Snip from the homepage of https://acwm.org/ <no CR notice>
What Outcomes Should the American Civil War Museum Measure?
I recently received an email link to the Richmond, Virginia American Civil War Museum's "Annual Survey of Museum Goers." We've been there several times over the last five years - about once a year on average. According to the museum's website, the Mission of the American Civil War Museum is "to be the preeminent center for the exploration of the American Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free African Americans, soldiers and citizens." ACWM website
The first page of the survey is pretty straightforward. How often do you visit, etc.
But page 2, Question #3, the first question to get to the meat of the matter, asks: What does this museum do well? And the choices are:
Here are my questions about this particular survey question.
- To be honest, this museum doesn't do anything well.
- The exhibits engage me or my family.
- I/we enjoy the programs (e.g., classes, demonstrations, story times, lectures, etc.)
- I/we enjoy the special events (e.g., holiday events, fairs and festivals, exhibit opening parties, etc.)
- It makes my job as a parent/caregiver easier.
- The museum helps people in my community.
- The museum contributes to quality of life in my community.
- Staff members always make me feel welcome.
- None of these
- Other please specify.
1. In surveys, is it a common &/or desirable practice to position the least desired response at the top of the list? Hopefully, we have some marketing and communications people who can weigh in?
2. Does this list encompass the most important outcomes the Museum of the Civil War should be measuring? Since this is the first real question and these are the options, I assume these are the things they hope they are doing well --- aka the "outcomes" they are accomplishing?
3. What about educating guests and the public about the Civil War? Should that be a desired outcome for the museum?
4. What about the % of guests who see something for the first time or learn something new? I'd think those would be the most desirable outcomes for a museum with such an extensive collection of high caliber artifacts?
Some of the outcomes that are listed don't seem (to me) to be primary responsibilities of a Civil War museum - or really any museum, for that matter. Maybe I'm missing something? Is it a museum's responsibility to make the job of parent/caregiver easier? Is it the museum's responsibility to help people in the community? What about hosting holiday events, fairs, and festivals? I'd appreciate hearing the opinions of others, especially those who live there. @Jamieva @Viper21 @Package4 @JPChurch @General Butler @Frederick14Va and anyone else who lives in Virginia. I'd also love to hear from those who have visited @FarawayFriend @bdtex @luinrina @Eleanor Rose @Andy Cardinal
I feel certain there will be differing opinions about this, so please be constructive and polite to one another.