I have just ordered Lois Silverman's The Social Work of Museums which was published last year.
The EVRSIG invited Lois to visit Australia as a plenary speaker at a MA conference in the 1990s. Her focus has been on the ways that museums/galleries contribute to physical and mental health in society.
In The Social Work of Museums, she focuses on the social role of museums and how their work relates to individuals, couples and groups. She argues that social work is the most important role of museums today. The book provides a framework that will help museums extend this aspect of their role.
In our study of families and museums, published as Knowledge Quest, we noted the high proportion of single parents among the families we studied. And we also noted the presence of 'stressed' families (struggling with loss, addiction, unemployment) who visited museums for the experience of a safe and stimulating family outing. So we have some understanding of ways that museums contribute to the health of the community.
I'm looking forward to learning more.
Posted by Gillian Savage