There's a discussion over at Cooper-Hewitt labs about the design and utility of museum labels. A question has also been raised about how ordinary museum goers use photographs taken of museum labels.
As an ordinary museum goer who sometimes takes photographs of museum labels, I'll answer the implied question.
I take photographs of museum labels to prompt my memory later, sometimes years later, about what I've seen in the museum. Firstly I take a photograph of the museum object(s) and then immediately afterward a photograph of the accompanying label.
Here are some examples. Three years ago I was in the Louvre and saw an interesting sculpure display. There was a temporary display of contemporary works amongst classical sculpture in one of the sculpture courts.
Firstly I took a photograph of the works:
and then took photographs of the two associated labels, this one:
and this one:
As I can read French, I have not previously needed to record any translation to English.
So, I can say three years after having viewed the works that Tony Cragg's Manipulation (2008) was displayed in front of Antoine Cosevox's La Seine (1706).
We can see in the examples above that the classical sculpture which may have been on display for years, or even decades, has one type of label and that the temporarily exhibited work has a different type of label. This inconsistency didn't much matter to the gallery goers. When confronted with magnificence people don't go around analysing label fonts and content.
I do have a longer shot photograph of the two works together showing the grander scale of Cragg's work, but I like the one above because it shows the typographic texture of his sculpture.
Another example from the Louvre. As we walked through some of the Egyptology galleries I asked me son which was his favourite item. Out of thousands he chose this one, which is quite small, about 2cm long:
So taking those photographs of museum labels has had some use for me. I typically don't use the information for further research or Googling, I only need the title of the work and the creator.