Merete –

Dear James,

Thank you for the acknowledging words about the work we do at SMK to open up cultural heritage. I wholeheartedly agree with your point that as a sector we need to prioritize our resources and efforts carefully. That’s why we must become much better understanding and assessing the wider impact our work has on society. I’m excited to follow the work done across our sector to develop advanced tools that can help us progress. This week saw the launch of Europeana’s new hub for impact assessment with a lucid introduction to the difficult field of capturing impact:

“…the work we do comes at a significant cost to society but we can’t systematically assess that it was worth it. Did it improve the way our children are educated? Did it result in a stronger, more cohesive society? Did it enable artists to create groundbreaking new creative works? What positive change in society have we contributed to?”

Faced with financial constraints and shifting user expectations, we should enable ourselves to answer these questions — for our own sake, and not least for that of the public we serve.

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