Thriving in the Knowledge Age: New Business Models for Museums and Other Cultural Institutions

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In Thriving in the Knowledge Age, John Falk and Beverly Sheppard argue that museums require a radically new business model to survive the transition into the knowledge age. Only by shifting towards more personalized and community-based learning experiences can museums reverse the declining attendance figures of the twenty-first century. Written to provide clear answers to fundamental questions about the purpose and goals of the museum of the future, this visionary book is a must-have for museum professionals and trustees.

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Editorial Reviews

The two authors represent very different aspects of the museum world — science and history, academic and practitioner. Their collaboration has resulted in a valuable book for both new and veteran professionals.
Frederick T. Miller
A most valuable read for those concerned about America's museums and cultural institutions, willing to confront realities, and uncertain what to do, and for those adventuring beyond traditional fundamentals of the model. Falk and Sheppard will challenge your thinking and give you ideas galore.
Jeff Rudolph
John Falk and Beverly Sheppard are two of the most thoughtful professionals in the museum field. Thriving in the Knowledge Age poses many questions that all museums and museum professionals should be pondering as they plan for the future.
Irene Hirano
This insightful, thought-provoking, and practical book is a must for museums of all sizes and disciplines. Its invaluable information will enable museums to create new business models that center effective and relevant public service at the heart of their work.
Emlyn Koster
The need for museums and other cultural institutions to rise to new levels of relevancy, in order that they be maximally useful to society, and thereby also sustainable, is the major context for this timely book. For leaders and managers who are currently importing a business-like approach to their strategic and operational planning, which arguably ought to be a growing majority of us, John Falk and Beverly Sheppard have valuably integrated their knowledge and vision.
Kathy Dwyer Southern
This is a 'must read' for everyone who leads America's museums, works in these institutions, and believes in them as a vital part of American life. Thriving in the Knowledge Age may help each of us flourish with its creation of a new business model . . . a model which might also become essential to our very survival.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759107588
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

John Falk is internationally known for his investigations and writings about free-choice learning including Learning from Museums (AltaMira Press, 2000) and Lessons without Limit: How Free-Choice Learning is Transforming Education (AltaMira Press, 2002). Prior to founding and directing the Institute for Learning Innovation, he held several senior positions at the Smithsonian Institution including Director, Smithsonian Office of Educational Research and Associate Director, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Falk serves on the national board of the National Postal Museum, the editorial board of the journals Curator, Journal of Museum Education and Science Education, and is a member of several national advisory commissions. Beverly Sheppard assumed the position of President and CEO of Old Sturbridge Village in June 2002. Sheppard is the author of two publications referred to widely in the museum field: Building Museum and School Partnerships and Museums, Libraries and the 21st Century Learner, both of which address the educational mission of museums and the strengthening of that mission through collaboration.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Part I Doing Business in the Knowledge Age
1 A World in Transition 3
2 Creating a New Business Model 17
Part II An Environmental Scan: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
3 Business in the Industrial Age 29
4 The Brave New World of the Knowledge Age 48
Part III Building a Knowledge Age Business Model
5 Experiences That Matter 83
6 Understanding What's Important 106
7 Being Community 135
8 Attending to the Bottom Line 161
Part IV Implementing and Sustaining a Knowledge Age Business Model
9 Strategies for Success 185
10 Putting It All Together: Thriving in the Knowledge Age 221
References 245
Index 253
About the Authors 263
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