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.