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The Laboratory of Museum Studies: Museality in the Making

Kiersten F. Latham


Kent State University School of Information, As makerspaces and hackerspaces pop up in libraries and museums, one little lab sits in the middle of an Information School, but it is not a maker-space, a gallery, or a museum. The MuseLab, at the Kent State School of Information, is something else, something new—or perhaps something familiar, but situated in a different context, making it less easy to define. The MuseLab is a laboratory for museum studies, where museality—the characteristic of something that in one reality documents another reality—is at the heart of all our activities. Created around design thinking principles and propositions of emergence and openness, the MuseLab is truly a space for experimentation, practice, and breaking rules in the interest of learning, innovating, and discovery. As more and more higher education courses go online, face-to-face creative group activities are becoming scarce. The story of the lab’s genesis and development may be of interest for other LIS schools, programs, teachers, and information practitioners.


Experimentation, museum studies, museality, open work, museum system, makerspaces, prototyping, design thinking, LIS education

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