05/16/12 — City is asking about museum

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City is asking about museum

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 16, 2012 1:46 PM

Cold interviews with citizens concerning Goldsboro's proposed Air Force museum will wrap up tonight as the consultant firm's public survey period of the project comes to a close after a 7 p.m. meeting with the Goldsboro Youth Council at Historic City Hall.

Following that, Kathleen Tinworth of ExposeYourMuseum Consulting will conclude her on-the-ground research on the subject. An online survey is expected to follow within the next month.

Ms. Tinworth, who was subcontracted by Verner Johnson, the city's chosen consultant for the museum, has been criss-crossing the county performing interviews and addressing civic groups about the project in an effort to gauge the public's interest in an Air Force museum.

Ms. Tinworth was planning to perform between 50 and 100 "intercept" interviews, meaning she simply approaches citizens while they are out, either at the Goldsboro Family YMCA or other places across the county, to ask them five minutes worth of questions about the museum.

"The difference is the diversity in the demographics when you're out in the community," Ms. Tinworth said.

She said about 80 percent of the questions are the same as those posed in public meetings with civic groups so that they can be combined with other data, but said individuals respond differently in group settings than in one-on-one interviews.

The group discussions bring about more in-depth answers, while the cold interviews are more surface answers, she said. Combining the results offers a more comprehensive view of the public's opinions.

Ms. Tinworth's background is in statistics, so the combination allows her to quantify what would otherwise be a discussion that is essentially subjective.

"Content analysis is something I love to do," she said, adding she also has the benefit of special software to assist her.

The Goldsboro City Council voted to contract with Verner Johnson for consultant work April 2. The community evaluation portion of the project cost $14,500 of the $163,500 total. A final report will be prepared for the consultants to use when fashioning the museum vision. Ms. Tinworth will also return when the time comes for the final presentation to the City Council at the end of the process, believed to be sometime in October.