Museums are important to everyone
The Association of Danish Museums: the museum policy spokesbody in Denmark. The Association of Danish Museums (ODM) is an interest organisation for all museums in Denmark. A total of 172 museums, visitor centres and conservation centres in Denmark are members of the ODM, which is a prominent museum policy spokesbody. The ODM generates political influence and public debate by asking important questions about our common cultural heritage, thus placing the existence of the museums on the political agenda.
The ODM unites the diverse museum scene while respecting its diversity and takes differentiated action on the basis of the special conditions applying to the three categories of museums (art, nature and cultural history museums). The ODM endeavours to achieve a clear, united and well-structured museum policy profile with room for individual differences among its members. Denmark’s art museums, cultural heritage museums and museums of natural history have many common interests and are stronger when united, regardless of their status as independent, corporate, private or state -owned organisations.
A focal point
The ODM is the professional meeting place of Danish museums – professionally, politically and physically. The ODM is the central focal point for museum related political matters and the natural link between museums and legislators. The ODM is centrally situated in Vartov in Copenhagen (see map) where it has its administration offices, course facilities and conference rooms, that are available for members free of charge. The ODM offers its members participation in professional networks as well as a wide range of continuing and further education and training for all museum professionals. See current activities. In addition to arranging professional activities for all museum categories, the ODM holds annual professional meetings for each of the three categories, where the focus is on matters of current interest. These meetings are typically held in autumn. Each spring, a large-scale cross-category communication and dissemination meeting is held, which is an important element in the sharing of professional knowledge and know-how.
The ODM provides information about museum matters to museums and to the public, promotes museum interests vis-à-vis public authorities and actively seeks to influence public debate for the benefit of museums and their activities. The ODM wishes to further close, professional dialogue and cohesion between member museums in order to ensure great credibility both professionally and in terms of museum policy. The association’s website, newsletters, seminars and courses are the main channels of communication with members. As regards communication with the public, some important channels are PR and administrative liaisoning with authorities.
Member services and guidance
The ODM advises members on political, legal and financial matters and refers them to other advisers whenever necessary.
The association website is an important tool for member institutions in terms of finding information (such as a guide to all member museums) and exploring the world of museum policies. Furthermore, the ODM answers queries received by telephone, letter and e-mail (see contact information on the back).
Being based on professional subjects of importance to all or some actors in the museum scene, the networks are the collaborative relations that tie the museums together professionally. The networks span museum categories, discussing political issues and sharing knowledge about collections, conservation, research, dissemination of information, museum management, administration, etc.
The ODM networks comprise more than four hundred people working in member institutions.
The ODM works towards strengthening the interests of the Danish museums through both national and international museum political collaboration via Nordic and European sister organisations under EU auspices (NEMO) and via ICOM (International Council of Museums). Furthermore, important international exchange of experience takes place at the annual meetings, through study trips for members, and through the ODM’s courses and training.
Education and training
The ODM works to ensure that museums and museum employees are prepared and qualified for changing conditions and able to meet the demands and expectations to museums. Through courses and training programmes, the ODM helps to enhance the profile of museums as active, professional institutions in society. Among the services offered by the ODM are qualifying training of international standing in museum management and dissemination of information. In the comprehensive field of continuing and further education and training are courses and programmes for all museum staff groups, and this field of activity is developed on a continuing basis.
Free admission for ODM members
In order to develop and share knowledge an efficient and easy arrangement has been established where ODM members grant each other’s staff and board members free admission via an entrance card (participation in this arrangement is voluntary).