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Why Do Museums Ask So Many Questions?

September 19, 2019

Have you ever been to visit a museum where they asked you to tell them about your experience? Have you seen questions on exhibit labels? Were you asked to vote on a future exhibit topic? Or approached about participating in a focus group?

As museum-goers, we might wonder: why so many questions?

Most museums operate as 501c3 nonprofits, so their primary reason for existing is to serve the public. Museums are the keepers of the most important stories and collections of our society, and as such, they must simultaneously guard these treasures and share them with their communities. And they can’t do it without your input.

Museums want to know what you’re interested in, so they can find just the right content that speaks to you. They are passionate about the stories of communities, and they want you to share in that excitement. Museums want to learn more about what they don’t have, so that they can fill in what’s missing. And they always want to continue to grow, improve, and provide you with the best possible experience.

So, if you visit a museum and are asked to give your opinion, please do. Because museums wouldn’t be relevant without YOU!

Jeannette Rooney is Assistant Director of Local History Services at IHS. She travels the state with LHS team members to assist local history organizations. Why? Because history rocks (and we get to make lots of ice cream stops)!

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