Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cross Professional Collaboration

IndigoGardens brought this article to my attention through her Facebook page. The New York Times article, "Botanical Gardens Look for New Lures" addresses an issue that has become common in cultural institutions -- the idea that we need to redefine ourselves to stay relevant. I love this article because it promotes the benefits of collaboration. It allows us to embrace the possibility of considering beyond what we know and that with which we are comfortable. I have frequently professed the benefits of archivists, librarians and museum professionals working together because of our similar missions and our dealings with collections. But I love contemplating moving our cross-professional collaboration beyond the colleagues with whom we can most easily identify. I'm thinking of archivists working with gardeners, delving into the archives for the history of place and natural beauty. I picture librarians working with artists to design spaces that entice scholarly endeavors and cultural appreciation. I envision curators working with chefs to bring foods in still-lifes to the table.

There are infinite opportunities to work with others to enhance our value and extend the influence of the cultural heritage institution. Consider in what creative activities your institution embarks to make unlikely collaborators part of your team.

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