Open Exhibits Survey Update

In just over two weeks, we’ve received more than 40 responses to our survey about computer-based exhibits in museums. The survey is open to museums of art, history, and science. We’re also hoping to hear from aquariums, children’s museums, planetariums, visitor centers, and zoos.

As Emily mentioned in our last post, we are conducting this survey to support a grant proposal to fund Open Exhibits, a project that will allow us to research, develop, test, and disseminate open source exhibit software to museums.As promised, we will share all of the survey results with those of you who have participated as soon as the survey is complete. We wanted to share a few preliminary findings that we thought were particularly interesting in the meantime.

So far, the results indicate that almost two thirds of electronic exhibits stay on the museum floor for more than 4 years. 40% of respondents selected “More than 5 years” when answering the question, “On average, how long does an electronic exhibit stay on the floor at your institution?” 8% selected “5 years” and another 16% selected “4 years.” The remaining responses were divided up between less than one year and up to three years.

55.9% of those who responded to the question, “Does your institution currently have Internet access in the public exhibit areas?” answered Yes. 26.5% answered No, and the remaining 17.6 % said Partial. These answers serve as a reminder that many museums are still struggling with basic Internet infrastructure issues. This feedback will likely inform our approach electronic exhibit development.Obviously, these findings will become more valuable as we receive more responses.

We really appreciate those of you who helped spread the word. Many thanks to following blogs for writing about Open Exhibits: Ancient World bloggers, Musematic, ExhibiTricks, Open Objects, and Museum 2.0.Update: April 7, 2008 – We now have 73 responses to the survey.  Thanks to A Look at Art & Design for the survey mention.Update: May 16, 2008 – The survey was closed on May 10th. We received 125 responses.

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