A Plea for Passion in Museums

This is a great post about passion for when we talk about our profession, about what we are all trying to do, whether we are librarians, technologists, publishers, or work in museums. It speaks to why libraries and museums often feel “dead.” From Museum 2.0:

Museums shy away from presenting passionate views. It’s ironic that we expect visitors to fall in love with our artifacts and exhibitions without ever presenting Bela-like models for that kind of passion. I think there are many visitors who wander into museums the same way they’d wander into a foreign sporting event — they don’t know what’s going on, why people care, and most importantly, why they should care. At a sporting event, there are little Belas everywhere yelling at refs and hooting with glee. By following the cheering, newcomers can start to understand what parts of the game are most valued, and get a window into the deep love some fans show for the sport.

Museums don’t have a cheering section. As visitors walk through galleries, it’s easy to wonder: where does this stuff come from? Why is it here? Who cares? Museums do a decent job addressing the first two questions, but we rarely tackle the third. The use of an “objective” authoritative voice makes it hard for visitors to assign value or significance to items with which they don’t already have a connection.

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