[work in progress - edsonm edsonm]
This is a draft

Overview

The Openlab Workshop was held in December, 2016 and a summary report was developed to... This document establishes the rational and process for moving the concept forward from its early, exploratory phase into detailed planning and, ultimately, implementation.

The Backdrop

The goal of Openlab is to create a "solutions lab, convener, and consultancy designed to accelerate the speed and impact of transformational change in the GLAM (gallery, library, archive, and museum) sector." [Openlab Concept]

The need for Openlab emerged from several years of work, collaboration, and discussion with people trying to bring the concepts and practices of ‘new technology’ into the work and thinking of GLAMs.

There is broad consensus in the GLAM sector that GLAMs are struggling with technology and change. Many Openlab Workshop attendees and stakeholders feel that GLAMs are conservative, 1950s-style institutions that often wrap themselves in a veneer of 21st century technologies but don’t understand or utilize these technologies to their full extent. They acknowledge that GLAMs have created exciting and innovative projects, but these initiatives have had little lasting impact sector-wide. For many attendees and stakeholders, GLAMs are not leveraging their use of technology to address the grand challenges of our time, and thus are not on the forefront of work that affects the public good.

Openlab Workshope attendees and stakeholders also assert that the GLAM community suffers from its own “digital divide” between institutions who have the capacity and expertise to explore technologies and those who do not. The latter have few opportunities to leverage the knowledge and work taking place elsewhere in the sector. Many GLAMs never even hear about these efforts.

Crosscutting all these issues is the trajectory of change, which attendees assert is fast, continuous, and far-reaching in society but slow, sporadic, and isolated in the GLAM industry, with little scale or urgency across the sector. The rapid changes brought about by digital technologies in other sectors (such as medicine, publishing, or industry) will not occur in GLAMs without new efforts to jumpstart sector-wide change.

[excerpted from Zorich, Openlab Workshop Report, 2016]

December 2015 Workshop

the Openlab concept received formal support in July of 2015, when CLIR received funding through a cooperative agreement from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Office of Digital Humanities and Division of Public Programs to host a series of events where the Openlab concept could be explored further. A total of 16 institutions stepped forward as organizers, co-conveners, and funders.

The goal of the Openlab workshop meeting was to clarify the scope and magnitude of what is needed to accelerate change in the GLAM community, and to outline a way forward in this process. Underlying this goal was the question of whether the Openlab concept, as expressed in verbal and written form, identified a viable pathway for addressing the need, and if not, what alternative solutions might be developed.

The Openlab events received sector-wide endorsement, with over a dozen cultural heritage organizations and associations providing financial, leadership, or in-kind support. (See this wiki's home page for a full list of supporters and partners.) Over 100 professionals from 80 institutions attended the Unconference/Ignite talks, and 36 individuals participated in the Openlab workshop meeting. A Twitter backchannel engaged many others in virtual conversations and sharing of Openlab information.



//



The idea for Openlab emerged from several years of work, collaboration, and discussion with people trying to bring the concepts and practices of ‘new technology’ into the work and thinking of GLAMs.

The Openlab events received sector-wide endorsement, with over a dozen cultural heritage organizations and associations providing financial, leadership, or in-kind support. (See this wiki's home page for a full list of supporters and partners.) Over 100 professionals from 80 institutions attended the Unconference/Ignite talks, and 36 individuals participated in the Openlab workshop meeting. A Twitter backchannel engaged many others in virtual conversations and sharing of Openlab information. [Zorich, Openlab Workshop Report]

Givens

Options

Path Forward

Next Steps