Collaboration Resource: “UpNext: The Future of Museums and Libraries”

Please join us in creating a resource to guide thinking about the future of libraries and museums!  From March 3rd until May 12th, 2010, IMLS will be encouraging dialogue about the big challenges and opportunities facing libraries and museums through UpNext: The Future of Museums and Libraries Wiki.  You are invited to participate in this collaborative space to share your voice and expertise.

The wiki will open for participation on March 3rd, but you can register as a wiki member in advance. (http://imlsupnext.wikispaces.com).

In these tough economic times, strategic thinking is a wise investment in the future.  Whether you work in, partner with, study, volunteer, visit or are just plain interested in museums and libraries and passionate about how they can continue to thrive in their service to the public-you have an opinion to be shared!

The wiki will be an opportunity to share resources, examples of what works, and vexing questions.  We hope that it will be a thought provoking ten weeks for all participants and provide food for thought for your career, your institution and the choices you face.

The Vision: A collaborative resource based on The Future of Museums and Libraries: A Discussion Guide, (http://www.imls.gov/pdf/DiscussionGuide.pdf ) that is available and used by others across the museum and library fields to continue to stimulate discussion and share knowledge about planning, enhancing, enriching and sustaining the future of museums and libraries in the 21st century.

The Goals for this wiki: Share ideas, resources and projects that help libraries and museums plan for the future and take action; . Encourage cross disciplinary conversation and engage experts as well as emerging professionals; . Use  a 2.0 communications strategy to engage citizens in government; . Provide IMLS with input to consider for its strategic plan and to inform future IMLS research, publications, convening and grant making.

The wiki will be organized around four main content areas:

1. Discussion Themes. Each theme will have a unique page in the wiki describing the theme and the questions posed in the Discussion Guide. Expert discussion leaders will introduce two new themes every two weeks. The full schedule is below. Wiki users will be able to respond and comment on the questions, as well as pose new questions and thoughts particular to that theme.

2. Future Reading (an open bibliography). Wiki users will be able to post links and citations to publications and resources on issues relevant to the future of museums and libraries. This page will include the bibliography from the original publication as a starting point.

3. Present Practice (examples from the field). The examples from the field page will be a space for users to share existing projects at their own institutions or others, which are related to the discussion themes. They will be encouraged to include links to the project or institution website and contribute a brief description of the project.

4. In the Classroom. Finally, a unique page will exist for educators and students to share how the wiki, the Discussion guide and other resources on the future of museums and libraries are or can be used in the classroom. Users can share lesson plans, student reports and projects, and resources for emerging library and museum professionals.

Should you have any questions about the wiki, please feel free to contact Mamie Bittner at mbittner@imls.gov or Erica Pastore at epastore@imls.gov.

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