The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

New Book: Participatory Museum

Via Museum-L, from Nina Simon (museum 2.0):
I'm writing to let you know that my book on visitor participation in cultural institutions, The Participatory Museum, is now available to read, buy, and discuss. The book is a practical guide to involving visitors and community members as collaborators and contributors in museums, science centers, libraries, and arts organizations. It's been described as "essential reading" by Elaine Heumann Gurian, Dan Spock, and Sebastian Chan, and Kathleen McLean calls it "an extraordinary resource".

The book features both participatory design theory and practical examples and techniques drawn from over a hundred institutions around the world. There are small museums and big ones, rural and urban, art, history, children's, and science. There are also many case studies from outside museums--from the world of Web 2.0, publishing, and even the shoe business. I hope The Participatory Museum will help cultural professionals develop smart, successful ways to engage more deeply with visitors in ways that further institutional goals and mission.

The 388-page book is available in paperback ($25), as an ebook ($18), and over the next month, I'll be making it available for free as an online resource as well. It is licensed under Creative Commons, which means I encourage you to share and adapt the content for your own purposes.

For more information on the book, including ISBN number, reviews, and information for book sellers, go to http://www.participatorymuseum.org/

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