The commentary "The Future of Civic Museum: A Think Piece" calls for brainstorming and advice on enhancing the appeal of public museums. The article pointed out that agencies should strive to bring the collection closer to the local public and attract more viewers from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
The reality in the report
Peter Latchford, chief executive of public service consulting firm Black Radley, wrote the report, saying: "Society needs public museums to re-use their catalysts for reform, with a view to bringing New inspiration."
The report also added: “The collections are so vast that public museums must survive. They should not only focus on the splendid individual collections, but must break through the surrounding environment, focus on the broader ecosystem, and build a sense of belonging.”
Peter Latchford also mentioned that some industry insiders regard the collection as an audience. He believes that “this view ignores a detail, that is, the positioning of public museums, that is, the collection makes the existence of the museum legitimate. But the community gives meaning to the museum."
Severe financial challenges
The report also highlights the financial challenges facing public museums and says these challenges are more severe than the challenges facing other museums.
In the past five years, the public museums in the UK have reduced their funding by an average of 30%. According to a survey conducted last year by the Mendoza Review, the funding for the entire museum industry fell by 13%.
But the author also urged public museums to take more steps to promote British households to increase spending on cultural services, and recommended free museums to consider the cost of admission.
Response from the British Association
Sharon Heal, president of the British Association for the Advancement of the British Association, said: "I am not surprised by the many similarities between this report and the findings of the museum panel. The museum team announced the recommendations earlier this year. , including the need to strengthen contact with the community, improve the relevance of the collection, sort the collection, and solve the problem of financial strain."
“I am very happy. This report highlights many of the same issues, as well as the special role of public museums in building community power and creating a sense of belonging. However, for the post-public-museum proposed by the author I have reservations about the idea and some related ideas and suggestions."
Facing the wrong understanding about the collection
“It is worth mentioning that the report also called on the museum industry to “face the wrong understanding of the collection”, but did not explain the specific practices. One of the most influential misunderstandings is that the museum’s 'moral code' simply does not sell the collection. In fact, the key to this norm lies in three core ethical commitments: public interest, collection management, and integrity of individuals and institutions."
“Coordinating these three principles and carrying out the management of collections can be flexible and flexible. The British Association plans to find a fundamental solution to the management problems of the collection through the recent “Collection 2030” (Collections 2030) study.”
Reconsider the recruitment model
“It’s also worth noting that the report suggests that museums should reconsider their recruitment model and address 'rigid employee terms and benefits.' If the museum has the flexibility to recruit a diverse workforce with the right skills, then of course it’s better, but Reducing the salary that is already lower than the industry is not a solution. The British Association supports the working principle of 'all staff' and encourages the breaking of barriers between families, volunteers and other employees. People working in museums can contribute to the sustainable development of the industry."
The British Public Museums Association was established in 2015 and represents more than 40 museum organizations. The report is the first public outcome of the federation and is funded by the National Museum Directors Committee (NMDC).
Iain Watson, curator of the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and vice president of the National Museum Directors, said: "Peter Latchford A report poses a challenge to museums and their sponsors. It tells some disturbing facts and suggests how museums adapt to changing social needs."