Museums may not seem at first glance to be engaged in social work. Yet, Lois H. Silverman brings together here relevant visitor studies, trends in international practice, and compelling examples that demonstrate how museums everywhere are using their unique resources to benefit human relationships and, ultimately, to repair the world. In this groundbreaking book, Silverman forges a framework of key social work perspectives to show how museums are evolving a needs-based approach to provide what promises to be universal social service. In partnership with social workers, social agencies, and clients, museums are helping people cope and even thrive in circumstances ranging from personal challenges to social injustices. The Social Work of Museums provides the first integrative survey of this emerging interdisciplinary practice and an essential foundation on which to build for the future.
The Social Work of Museums is not only a vital and visionary resource for museum training and practice in the 21st century, but also an invaluable tool for social workers, creative arts therapists, and students seeking to broaden their horizons. It will inspire and empower policymakers, directors, clinicians, and evaluators alike to work together toward museums for the next age.
'Silverman provides an informative, readable, and entertaining addition to any museum studies library.' – Visitor Studies
'[T]imely and important …so well researched and carefully argued that it is bound to become a classic reference for those who wish to maximize the public value of museums … The Social Work of Museums is an invaluable resource – one that is well worth owning and returning to again and again … Lois Silverman has written a brilliant book.' – Mary Ellen Munley, MEM & Associates, Museum Management and Curatorship
'[A] sympathetic call to action. Silverman artfully weaves together a number of seemingly disparate threads … The resulting tapestry is a reader-friendly introduction to social work principles for museum professionals … which is simultaneously an introduction to museum studies for social workers. … This is a thought-provoking, inspiring book that many are sure to find is a useful tool for professional development, organizational change, teaching, research, and planning.' – Phaedra Livingstone, University of Oregon, USA, caa.reviews
1. In the Service of Society 2. Social Work Perspectives 3. From Body to Soul 4. Solve et Coagula 5. Treasures of Home 6. Birds in Flight 7. Toward the Next Age