The Library And the Museum

A library consists of a relatively similar collection of books you can access through any terminal. There are some variations, but you know what to expect. Which is why most of us don’t go to libraries anymore.

A museum consists of a unique collection of artefacts not available anywhere else in the world. Museums surprise us with new information and new knowledge. They collect, present, and store information in unique ways. They care about the environment.

Don’t let employees treat an internal community as a repository of information that can be found anywhere else. If you become a dumping ground for yesterday’s information, you’ll be an empty library tomorrow. Don’t become a repository.

Strive to be the museum. Collect reports, data, insights, and documents that haven’t been seen before. Solicit the unique experiences and present each as a valuable artefact. If it doesn’t make the grade, don’t show it.

People should be surprised by an internal community, not bored.

Comments

  1. Nathan Love says:

    Hi Rich. I marked this to read when it came in my email inbox, and smirked to myself as i thought i knew the comparison you would make! I was wrong…
    I read it, and while i agree with your point, i think you get the analogy wrong. To me, a library is what is now, what is current, what is live and vibrant. A library was the first place I got on the internet. A museum is where we go to look at the past. To remember how quaint we were, and how things used to be. And to look at dinosaurs. Lots of dinosaurs.
    I love libraries and i love museums, but i have very different expectations when i enter either of them. I think an internal community should be the best of both of those worlds. Within them lie the seeds that will be cultivated in a library and harvested in a museum.
    Keep up the great work!

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