October 24-26, 2007
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sessions: Abstract


Physical Spaces and Virtual Visitors: The Methodologies of a Comprehensive IMLS-Sponsored Study of Users and Uses of Museums   go to paper

José-Marie Griffiths, University of North Carolina, USA
Donald King, University of North Carolina, University of Pittsburgh, USA

Research on on-line users, their information needs and the providers and provision of information resources have primarily focused on specific user population segments or the use of specific on-line resources. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has commissioned a team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and the University of Pittsburgh's University Center for Social and Urban Research to conduct a comprehensive study to evaluate the on-line universe and its participants, and the relationships between physical spaces, such as museums, their visitors and physical and virtual visits – on-line users and uses. This paper focuses on how the research team developed a conceptual model to understand the complexity of the task, and then from that model developed various evaluation and analysis methods, including several survey clusters. The author will share the structure and many of the questions from the actual survey instruments used, as well as the ways in which the team analyzed the collected data to produce insightful and helpful results and recommendations.

Session: Social Impact Indicators [Impact]

Keywords: online, users, uses, IMLS, museums, evaluation, visitors, methodology, evaluation