One of the sessions I was most looking forward to at the recent conference-meeting-thingy I attended in my day-job duties was an organizational meeting for Library BoingBoing*. Despite my triple-booked schedule, I did manage to get there for the first twenty minutes or so, and I’ve got enough background insider informationy stuff that I think I can share useful information about it.
Library BoingBoing, as you might guess, is a partnership between my employer and the Boing Boing blog, a regular source for content in my Sunday Link Dumps. From the library end, there are a couple of goals: One is to put content on BoingBoing that promotes libraries generally by showing cool stuff that happens there. It’s also an Interest Group within the association, which will serve as an information clearinghouse for cool and forward-thinking services like hackerspaces and media labs that are currently in their infancy in the library world but poised to gain widespread implementation in the next few years. It also looks like it will be working to encourage libraries to host BoingBoing meetups, and it’s going to try to get 3D printer manufacturers to exhibit at the association conferences.
So… should the museum world seek a similar partnership?
Museums certainly fit into the site’s cool-stuff editorial mix. Conveniently for this post, BoingBoing has been running for the past week or so the “My Favorite Museum Exhibit” series. So Library BoingBoing is a valid precedent: This certainly could happen. And I have to think there’s value in a museum-focused innovation idea factory such as this could develop into for libraries.
There are some cultural matters, for lack of a better term, that I don’t have any real handle on, however. Do museums have the same interest in promoting museums generally that libraries do? Do museum professionals even form groups like this? (I can’t fathom a group having the affinity for creating subgroups like librarians, but there’s still a big range between “librarian” and “none”.) Is this something that the American Association of Museums (or some other museum association) might consider part of its mission? I did join AAM last year, but I really don’t have a strong sense of its activities yet.
What do you think? I’d love to hear others’ opinions.
* not its permanent official name, by BoingBoing’s request, but as an official name hasn’t yet been determined, I’ll use it.