct submissions to Paul Marty at firstname.lastname@example.org or Michelle Kazmer at email@example.com.