1.1 Literature search

Preparation 

For this assignment, we decided to find literature about that discuss topics that refers to museums and how they can use information flow through means of social media to promote museums. “museums and how they can use information flow to promote their themselves. Our goal is to find a way to make museums more attractive for college and university students between the ages of 18-25. 

Our keywords

  • Students
  • College students
  • Art gallery
  • Social media
  • Art museum
  • Museums
  • Youth
  • The Norwegian national gallery

We found literature for the following words:  

  • “College students” AND “art gallery” 
  •  Students AND museums 
  • The Norwegian national gallery” AND “college students” 
  • Social media” AND museums 
  • Art museum” and “social media” 
  •  Museum and youth 

We used the search engine Google scholar and Hiof´s library homesite to find our information and relevant articles for our assignment.   

Search

Using this technique, we found many relevant hits when we combined the different words 

Selection

We selected the articles and reports because they were relevant for the assignment we chose to try and figure out why museums are not that attractive for the students. What and how do the museums do to marked themselves for the age 18-25. The following articles will help us to understand how museums uses digital tools to promote their galleries to the younger generations. These articles were of newer age, from 2005.

Evaluation

  • Castro, J. C. (2012). Learning and teaching art through social media. Studies in Art Education, 53(2), 152-169.
  • Nasjonal museet (u.å) Events. Hentet 15 september 2019 fra http://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/en/#exhibitions
  • Perry, R. (2010). Museums in a Digital Age (1. utg.). USA and Canada: Routledge.
  • Schwartz, D. F. (2005). Dude, where’s my museum? Inviting teens to transform museums. MUSEUM NEWS-WASHINGTON-, 84(5), 36.
  • Joan-Isidre Badell (2015) Museums and social media: Catalonia as a case study, Museum Management and Curatorship, 30:3, 244-263
  • Drotner, K & Schrøder, K.C. (2013). Museum Communication and Social Media. New York: Routledge. 
  • Dvergsdal, H & HartvigAbrahamsen, M. Instagram. Store Norske Leksikon.(2018). Retrieved 16.September 2019 from https://snl.no/Instagram.
  • John D. Falk & Lynn D. Dierking. (2018). Learning from Museums. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Bowen, J., Bradburne, J., Burch, A., Dierking, L., Falk, J., Fantoni, S. F., … & Lonsdale, P. (2008). Digital technologies and the museum experience: Handheld guides and other media. Rowman Altamira.
  • Haywood, N., & Cairns, P. (2006). Engagement with an interactive museum exhibit. In People and computers XIX—The bigger picture (pp. 113-129). Springer, London.

Summary 

Main elements and characteristic of our information flow situation.  

In this assignment, we will investigate how museums use digital tools to promote themselves to the youth. We will focus on students in the higher level of education, in this case, college and university; with further focus on students between the ages of 18-25. The purpose of this paper is to assess how museums can make their galleries more attractive and amusing for the selected age group 

Technology plays a big part of today’s modern society. Social media has become the new source of information (Castro, 2012). It has become the way for society to learn, create, communicate and develop. College and university students use digital tools and social media every day. In the book Museum Communication and Social Media by Kristen Drotner and Kim Christian Schrøder, they write about the relations between social media and museums. One of our main elements is how the museums use social media to try to reach the college and university students and be more attractive. Dortner and Schrøder write about how the museums connect in the world of social media. They are writing the following that is relevant for our literature search and further in our information flow 

Access to a raft of information and rich, interactive experience are now available on most people’s phones, on demand. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are becoming the standard places for people to share their experiences and communicate with others, increasingly via a mobile device.(Dortner & Schrøder, 2013, s. 54). However, this has not always been the case. As written by Ross Parry in “Museums in a digital age” (Parry, 2010, s. 1): “Museums has much to show for their four decades of computing”. The reasoning for this comment, is the technology of the past. The museums learned like institutions and can reflect upon decades of technology related caution. This caution came from the sets of technology who were looked at like it was expensive, high-risk, “over-hyped” and demanded a set of unique skills to master. With increase in funding and nearly a revolution in computer-based technology, modern day museums are more open to technology.  

Our literature is focusing on what museums can do to make themselves more digital and therefor can reach the students we have in our assignment. If they are trying to reach them using social media or interactive exhibition. By using social media, museums can not only post about their artifacts, along with their galleries, but it’s also a great way for them to promote their product and attract a broader audience. As we briefly talked about earlier in this assignment, social media plays such a big part of a student’s life. In our literature search we found out that it can be beneficial for the students when they visit the museum to be a part of the exhibition which, perhaps, can lead to them finding the overall experience of the museum more amusing. In order to do that, the museums need to be more active on social media. How can the student visitors and museums benefit from each other? And make the museums more amusing and attractive.  

Social media equally play into exhibition and curatorial practices. On site, museum professionals may for example invite visitors to rank or comment on objects and issues raised in actual exhibitions. (Dortner & Schrøder, 2013, s. 5)   

The Norwegian national gallery has used a clever method: by making a database of information. The collection of art owned by the government-driven organization is quite large, about 400 000 to be precise (Nasjonal museet, 2019). To make this collection easier to analyze, the national gallery has built a digital database were its exhibits will be put in an information box. In this box, the viewer can find images of the exhibit and all related information known to the organization. As of today, about 40 000 of the exhibits are available online.   

Now since the information on this topic is quite limited, why not just go back in time to try and find something that worked back then and try to come up with a more modern solution. There was this citation in Journal of museum education which is a journal with over 40 volumes from 1973 all the way to 2019. In the volume from 1994, Stacey L. Shetnut describes something called “Long-Term Museum Programs for youth”. The main point of this program was to make the youth come back to museums on their own instead of being accompanied by a school bus and a teacher. How they did this was with personal relationships between the museum staff, the youth and the surrounding community members. Instead of the youth being directed to a museum through school curriculums and or parents they managed to get them to come by themselves. This program worked and showed that the youth that came and visited the museums regularly, did so for months and some even over several years.  

An aspect on several of the literature is the involvement of youth in planning and executing of museum infrastructure. This can be based on an idea ofyouth knows the youth”. A young pair of eyes understand and sees the world different than an older one. Youth also focus on other aspects of life than a grown-up does. The youth is in a learning phase, where they seek to learn how they fit into the world. Therefore, it might be better to have the youth involved in planning the infrastructure. For example High School Museum Studies program at the Museum of Modern Art (Schwartz, 2005, s. 1-5). At the start of this program, 160 students were told to stay at galleries for two hours looking at the exhibits. Then they were told to discuss what they saw and write down some questions. Questions like:” Why do artists get to bend rules?” and “What is the definition of art?” was written down.  

The use of smartphones, social media and other apps has had a staggering increase in the past decade, but that is just common knowledge, but the use of all these new applications is said to have changed the social nature of how we use technology combined with visitations at museums and how we experience them. (Falk & Dierking, 2018, pp. 192).   

As mentioned in the book Learning from Museums by John D. Falk & Lynn D. Dierking, the Smithsonian has a vast number of websites and applications made for people to have a mobile and digital interaction with their exhibitions. You can even get some of the experience remotely, but that’s for another time, because we’re looking into how we can get the youth attracted to actually and physically be at museums and have a good time. An analysis conducted in the Spanish district of Catalonia was conducted to see how many of the museums were present on a social media (Badell, 2015). The analysis conducted showed that 65 (60.7%) out of the 107 museums studied have a profile or an account on a social media platform. All the present museums had a profile on Facebook. Other popular platforms were Twitter, YouTube and Flickr respectively 

So, now to the question of how to make this solution somewhat modern and digital. Since we have all these apps nowadays one more for museums in the app store couldn’t hurt, right? An app that is advertised at school campuses, ads on the internet, posters, flyers or similar in the streets. An app that in some way can connect the youth to a museum and some of their designated youth program staff. Planning and filling in all the details here would probably take way too much time, but the point is probably made through that little introduction of an idea. There are surely other digital solutions too, but one would have to involve some museums to actually get somewhere with this.  

The challenge we encountered with our assignment was that we really could not find much information that was up to date. Most of the articles we found was from before 2010 which made the whole process more demanding. It was rather difficult finding articles that were relevant to the topic of how often college and university students visits museums due to how old they were. If they can find information about the museums in social media such as Instagram, Twitter or even Facebook, it would benefit the museums greatly because social media is such an extensive part of today’s youth. We found it challenging to find information about the Norwegian national gallery, and how they use social media and other digital tools to get the students more interested to visit their gallery. Another challenge we came across was that art galleries doesn’t have much information about how they use social media and other digital tools.  

 The selection of literature for this paper was limited solely to relevant articles which have been published recently. The information that this deemed essential in this paper is the methods which museums utilize to be able to attract students in the higher level of education, between the ages of 18-25. As aforementioned, the collection of this data/information will have to be recently published considering that during the process of searching for relevant literature, we found various literature that were quite outdated. Consequently, we chose to limit our literature to those that were published after the year 2010. The reason being that relevant literature that were published earlier on were considered inaccurate and irrelevant to out chosen topic. The methods that were used in the years before 2010 are far more different from the methods that are used currently. The year 2010 is considered the start of the takeover of social media, as this was the year most of the social-networking apps and websites were launched, examples are Instagram (Dvergsdal & Abrahamsen, 2018). The relevant literature will range from articles, journals, books, and the like, which discuss and present significant information about the topic interest. These will further strengthen and support the discussion part of the paper.   

We used the digital tools we had available such as Google Scholar and Hiof´s library homepage to look for the articles we were going to use. Some of the articles we found by using Google Scholar had to be bought, which led to them being unhelpful. We had to try many different search words to find the information we needed, because, as mentioned before, a lot of the information was quite old. This resulted in it taking a great deal of time to find the necessary material that were compatible for our assignment. By using Hiof´s library we found some useful books, but unfortunately, they were not available.

What did we find out from our literature search: 

  • That the museums use social media to marked themselves for the students and the youth. 
  • They are using the social media both in the museums and trying to reach the studentens and out of the museums to get the visitor/students to come to them. 
  • The museums are using a lot of recourses to get more digital and keep up with today’s paste in the digital world.

 

References: 

Joan-Isidre Badell (2015) Museums and social media: Catalonia as a case study, Museum Management and Curatorship, 30:3, 244-263

Dvergsdal, H & Hartvig Abrahamsen, M. Instagram. Store Norske Leksikon. (2018). Retrieved 16. September 2019 from https://snl.no/Instagram.  

John D. Falk & Lynn D. Dierking. (2018). Learning from Museums. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. 

Dortner, K & Schrøder, K.C. (2013). Museum Communication and Social Media. New York: Routledge.

Bowen, J., Bradburne, J., Burch, A., Dierking, L., Falk, J., Fantoni, S. F., … & Lonsdale, P. (2008). Digital technologies and the museum experience: Handheld guides and other media. Rowman Altamira. 

Schwartz, D. F. (2005). Dude, where’s my museum? Inviting teens to transform museums. MUSEUM NEWS-WASHINGTON-, 84(5), 36.

Perry, R. (2010). Museums in a Digital Age (1. utg.). USA and Canada: Routledge.

Nasjonal museet (u.å) Events. Hentet 15 september 2019 fra http://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/en/#exhibitions

Castro, J. C. (2012). Learning and teaching art through social media. Studies in Art Education, 53(2), 152-169.

Haywood, N., & Cairns, P. (2006). Engagement with an interactive museum exhibit. In People and computers XIX—The bigger picture (pp. 113-129). Springer, London.