The Business and Future of Museums

The terms “not for profit” and   “non-profit” always bring to mind one thing is that business entities such as these need to be able to sustain themselves financially.  They need to ensure that future funds can always come from numerous sources to be a vital part of the community.   Institutions (i.e. museums) need to have capital flow that is always coming in to take care of necessary expenses.  Capital has to be generated or gathered from outside sources so that salaries can be paid to those working at the institution.  Costs have to be evaluated from these funds so that the care of the physical structure of the institution can be taken care of.  Considerations have to be made to ensure that there is sufficient monies are in place to preserve and care for the materials that are kept in the institution.  Care and good business sense has to be used so that the themes of the institution are preserved as best as can be done with the funds that are given from the sources to run and maintain the institution.

I am in total agreement with the article that a business model is necessary and is in place so  when any question are asked about how the institution is ran, the person in charge can always refer to the business model that is in place.  Business models always follow the goal setting principle which is: plan, organize, and supervise and follow-up.  One must be able to stick to the business plan, yet be flexible to change the plan when the economy takes an upturn or a down turn.  Flexibility is the key to success here.

In the article, Museums and Libraries in the 21st Century, the themes seem to be taken directly from a university education class for students entering the teaching profession.  Literacy and accountability are the focal points of the article.  This makes sense because literacy and good leadership skills work well with each other so that the end goal can be attained.  Basic literacy skills are needed for those seeing the exhibits and good leadership in procuring and maintaining interesting exhibits will work best for the community’s social wellbeing.

Dan Spock anchored his blog post on the feeling of nostalgia.  His feeling for nostalgia seems to be the reason that museums exist.  So if the adage is true that we seek the past to unlock our future, then museums have an important place in our world to show the past and how it is relevant in our world today.

In the Futures of Museums blog, this blog has various writers show the futures of the museum system.  Some articles detail a bleak future like the movie, Blade Runner.  But the other articles seem to be more optimistic of a future like the one depicted in Star Trek.  I, for one, hope it is the latter.

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I am a non-traditional old goat! I am a disabled, retired Army veteran with 29 years of service and two combat tours behind me. I want to be able to work in Public History because I have been in so much of it!

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