The engaging museum
The role of museums in the twenty-first century is as it has always been, to seek contemporary ways to engage audiences with their collections. This does not mean throwing out all that was good about past approaches to display, but the keeping of the best and the introduction of effective new methods, proven through research. Current museum priorities include access and comfort, eating and shopping, flexible exhibiting and engaging the visitor'. These priorities will, of course, reflect a requirement to generate income and to meet the needs of a leisure-oriented audience as well as an ambition to engage visitors with collections. Most visitors come to museums specifically to see the objects on display and to read the labels in exhibits. Visitors spend most of their time looking at, and presumably thinking about, the objects and labels in exhibits, and leave with images of them.