Freeze! Challenge the Hierarchy: Researcher, Artist, User!
Stop! Let us freeze the current situation and take this frozen moment in time as an opportunity to have a sharp look at where we are at, what we do and how people perceive us and use us. Readers and users come to us as performance professionals, interested amateurs, dedicated scholars, practicing artists, idea hungry writers, academic researchers, inquisitive school classes and even some starry eyed tourists straight off the street.
We aim to serve as wide a community as possible. We also hope to benefit from having a broad spectrum of users who come into contact with our institutions. Hence for the last decade in our digital led environments, libraries, museums, collections and archives in many parts of the world have encouraged new manners of engagement, be they interactive, cooperative or co-creational. All in order to make them more accessible, interesting, or even sexy! To as wide a user base as possible.
This said, a lot of the day-to-day business remains governed by the same hierarchical structures of management and administration as always. Where have the many efforts in reconfiguring what we do and opening up actually brought us? What are our examples of best practice – and at what costs?
The theme of this congress proposes to attempt to map the state-of-the-art practices in engaging the user from a wide variety of international institutions. To offer a possibility to pause, consider and possibly broaden our scope of thinking by sharing our insights and by learning from one another. Ultimately, the aim is to continue to rethink ourselves, our collections, the relations they establish and the contexts they provide for a range of activities. It is an invitation to dare to reflect together and analyse our experiences in order that we may continue to look ahead. Who knows, at the end of the rainbow we might find new and happier users, even more vividly interesting collections and creative management practices?
The Copenhagen Conference Committee:
Alette Scavenius, Head of the National Drama Collection, The Royal Library
Karen Vedel, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies
Michael Eigtved, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies
Peter Christensen Teilman, Museum Director, CEO, The Theatre Museum at The Court Theatre
Alan Jones, Drama, Dance, Production and Screen Librarian & Curator, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland