Thank you for investing your time and attention in this book. I hope it is useful to you as a practical guide to developing, implementing, and evaluating participatory audience experiences. If it is, it is in no small part due to the fabulous group of people who inspired, shaped, and edited it.
I have been most greatly influenced in writing this book by three professional heroes: Elaine Heumann Gurian, Kathleen McLean, and John Falk. If this book excites you, I highly recommend that you “go to the source” and read their books as well. I am honored to consider Elaine, Kathy, and John as mentors and friends, and I would not have written this book without their inspiring example.
This book was not only inspired by colleagues; it was also directly improved by their active involvement in its development. If you think peer review in the museum field is dead or languishing, I encourage you to open your work processes to the eyes and opinions of your colleagues. I wrote this book publicly on a wiki site and invited colleagues and enthusiastic readers of the Museum 2.0 blog to add their comments, insights, and examples along the way. Their contributions, particularly during the editing stage, were invaluable. They pointed out what was valuable and not, shared new examples, and gave me the courage to make major changes to the content, organization, and tone of the book.
Several people contributed many hours of their attention towards improving this book. Some of these editors are colleagues whom I solicited directly, but most are museum professionals and interested folks with whom I had no prior relationship. In no particular order, I’d like to thank the content reviewers (some of whom have provided bios): Conxa Rodà, Sarah Barton, Mark Kille, Barbara Oliver, Bruce Wyman, Cath Styles, Susan Spero, Chris Castle, Claire Antrobus, David Kelly-Hedrick, Ed Rodley, Georgina Goodlander, Linda Norris, Kevin Von Appen, Darcie Fohrman, Maria Mortati, Haz Said, Jody Crago, Jonah Holland, Kerrick Lucker, Kristin Lang, Daniel Spock, Eric Siegel, Lauri Berkenkamp, Rebekah Sobel, Andrea Bandelli, Louise Govier, Lynn Bethke, John Falk, Peter Linett, Ruth Cuadra, Maureen Doyle, Marc Van Bree, Patricia Sabine, Heidi Glatfelter, Susan Edwards, Jane Severs, Phillippa Pitts, Jana Hill, Mariana Salgado, Melissa Gula, Robert Connolly (and his museum practices students), Becky Menlove, Mia Ridge, and Michael Skelly.
Copy-editing was also a collaborative volunteer effort. Thank you to: Dave Mayfield, James Neal, Buster Ratliff, Lizz Wilkinson, Tikka Wilson, Jody Crago, Erin Andrews, Lisa Worley, Monica Freeman, Matthew Andress, Barbara Berry, Kaia Landon, Rhonda Newton, Jonathan Kuhr, Lynn Bethke, Susan Edwards, and L. Corwin Christie for making all the little punctuation and grammatical fixes that make this book read smoothly.
Thanks to Robin Sloan and Scott Simon for their editorial efforts to improve the book overall. Thanks also to Sibley Simon and Sarina Simon, who generously responded to many out-of-the-blue requests for feedback. Great thanks to Jennifer Rae Atkins, who designed the beautiful front and back covers, and to Karen Braiser, who formatted many of the Web-based images for inclusion.
This book was heavily informed by conversations and interviews with professionals across many institutions. Thank you to Evelyn Orantes, Shelley Bernstein, Wendy Erd, Tsivia Cohen, Kris Morrissey, Jeff Grabill, Kirsten Ellenbogen, Kelli Nowinsky, David Chesebrough, Stephanie Ratcliffe, Jane McGonigal, William Cary, Jamee Telford, Barbara Henry, Kathleen McLean, Kevin Von Appen, Sabrina Greupner, Vishnu Ramcharan, Robert Stein, Chris Alexander, Bridget Conley-Zilkic, David Klevan, Nancy Zinn, Jackie Copeland, Josh Greenberg, Jessica Pigza, Lori Fogarty, Beck Tench, Jeff Stern, and countless others who have generously provided information, images, and inspiration for this book.
I take full responsibility for all errors and omissions in this book, and I encourage you to share new case studies, comments, and questions on this site in the Discuss section. Please share your feedback. It improves everyone’s experience with the content and it opens up the opportunity for multi-directional conversation.
Finally, thank you for considering these ideas and, hopefully, integrating them into your work. I can’t wait to hear where you take it.