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  • Summer Visitors to The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals

    at the National Museum of Natural History

    INSTITUTIONAL STUDIES

    Smithsonian Institution

  • Summer Visitors to The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals

    at the National Museum of Natural History

    Kerry R. DiGiacomo

    With

    David A. Karns Andrew J. Pekarik

    Steven J Smith Zahava D. Doering

    January 1999

    Institutional Studies Office Smithsonian Institution 900 Jefferson Drive, S.W.

    Washington, D . C .20560-0405 (202) 786-2232/2289

    Upon request, this report can be made available in larger type, Braille, audiocassette, or on disk using Wordperfect. Please contact the office at the above address.

    Report 99-1

  • Acknowledgements

    The publication of these studies, conducted at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, provides an opportunity to acknowledge the participation of many professionals at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the Institutional Studies Office (ISO).

    The studies were initiated by the exhibition team, Linda Deck, Project Manager, Sharon Barry, Writer, Richard Fiske, Curator, and Jeffrey Post, Curator, several months after the modernization of this major permanent exhibition was completed. Team members, who had devoted considerable time and energy to this project over several years, wanted to objectively understand its role in the experience of visitors to NMNH.

    Throughout the studies, the team was receptive and responsive to our requests and provided useful insights in the course of the analysis. Our work was also facilitated by Laura McKie, Chief of Education, who shared her observations with us. Carolyn Margolis, Chief of Exhibit Design and Development, supported and encouraged these studies.

    In the Institutional Studies Office, every staff member had a role in the study. Kerry R. DiGiacomo had primary responsibility for all aspects of data collection for the observation and survey studies. Kerry also assumed primary responsibility for form development for the observation study, questionnaire development for the survey studies, and analysis and reporting of the survey data. Andrew J. Pekarik was heavily involved in the design and analysis aspects of the survey studies. David A. Karns had responsibility for the analysis of the data pertaining to satisfying experiences. Steven J Smith provided extensive support in data preparation and analysis of the observational data. Jean M. Kalata and Stacey Bielick assisted their colleagues at various stages.

    Three IS0 interns -- Kaya Townsend, Sarah Diehl, and Susan A. Tirnberlake -- participated in the study in developing questionnaires, in interviewing, and in editing and coding data.

    It was the cooperation of NMNH visitors, during busy summer visitors, that made these studies possible. We appreciate their cooperation.

  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments ....................................................................................................... Table of Contents ......................................................................................................... List of Figures ............................................................................................................... List of Tables ................................................................................................................. I . Introduction ...............................................................................................................

    I1 . Summary and Discussion: Observations of Summer Visitors in The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology. Gems. and Minerals .........................................

    111 . Summary and Discussion: A Survey of Summer Visitors Entering and Exiting The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology. Gems. and Minerals .........................

    Complete Reports IV . Methodology

    Observation Study .................................................................................................. Survey Study ...........................................................................................................

    V . Observations of Summer Visitors in The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology. Gems. and Minerals Introduction ............................................................................................................ Overall Behavior ..................................................................................................... Overall Patterns of Gallery Usage ......................................................................... Exhibition Sections ................................................................................................. Types of Elements ..................................................................................................

    Final Notes .............................................................................................................. Definitions ...............................................................................................................

    Specific Elements/Icon Visitors ............................................................................

    VI . Tables: Observations of Visitors ........................................................................... VI1 . A Survey of Summer Visitors Entering and Exiting The Janet Annenberg

    Hooker Hall of Geology. Gems. and Minerals Introduction ............................................................................................................ The Visit Context .................................................................................................... The Visitors ............................................................................................................. The Visit .................................................................................................................. Exhibition Messages and Educational Objectives ............................................... Satisfying Experiences Within GGM .................................................................... Supplemental Interviews ....................................................................................... Discussion ...............................................................................................................

    VIII . Tables: A Survey of Visitors ............................................................................... IX . Exhibition Maps

    Tracking Maps and Data Forms ............................................................................ Survey Exhibition Map ..........................................................................................

    .. 11 iii iv iv

    3

    6

    9 10

    12 12 13 15 17 18 18 20

    21

    33 33 35 37 41 43 49 51

    52

    58 64

    ... . 111 .

  • X . Questionnaires Exhibition Entrance Survey ................................................................................... Exhibition Exit Survey ........................................................................................... Supplemental Interview Questionnaire ............................................................... Supplemental Interview Answer Sheet ................................................................

    List of Figures

    V.l V.2. V.3.

    Average Time Stopped/Gallery by Visit Length Type ................................. Distribution of GGM Visit Length .................................................................. Percent of Visitors Remaining in Exhibition by Minutes Elapsed ...............

    VII.l. First-time and Repeat NMNH Visitors ........................................................... VII.2. First and Repeat Visitors to NMNH and GGM .............................................

    VII.4. Residence of GGM Visitors, Combined Total VII.5. Age of GGM Visitors, Combined Total, Age 12 and Over ............................ VII.6. Galleries Rated Most and Least Interesting by Visitors to All 6 Galleries ... VII.7. Visitor Perceptions of Gallery Crowding and its Effects ............................... VII.8. Exhibition Messages classified as Educational Objectives ............................ VII.9. Satisfying Experiences in GGM ....................................................................... VII.9A. Object-Oriented Experiences ........................................................................... VII.9B. Cognitive Experiences .....................................................................................

    VII.9D. Dreaming Experiences .................................................................................... VII.10. Percentage of Each Visitors Orientation who Chose Each Gallery ..............

    VII.ll. Messages Perceived by Visitors of Each Orientation ....................................

    from Entry .........................................................................................................

    VII.3. GGM Visitors' NMNH Agenda ....................................................................... ................................................

    VII.9C. Interpersonal Experiences ..............................................................................

    As "Most Interesting' .......................................................................................

    List of Tables

    VI.1. VI.2. VI.3. VI.4. VI.5.

    Behavior