Dear Colleague,


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. (


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, ( ) 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.

Please join us in spreading the word about UpNext with your professional networks. We hope you will be an engaged and active participant with us in the wiki and will keep you informed of its progress as each theme unfolds.

March 3-16

1. Changing Definitions & Roles of Museums and Libraries

Martín Gómez, City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library

2. Shifts in Power & Authority

Cassie Chin, Deputy Executive Director, Wing Luke Asian Museum

March 17-30

3. Museums & Libraries as the “Third Place”

Susan Hildreth, City Librarian, Seattle Public Library

4. Technology & Policy Development

John Wilkin, Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology (LIT), University of Michigan, Executive Director of HathiTrust

March 31-April 13

5. 21st Century Learning & Information Use

Tom Scheinfeldt, Managing Director for Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, OMEKA Project Director

6. New Models & Structures for Collaboration

Mark Wright, Director of Partnerships, National Children's Museum

April 14-27

7. Planning for a Sustainable Future

Emlyn Koster, President & CEO, Liberty Science Center

8. Metrics for Evaluating Service & Impact

John Fraser, Director, Institute for Learning Innovation-New York

April 28-May 12

9. The 21st Century Museum & Library Workforce

Joanne Marshall, Alumni Distinguished Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

10. UpNext: Where Do We Go From Here?

Larry Johnson, CEO, The New Media Consortium

May 19

Last official “Wiki Wednesday” IMLS will post wiki final  summary



Should you have any questions about the wiki, please feel free to contact Mamie Bittner at [log in to unmask] or Erica Pastore at [log in to unmask].

You’re UpNext,


Mamie Bittner

Deputy Director, Office of Policy, Planning, Research and Communication




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