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

How-to Session
Paula Gangopadhyay, Institute of Museum and Library Services, USA, Eleanor Fink, American Art Collaborative, USA, Nik Honeysett, BPOC, USA

Are you a digital innovator? Do you want to learn about some of the paradigm-changing models, museum leaders are piloting, collaborating and scaling up? Do you want to contribute your ideas and strengthen the digital capacity in the museum sector? The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal funding (approximately $230 million a year) for museums, libraries and related organizations and helps strengthen their ability to serve the public. This session will provide a contextual overview about hundreds of digital projects, IMLS has funded to encourage the adoption and deployment of digital innovations in museums, specifically in the areas of Learning, Collections and Community Engagement. Attendees will also gain valuable insight into IMLS’s current interest and funding priorities around building the digital capacity in museums, encouraging museums to think big and out-of-the-box.

Following a brief overview, the session will flow into a talk-show format conversation with some of the grantees who will share project overviews as well as challenges and opportunities of initiating, expanding and sustaining their digital efforts. The following innovative projects will be highlighted:

~ American Art Collaborative: The Linked Open Data Initiative
~ Balboa Park Online Collaborative: Shared Digital Platform, “Museum at Your Fingertips” the BeamPro telepresence robot and File>Save: Digital Disaster Prevention and Recovery Plan
~ Lower East Side Tenement Museum: “Your Story, Our Story” a national project featuring visitor and partner-created content
~ Peabody Essex Museum: The Access App and increasing accessibility of digitized content.

Audience participation will be seamlessly integrated. Join the conversation.

Chaired by Paula Gangopadhyay, Deputy Director, Office of Museum Services, IMLS
Panelists: Nik Honeysett, Kathryn Lloyd, Eleanor Fink and Dr. Juliette Fritsch

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