Friday, 31 July 2015

Certificate of Excellence for Clare Museum

Earlier this summer, Clare Museum was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor, the travel website where tourists can post their reviews of hotels, restaurants, museums and other tourist attractions. The museum had received a high number of very positive reviews from visitors during 2014 and at present some 71 of the total 76 reviews received to date rate the museum as either “very good” or “excellent”.

At Clare Museum we employ a Summative Evaluation Form to obtain feedback from the visiting public about the standard of our exhibitions and we also keep a close eye on our visitor’s book to gauge the experience of the visitor. While Tripadvisor, with its user generated content, is primarily for the benefit of potential visitors, it is also a useful tool for the management and staff of the museum to assess what we are doing right and where we need to make improvements.

So what does Tripadvisor tell us about the visitor experience? Here is a selection of some of the comments listed:

A user called coyotebanjo, from Lubbock, Texas, posted on 18th May, 2015

‘Excellent regional museum, informative friendly staff. Hosts many arts & culture events, often free. Important site for the Fleadh Nua.’

Michael Gleeson Snr, from County Leitrim posted this on 23rd April, 2015

‘The Museum exhibits were excellent, as were the staff. It had a real sense of County Clare in all that was displayed - not just shiny, attractive items - of which there were indeed many, but also the ordinary people who lived there and the extraordinary people who lived there with ordinary evidence to prove it. The displays were crystal clear with good info for each item. There were people there to help with answers on the items people found most interesting (a great asset to any decent museum). Gives a massive sense of place for people visiting the county. A must visit.’

A user from Wales, maryDyffrn Ardudwy, posted this review on 22nd October, 2014

‘The museum has excellent exhibits from prehistory to modern day and is to be recommended. Well researched and written boards, manageable size and pleasant layout makes this accessible for most age groups.’

Most of the reviews posted about the museum comment on our policy of Free Admission. Admission fees were abolished in June 2004 in an effort to make the museum more accessible to the local community, but since the economic crisis we can see that free admission has become increasingly appreciated by tourists and other non-local visitors. Other comments indicate that visitors find the staff of the museum welcoming and helpful - an area of visitor services that we pride ourselves in - and that the exhibition is of a high standard, often surpassing expectations.

One comment suggests that the opening hours of the museum are not clear, while another states that the museum can be hard to find.

This is useful information which we can now put to good use to ensure that both out opening hours and directional signage are improved for our visitors.

Clare Museum is a Clare County Council initiative and is managed by Clare County Library.

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