Saturday, January 9, 2010

PVHN Survey Results Summary

From: "Cliff McCarthy" <>
To: "Cliff McCarthy" <>
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 9:32:24 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: PVHN Survey Results Summary

Hey, All.

As promised, for those who are interested, here are the compiled results of the PVHN survey that we conducted a few weeks ago.  The Steering Committee found the response interesting and exciting.  Overall, we believe this affirms the general direction that we have set with our PVHN Gatherings and this will help us to plan future events.

Thanks go out to all of you who participated in the survey!  We really appreciate the help.

Cliff McCarthy
Chair, PVHN Steering Committee


PVHN Survey Responses

1. Have you ever attended a PVHN gathering?
Yes: 68% No: 32% Total resp: 47

2. If yes, how many have you attended?
1: 28% 2-4: 47% 4 or more: 25% Total resp: 32

3. If no, why not?
topic not of interest: 46%
location not convenient: 31%
day of the week not convenient: 31%
time of day not convenient: 23%
time of year/season not convenient: 8%
Total resp: 13
new to PVHN (4)
date conflicts (4)
didn't know about gatherings (3)
"makes a very long day for me"
"just too busy...we fully intend to once we are better established"

4. What day of the week is best for you to attend a gathering?
Wednesdays: 42%
Tuesdays: 36%
Saturdays: 36%
Thursdays: 22%
Mondays: 16%
Fridays: 4%
Total resp: 45 (70)

5. How long would you like gatherings to be?
all day with lunch: 41%
morning and lunch: 25%
afternoon only: 25%
lunch and afternoon: 21%
morning only: 18%
Total resp: 44

6. What location do you like best?
Rotating location: 41%
Deerfield: 35%
Northampton: 30%
Springfield: 11%
Others: 19%
Total resp: 46 (69)
Comment: "would like to get out to see sites around area"

7. What format do you like best?
a mix of all three: 81%
lecture: 13%
hands-on: 9%
demonstration: 6%
Total resp: 47 (53)
"Bring-a-problem-to-share" with the group for feedback
"include time for discussion about collaboration"

8. what role would you like to see PVHN gatherings serving?
educational: 81%
professional development: 61%
social: 23%
entertainment: 9%
Total resp: 43 (82)
all of the above (3)
networking (2)
"collegial solidarity"
"building collaborations – making plans"

9. Suggestions for topics/themes for future gatherings
Total resp: 20

1. Re: "How long would you like gatherings to be?" I have no preference so checked all.
2. oral histories, document preservation, cemetery restoration
3. How to run a small museum with only volunteers - when to be open, etc.; cost effective software for inventory of collections; Creating events and exhibits - how best to focus efforts; Engaging the community at large around a theme; lessons learned with town wide events such as town anniversaries; best methods in creating town history books.
4. As a geologist, I'd suggest a view into "Deep History"....our geological heritage. Program and field trip makes a great day.
5. I derived the most benefit from sharing ideas, frustrations, and achievements with other similar historical entities with a low budget and/or an all volunteer staff. This should be a network between our various places in the area. I'm not so sure that the places that have a low budget and an all volunteer staff should be in the same company as those with a paid staff and beaucoup funds where the latter must seek to retain their income for their salary while the rest of us just try to come up with projects to preserve our collections and the history of our communities without pay.
6. personally I enjoy the topic of Travel/ vacationing in the pioneer valley.
7. Nationwide trends in historical associations/societies. Upkeep of historical properties
board development for small/volunteer societies
8. since a majority of your museums are small organizations, consider creating "work parties" where meeting participants could help out specific member organizations at an event.
9. Mix themes on one day. how-tos (scanning, cross reference filling, acquisitions, storing media, fund raising event, etc)
10. Practical display advise, you did this once, very successful. How to organize an event that brings in the public. Outside speakers from successful museum programs. How to attract and manage school groups to satisfy educational requirements and open doors for grant funding and self-promotion for the museum. Risk assessment--look what happened to the Emily Dickinson Museum--would you be prepared and financially covered? New ways to display... out with the old and in with the new.
11. Local towns (Historical info, data, etc.)
12. exhibit topics, program resources (presenters), cost-effective solutions to common concerns 13. Look at themes that cut across the region: industrial history such as sites linked to the Springfield Armory or textiles in the area, transportation such as canals or rail lines, King Philips' War, immigration perhaps of specific groups or periods, unions, agricultural technology, etc.
We would be happy to present on how to work with schools or youth groups to put a local history story on the web.
14. Conservation, care and handling of artifacts, planning and executing exhibits,
15. using the web, building the board, ways to be relevant to the community
16. PastPerfect training, what to do with house museums that no one attends, web presence for historical collections, board development and training, historic preservation
17. Life in the valley in Colonial and Early America: work, daily life, business, travel, communications.
18.--How to write larger grants, either for museum staff, or to tackle cataloging areas of a historical museum.--Hands-on historical museum management primer for historical societies where the people with knowledge have passed on or dropped out, and a small group of new members are tasked with catching up with donations, technology, and outreach without enough knowledge about proper methods.
19. area history including promotion of available sites and museums for viewing as well as current programs.
20.Folk Art, Underground Railroad

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