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Abstract -- Building On-Ramps to the Information Superhighway: Designing, Implementing and Using Local Museum Infrastructure
Building On-Ramps to the Information Superhighway: Designing, Implementing and Using Local Museum Infrastructure
- Helfrich, Paul M.
This paper focuses on the processes and strategies for designing,
implementing, and using local museum infrastructure to facilitate
the creation and viability of online museums. It is based on my
experience with The Science Learning Network project. What
does the Internet promise to deliver initially to museums? The
Internet can be perceived by different museum departments in a
variety of ways based on their unique ways of doing business.
Educators and teacher/trainers may see the promise of new inquiry-based
resources and enhanced communication, exhibit developers may think
in terms of exhibit analogs, marketing staff may think in terms
of the online museum store, etc. However, these traditionally
parochial museum departments (education, exhibits, programs, design,
marketing, curatorial, etc.) all begin melt away in the face of
an enabling technology that fosters the creation of networks of
individuals who can communicate and collaborate, both within
a single institution as well as between institutions.
We have arrived at a wonderful moment in the history of telecommunications
and museums. It is a time when anything seems possible, given
adequate time, resources, and ideas. The Internet holds the promise
of providing museums with an onramp to the Information Superhighway.
Will we find dirt roads populated with potholes and road-kill
or will we find a new means to extend our mission-based activities
to the online world?