Last week I attended a presentation by Dr. Christopher Malcolm from the University of Brandon. Dr. Malcolm, with colleague Dr. Doug Ramsey, conducted research at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre (CFDC) in Morden to better understand the expectations and levels of satisfaction of visitors to CFDC, related to differing levels of interest in specialized information. While the research was specific to CFDC, it did suggest that people have varying needs for specialized information. No doubt any museum does well to keep this in mind in designing exhibits and programs.

This presentation also included a suggestion that museums might do well to collaborate, perhaps by designing and promoting expanded museum tours which would allow people who have a somewhat more specialized interest in museums to go on a guided tour encompassing a number of museums. No doubt this idea warrants further research.

It’s good to know that the University of Brandon has seen value in conducting this research with a museum. Studying the habits and preferences of people can surely provide benefits to our industry.

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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