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Re-Imagining Ethnographic Museums: A European Project

“If museums wish to turn into institutions that pose questions instead of administering conventional truths, they need to radically reconsider their internal structure, the training of their professionals, and, most of all, their relation with users.”

                                          — Elena Delgado. Museo de America, Madrid   

Background                                                                                       

In recent decades there has been a growing global debate about the role of ethnographic museums in contemporary society.  From Australia and Indonesia to the Netherlands and the United States, scholars, museum professionals, government officials and leaders of indigenous peoples have engaged a range of questions with implications for the future of these museums.

Continue reading Re-Imagining Ethnographic Museums: A European Project

“Farewell to Manzanar” Focus of California Reads in Fresno

In 1942 the United States adopted Executive Order No. 9066, calling for the forcible exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast through detention in internment camps.  This order affected more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent who were interned for nearly three years during World War II. 
Detainee at Manzanar Internment Camp by Ansel Adams
Detainee at Manzanar Internment Camp by Ansel Adams

Fresno County is the only part of California where there were two assembly centers for local Japanese Americans ordered to relocate to internment camps.  Thousands of residents were brought to these camps for processing before being sent on to permanent camps in other states.  For those rounded up for internment, the experience was life changing.  No longer accorded the rights that they expected and deserved as Americans, those imprisoned now symbolize the potential for democracy itself to be eroded in time of uncertainty and crisis.    Continue reading “Farewell to Manzanar” Focus of California Reads in Fresno

Creative Aging in Libraries Catches On Nationwide

Public Libraries across the country are starting to respond to the size and diversity of the nation’s growing older adult population.  They are experimenting with new approaches to serving Boomers and other generations of active older adults, offering job counseling services, health education, housing information, match-ups for community volunteering, financial planning advice and classes in PhotoShop and social media.

Creative Aging programs, or arts education for older adults, are one of the most promising indications of the trend towards “50+ Library Services”.  Taught by trained artist-educators, Creative Aging programs reflect new research on older adults that offers evidence for the benefits of skills development and social engagement.  Older adults who participate in structured, sequential arts education with peers have lower rates of illness and show fewer signs of the cognitive declines that can occur through social isolation.  The also reflect the positive benefits of the sense of accomplishment that comes through creative expression. Continue reading Creative Aging in Libraries Catches On Nationwide