The Present and Future of Digital in Museums: Opportunities and Challenges

Paula Gangopadhyay, Institute of Museum and Library Services, USA, Eleanor Fink, American Art Collaborative, USA, Nik Honeysett, Balboa Park Online Collaborative, USA

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS ) is the primary source of federal funding for museums, libraries and related organizations and helps them strengthen their ability to serve the public. IMLS also engages in research, trend studies and continuing dialogue with community stakeholders. This session will provide a contextual overview of digital projects in museums that IMLS has funded to encourage the adoption and deployment of digital innovations specifically in the areas of Learning, Collections and Community Engagement. Attendees will also gain valuable insight into IMLS’s special interest around further strengthening and advancing the digital capacity of museums, and encouraging museums to think big and out-of-the-box in the digital realm and beyond.

Following the overview, the session will flow into a talk-show format conversation with some of the IMLS grantees about challenges and opportunities of initiating, expanding and sustaining digital efforts. How can successful and tested innovations be scaled up and replicated for sector-wide impact? How can small and medium museums be empowered to join and ride the rapidly evolving digital revolution? What are some of the emerging digital innovations that can be leveraged to change the paradigm in the museum field?
Audience participation will be seamlessly integrated at key intervals.
Chaired by Paula Gangopadhyay, Deputy Director, Office of Museum Services, IMLS
Grantee Panelists:
-Eleanor Fink, American Art Collaborative
-Nik Honeysett, Balboa Park Online Collaborative
-Dr. Annie Polland, The Lower East Side Tenement Museum
-Dr. Juliette Fritsch, Peabody Essex Museum (invited)

IMLS has funded hundreds of digital projects in museums over many years that will provide a foundational base for this session and the conversation.