As we approach 2017 you may be considering New Year’s resolutions, either professional or personal. Maybe your travel and conference budgets aren’t big, but you want to find ways to grow in your job or explore more widely in the field. Or perhaps you aspire to be The Designated Reader in your museum.
May I suggest professional reading, as a way to press the “refresh” button? Professional reading is important for me in my work. It introduces me to museums I’ll never visit and some I haven’t even heard of. Reading pushes my thinking, helps me make connections between ideas and practices, and nudges me outside my comfort zone.
I take my role of sharing articles, books, studies, and blog posts seriously. Fortunately I couldn’t enjoy this part of my work more. I am delighted when I come across titles I'm not familiar with like some Paul Orselli included recently on The 2016 ExhibitTricks Picks for Your Museum / Exhibit / Design Reading List.
The abbreviated, accessible format of blogs complements my diet of professional books and journals. Following the links on a post takes me on a focused browse that inevitably introduces me to new blogs and fresh territory. Checking out the blog roll and getting to know occasional guest bloggers connect me with new thinkers and writers.
Admittedly, we can’t read everything that looks interesting and might be relevant. With time, I have landed on a list of 7 blogs I visit regularly and look forward to reading. As a set they span museum areas and the field. I can count on them to jostle my thinking, connect me with current studies and resources, and bolster my work with museums. Generally well composed and relatively condensed, they have a satisfying density that helps my thinking and writing. I want to thank these and other blog writers. I know how much time even a seemingly simple or short post can take.
• Museum2.0, Nina Simon’s long-running blog, is also a long-time favorite of mine. An energetic and clear thinker, Nina is skilled at exploring philosophical issues with concrete language and interesting examples. She is open and generous in sharing her learning with others.
• On Leadership Matters, Anne Ackerson and Joan Baldwin take on 21st century museum leadership across a range of issues from board and staff leadership development, to strategy, to workplace culture. Seasoned professionals with experience in museums and the cultural heritage field, they cross and connect contexts.
• Museum Questions by Rebecca Herz raises questions about museum practices, museums' value, and improving the work of the field. Her curiosity and friendly skepticism model how questions can serve as a tool for exploring current issues and challenging assumptions embedded in museum work.
• Art Museum Teaching is a digital community and collaborative online forum for reflecting on issues of teaching, learning, and experimental practice in art museum learning. Founder and editor Mike Murawski along with guest writers share engaging perspectives on the intersection of art, museum learning, and museums’ roles in social action.
• AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums blog from the founding director, Elizabeth Merritt, and occasional guest bloggers, covers a broad swath of territory related to the cultural, technological, economic, and political trends and challenges that are shaping museums' futures.
• Wilkening Consulting - The Data Museum is Susan Wilkening’s relatively new blog that looks at museums through research, data and “critical, contextual thinking.”
• ExhibiTricks authored by the prolific and provocative (in the best sense of the word) Paul Orselli shares a wide range of interesting and sometimes unlikely resources for exhibits, design, and museums.
I hope you will check out these blogs and will enjoy them. What blogs do you read regularly and would recommend to your colleagues? And what do you like about them?