Museums of today wish to and should be active in the community they are part of. They wish to play a role in society and interact with the local population.
“It is the overall goal that museums reflect the community they are part of. Museums provide the foundations in a modern democratic society and should play an active role in society.”
This quote is found in the White Paper (Stortingsmelding) nr. 49 on page 123, which summarises recommendations from political authorities to Norwegian museums from the late 1990s. In a framework memorandum on the role of museums in society from Arts Council Norway (Kulturrådet), the societal role is defined as an innovative and directional process in museums’ key work areas. By including populations that have previously been overlooked or left out, by facilitating dialogue with the local population, by daring to ask critical questions about established truths and current social challenges, museums can and should contribute to positive social development (Holmesland 2013).