American Association of Museums, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St., N.W., Washington, DC 20007 ($17.95, plus $1.50 postage and handling).
Reports - Descriptive
The report of a commission established to study and clarify the role of museums in American society is presented. The commission singled out seven conditions in museums that need to be approached with fresh insight. Specific recommendations for dealing with these conditions are made and discussed in detail. First, pressing needs concerning the growth and care of museum collections must be addressed. Second, museums have not realized their full potential as educational institutions. More collaboration is needed between museums and cultural and educational institutions. Third, museums' organizational structures, in particular their system of governance, need reexamination to ensure that they will meet future demands. Fourth, museums have never adequately described or promoted the contributions they make to the quality of human experience; they need to market their assets. Fifth, the diversity of the community of museums is not fully representative of the diversity of the society it seeks to serve. Museums must commit themselves to greater diversity. Sixth, there is no adequate profile of American museums; data concerning museums must be collected. Finally, the fragile economic situation most museums face must be addressed. Appendixes list commission members, participants in its work, and museums in the National Monitoring System. (RM)
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