The community service museum: owning up to our multiple missions

February 11th, 2013 | RESEARCH

In response to a long-expressed focus on a museum's mission and its evaluation, this article explores an alternate model of multiple, intentional missions and purposes. While literature and theory assume that a single mission should guide a museum's decisions and actions, in practice, many US nonprofit museums are operating as community service museums, intentionally fulfilling a number of different purposes useful and desired by the community beyond the purpose stated in their mission. This article builds on Stephen E. Weil's theories to develop the rationale for measuring the value and performance of community service museums that serve multiple missions rather than a single mission, with each such museum unique in its balance of purposes. This article proposes one way to evaluate the alignment between a community service museum's intentional purposes and its received values.


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Team Members

The White Oak Institute, Contributor
John W. Jacobsen, Author, The White Oak Institute


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1080/09647775.2013.869851

Publication: Museum Management and Curatorship
Volume: 29
Number: 1
Page(s): 1



Audience: Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Museum and Science Center Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Public Programs | Resource Centers and Networks