Saturday 9/27 [was] free museum day!

[Note: Sorry, no one posted this yesterday, time to plan ahead for next year.]

Today is Museum Day! Free admission to museums nationwide.

For more information see the the Smithsonian website.

If it is free it is for me. I think I will go to Bok Tower this year.


Writers, Artists House Museums Struggling

For scores of historic house museums, simply keeping the lights on has become a challenge. The Mount, Wharton's home in Lenox, MA, portrayed as part of a mural in the article below, is trying to stave off foreclosure with a major fundraising campaign. The Mark Twain House in Hartford can't even afford to buy energy-saving light bulbs that would slash its electric bill. Some of the financial strain is due to previous overspending; the Twain House Executive Director admits that a $19 million visitor center that opened in 2003 was too ambitious and costly.

Experts say this summer may make or break some sites, many of which already have cut their hours and staff and are struggling for donations in today's troubled economy. Chicago Sun Times.

How one cultural vision has lessons for the whole world

Tristram Hunt Says The British Museum is now our top attraction. If only others would shrug off their deadening ways and follow its lead. "...there are fewer and fewer neutral spaces in our public realm for people to gather and reflect around art and objects which successfully encompass parts of their multiple, competing cultural hinterlands. The museum, as a quintessentially urban institution, is one such place.


Thinking about the future of museums: fourteen key issues

Over at Trends in the Living Networks Ross Dawson participated in a Future Directions Forum at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum, which after 20 years in its current location is looking to the future. He says The session raised many interesting questions and thoughts. His points below represent his perspectives as well as reflections on issues raised by people at forum. While the issues below were raised in the context of museums in areas like science, technology, and design, I think you'll be able to connect some of them to libraries as well.

Palestinian Exhibition Pulled in Sydney After Police Visit

The decision by a Sydney library to dump an exhibition about Palestinian refugees after a visit by counter-terrorism police the night before it opened has been criticised as an act of censorship. Sydney Morning Herald has the story.

Leichhardt Municipal Library was to launch the Al-Nakba pictorial exhibition last Friday. A local community group, Friends of Hebron, had developed the display of photos, poems and articles over eight months.

"We set up the exhibition at the library on Thursday night and the librarian … approved the exhibition, and said that it could be seen by children and other people who came into the library," said Carole Lawson, a Friends of Hebron member.

But that night, shortly before the library closed at 8pm, officers from the police counter-terrorism operations arrived at the library.


If you see it in the Sun it's so.

The presents this wonderful reminder of exactly what is important.

Do love and generosity and devotion exist today? I think that is something we must all ensure not just on Christmas but every day.

Happy Christmas to all.


Free Museum Day is Tomorrow 9-29-2007

JET writes "Museum Day is a nationwide event taking place on Saturday, September 29, 2007 where participating museums and cultural institutions across the country offer free admission to Smithsonian readers and visitors, allowing for one day only, the free-admission policy of Smithsonian's Washington, D.C.-based facilities to be emulated across the country.

This year you must present an admission card to the museums. Information on how to get this card can be found at this link"


Smithsonian Official Resigns After Admitting Destroying Meeting Transcript

The scandal at the Smithsonian continues, according to the New York Times.

James M. Hobbins, who served as executive assistant to the secretary of the Smithsonian destroyed the minutes from a January Board of Regents meeting in which the board discussed the compensation package of Lawrence M. Small. Small later resigned as secretary in March after an investigation into his housing allowance and other personal expenses that were covered by the institution.

The Washington Post reported Mr. Hobbins's resignation and the destruction of the document yesterday. A Smithsonian spokesperson, Linda St. Thomas, emphasized that Mr. Hobbins, a 40-year veteran of the Smithsonian, had destroyed the initial transcripts of such board meetings as a matter of course since the 1980s, once the full formal minutes were prepared.

Old Library's Renaissance Tab Grows

It's sticker shock for taxpayers in Salt Lake City , where the new multi-faceted museum project, the Leonardo (the former Main Library), is going to cost $33 million dollars, thirteen million more than originally projected.

Mayor Rocky Anderson is pushing the plan - he has sent e-mails to City Council members - and insiders are scrambling to lobby for a sales-tax revenue bond. The term would extend 20 years.
Mary Tull, Leonardo's director, points to staggering spikes on everything from seismic stabilization and asbestos removal to certifying the building as environmentally sound.
"We have been struggling with the architects and the city to try to get the architectural budget down during this horrendous scope of inflation," Tull said. "It's unreal."

Lincolniana Coming Home to Springfield

Some priceless mementoes of our sixteenth president, including one of only three extant stovepipe hats, will now be housed in his Library and Museum in Springfield IL, thanks to a large acquisition from private donor Louise Taper of Beverly Hills,California. Taper began her fascination with Lincoln as a young mother upon reading Irving Stone's 'Love Is Eternal' (reference this article from American Heritage Magazine.)

In response to the news of the acquisition from the State Journal-Register, one reader (Lincoln Buff) comments "Taper's "addiction" to collecting all things Lincoln began when, as a young person working for a manuscript company, she took her pay in Lincoln documents and the collection had its start. Its exponential growth through her persistence is phenomenal. Thank you, Louise, for your foresight and diligence in bringing these items together. Thanks to both you and the ALPLM for keeping the collection together and bringing it home before the 2009 bicentennial of Lincoln's birth."


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