Marstine and Silverman About What Exemplary Museums Need to Do

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Marstine and Silverman point fundamental insights when it comes to what the exemplary museums need to be doing. Museums need to strive to be centers of education rather than an institution that only collects, interprets and presents various artifacts in history. There is the aspect of museums being compared to a university. Aside from the display of the artifacts, museums need to focus more on ensuring that they pass on information to people. Aside from the emphasis that has been put on the attraction of visitors to the institutions, exemplary museums need to stand out by having to serve as centers of knowledge acquisition. The information stored in the museums need be disseminated across generations as a way of ensuring that continuity of knowledge about the information in the museum (Peers & Brown, 2003). It is a trait that all of the exemplary museums should be striving to achieve. The primary purpose of bringing in the aspect of education in museums is to encourage positive development among humans. It is through the same that it would be possible to enhance further the value of the museum. There is a need to have a different approach when it comes to the activities that are carried out in the museums (Black 2012).

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Secondly, exemplary museums need to change their overreliance towards the support of their activities by the government. For decades, museums have been getting funding from governments as a way of sustaining their activities. However, in befitting the status of an exemplary museum, it is mandatory that museums come up with measures that will help it in supporting their activities without having to depend directly on the government. Aside from the government contributions, some of the museums having been depending on entrance fees as a way sustaining their operational costs (Richard, 2010). However, it could be necessary for the museums to have an elaborate means of funding apart from the little contributions they get from the entrance fees and funding from the government. It could be necessary that the museums get other ways of earning an income. In doing so, it could be mandatory that the museum starts programs all of which can serve the benefit of attracting other sponsors who may bring in funding for the museums (Weil, 1999). The museums should strive to ensure that they are independent. Operational costs should be catered for by funds from programs that they have been carrying out. The aim is to see to it that museums become innovative in the way they conduct activities to increase their source of funding.

Exemplary museums need to strive for professionalism. It could be mandatory for the museums to join professional associations that would help them share ideas on how to enhance the services that they are offering to the public. Although in previous years some of the museums have been seen to join the professional organizations, it is vital that the trait is embraced by exemplary museums. The professional associations that the museums participate would serve as a platform through which the museums can share any information pertinent to the execution of various tasks within the museums (Peers & Brown, 2003). The benefit is that the museums may gain a wealth of knowledge particularly because there is a pool of such museums allowing for a smooth flow of information between them. The associations would be beneficial especially because they serve as an identity for the museums and help in the shaping of the ideological roles of the institutions. An example of such institutions is the American Association of Museums, Association of Youth Museums and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (Weil, 1999).

Further, there is a need for museums to strive to conduct their practices by the standards of practice. Exemplary museums should not only focus on show casting various artifacts to visitors. It is vital that the manner in which such activities are conducted need to be up to the world standards. It would be possible to attract many customers because many of them would be aware of quality services that are being offered. As an institution that is mandated with the duty of providing recreational services to the public is mandatory for any exemplary museum to ensure that it adheres to all of the requirements of high-quality standards of practice when it comes to the discharge of duties that they are mandated to execute (Peers & Brown, 2003). However, for the museums to be sure that they are operating within the required standards, the nationally or internationally accrediting institutions must be brought in to audit the museums. Notably, evaluation from accrediting organizations such as American Association of Museums would be an efficient way of determining if the museums are operating according to standards (Weil, 1999). It is vital that all exemplary museums function in a way that observes highest standards. The benefits of the same would not only accrue to the museum regarding an increase in visitors, but its customers would be contented with the services that are being offered.

Exemplary museums need to play a role when it comes to the overall issue of social development (Weil, 1999). As an institution that attracts many people, it is vital that the museum asserts its position when it comes to enhancing social development among the people. Notably, the museums need to ensure that they promote sustainability where a balance is created between the social, economic and environmental balance among the people. As a tradition, the museums have been playing the role of pointing out the cultural diversities among the people through show casting of various cultures. In light of the same, it could be mandatory to look at other ways through which they can enhance social development among the people. It is necessary to shift from the norm of acting like a business entity to an institution where social values among the people are promoted.


Exemplary museums have a role to play when it comes to how they discharge duties. Because of the status that they are holding, it is vital that they depict a mark of excellence as it relates to execution of tasks assigned. However, in performing according to standards, it is essential that they adhere to standards that have been set by the relevant regulatory bodies. Further, there is the aspect of the impact that the museums have on the society. Exemplary museums need to move from being institutions that are for profit to impacting positively on the lives of the people. They can come up with programs that are aimed at promoting cohesion among the people. As a way of ensuring the same, sustainability needs to be the core upon with exemplary museums should operate. The goal is to ensure cohesion among the people while promoting social development.


Black, G. (2012). Transforming museums in the twenty-first century. Routledge.

Peers, L. L., & Brown, A. K. (2003). Museums and source communities: A Routledge reader.

Psychology Press.

Richard, E. (2010). Entering upon Novelty Policy and Funding Issues for a New Era in the Arts. Reprinted from the Grantmakers in the Arts Reader, Vol. 21, No. 3 Fall 2010

Weil, S. E. (1999). From being about something to being for somebody: The ongoing transformation of the American museum. Daedalus, 128(3), 229-258.

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