Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Smithsonian Vision

The Smithsonian has published its strategic plan for Fiscal Years 2010-2015, an executive summary of which can be downloaded here. OK, these summaries have a fair amount of puff in them, but there's also some good stuff as well. It's good to see that the plan places enhanced digital access at the heart of so many of their activities, but that there's also recognition that "even in the digital age, physical access to the 'real thing' has enduring value." Likewise there is a positive statement that SI will "support our dedicated workforce of employees and volunteers through ongoing learning, enhanced responsiveness, encouraging excellence, valuing diversity, and rewarding innovation." Too many museums spend too little time thinking about the staff that work in them and in a time of layoffs it's important to recognize the value of people. But I wonder what "public/private partnerships that strategically enhance collections care" might be (see page 4)? The Smithsonian has not had the greatest of track records in this area. Watch this one with interest, say I.

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