The first day of a new visitor studies campaign is always a little nerve racking. Are there typos in the survey? Will my volunteers be enthusiastic (even if that enthusiasm comes from caffeine)? What will the visitors say/do? Will there be enough pancakes to go around?! Okay – that last one is site specific.
This morning my trusty graduate student volunteers and I ventured into our first day of front end evaluative interviews and surveys as part of an IMLS grant for the Fenimore Art Museum’s Native American interpretive site, Otsego: A Meeting Place. We’re hoping to get a better understanding of what people’s perceptions of Native Americans are in order to better meet their learning and visitor needs in the outdoor space. Today we learned a lot! For starters, hungry visitors wanting to eat pancakes do NOT want to be surveyed before breakfast. After breakfast, however, they are quite enthusiastic. The great thing about The Farmers’ Museum’s Sugaring Off is that there are five Sundays and five programs to perfect our technique. Happy surveying, folks!