Thursday, June 19, 2008

Measuring impact of museums

This from Elena Starkova in Russia: Dear Lynda, I am conducting a research on measurement the attitudes of local population towards new museum in Perm, Russia. I would like to know what do people think about the new museum, its project and conception, what do they believe in, are they in favour or not of building a new museum. Here is the website of architectural competition and the concept of the museum. I decided to use a questionnaire to measure attitudes. I read your paper for Intercom Conference 2006, called "Measuring the impact of museums on their communities: The role of the 21st century museum" and I found it very related to my research. At this moment I am looking for a good valid instrument for measurement such as questionnaire or technique for measurement the attitudes for visitors/non-visitors towards museum especially new museum that I can apply for me case. I would really appreciate if you send me the questionnaires that you used for conducting a research about measuring the impact of the museums on community. Also, if there are some other researches you made on related topics and if you have any scales that I can apply for my research and make a valid and reliable questionnaire. Best regards,

Best regards to you too Elena. Your project sounds really exciting. That paper from the INTERCOM conference is online – I have a whole section on my wiki called impact of museums with papers and links. I will send you some questionnaires separately. Also you could refer to the recent blog post in response to a question from TMAG about getting public response to redevelopment plans – that may be an easier way to get quick feedback. Perhaps you'll need to do both – that is, measure attitudes towards having a new museum through a quantitative survey and finding out what it should be though a more qualitative approach.

One word of caution Elena. I don't know what the funding situation is like in Russia but too often in Australia new museums are created and opened with much ceremony, however there is usually little or no budget or thought given to actually running them on a day-to-day basis so they often fail!

Best of luck Elena and please keep us updated about your progress.

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