Heidrun Derks has been in charge of the Varusschlacht Museum in Osnabrücker Land und Park Kalkriese for more than 20 years. Her many years of experience: Museums only become attractive when they are more than exhibition spaces. “For example, it has to do with the nature of having a playground here,” says Dirks. “Or you can have lunch here and have a coffee. These are not core areas of the Museum’s work, but they are of course essential for an enjoyable stay.”
Visitors want to be captured in the realities of their lives
The Osnabrück Museum may be a special case due to its orientation as a destination for excursions – yet the same is true for other museums: people want to be factored into their everyday realities in order to feel comfortable in museums. Conference President Vera Allmannretter, President of the Berlin Institute for Participation Research, says: “Is it about the topics that interest me? Do the objects on display relate to the reality of my life? These are certainly the main factors in determining whether museums are found attractive or not, whether people can They invent these places as places for themselves and feel like they don’t belong there either.”
Not an easy task for the houses – because the expectations of the public are wide. Not a single visitor, says Almonitor. Museums must react to this fact.
Museums as ‘regionally defined’ meeting places
“Some go because they are curious or want to learn something,” says the conference chair. “Some go because they want to enable a companion to visit. There are also people who have very specific hobbies or jobs related to visiting the museum. Others come to relieve stress.”
Museums, more than ever, have to ask themselves where their content and regional significance lies – beyond their classic primary tasks of collecting, preserving and researching. At least that’s what Thomas Overdeck of Museumsverband Niedersachsen Bremen thinks. Accordingly, those museums that consider themselves meeting points and create something like regional and local identification are particularly successful.
The City Museum in Oldenburg uses empty retail spaces
“The mining museums in the upper Harz mountains are a very positive example,” Overdick says. “In the past few years, a large-scale participation process has been carried out there. People who live locally were asked: What is important to you? A very good example is the City Museum in Oldenburg, which was actually closed in an instant because the museum is not hiding. He goes out into the city and fills Empty spaces.”
Showing that you exist, not closing in on new things, responding to the changing needs of the audience – working in a modern museum means responding. At the open-air Archaeological Museum Kalkriese near Osnabrück, for example, it was noticed that more and more people came by bicycle during the Corona period. So museum director Dirks is set up: “It starts with creating an electronic charging station, but it also extends to the point that we’re thinking of offering mini-stop tours for cyclists. You have to look at what people are doing now, how they’ve changed their lifestyle? Where do we fit in with our offerings? Of course that’s It means you have to open up new horizons here and there.”