Museum looks to expand social media reach using Instagram and YouTube
The South Canterbury Museum is moving with the times and could soon be looking to expand its social media reach after a "busy" year of milestones.
More people appeared to be using the museum's services, in person and online, as it celebrated its 50th birthday and stage one completion of the museum refurbishment, according to its 2016-17 annual report.
Meanwhile, events hosted this year had brought in more people through the door, resulting in "significant" donations.
Museum director Philip Howe said in the report it had been another busy year for the museum, and as its Facebook presence continued to grow, it would look to other social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube.
* Visitors to CBay expected to top last year's figures, report says
* Newly upgraded exhibition shows history through the ages
* Museum looks to alternative funding to cover deficit
* Museum prepares for 50th celebrations
* $100,000 grant boosts museum facelift
* Curators begin work on museum upgrade
The annual report follows the release of the 2016-17 reports for Timaru's recreational facilities and district libraries for the year to March 31. The reports will be discussed at the Timaru District Council's community development committee meeting on Tuesday.
Figures in the museum's annual report showed just over 22,000 people accessed its services, including 13,463 casual visitors.
The museum reported 11,560 visitors and just under 21,000 using museum services in the 2014-15 financial year. No data was available for 2015-16.
This year's report noted the number of visitors, 22,197, was a "slight increase" on a target, which was not detailed in the report.
"The museum continues to make considerable use of Facebook as a way of communicating with the wider public," the report says.
It had 1260 people following its Facebook page, which posted images and information about the museum and exhibitions.
"Future social media developments may include the use of Instagram and YouTube to further provide access to images and information."
Stage one of a $400,000 upgrade of the building's mezzanine floor was finished three weeks ago. Once stage two of the upgrade is completed, the floor will eventually house a circular exhibition featuring South Canterbury history from around 1870 era to modern times.
The exhibition would feature touch screens, content draws, and new displays.
The museum allowed people to view the partially completed upgrade and offer feedback during a special opening for its 50th birthday in December.
Community groups were taken on prearranged behind-the-scenes visits to the museum's collection wing, the report says.
"This has proven valuable for educating local people about the preservation work carried out by museum staff, and the need for storage and workspaces to protect our region's heritage."
As a result of those visits, groups offered "significant" donations to the museum while some individuals have taken up Friends of the Museum membership.
The report noted just over 400 new items were added to the museum's collection, and five temporary exhibitions and 16 events were held.
There was potential for increasing the number of events to attract more people and generate revenue for the museum.
A survey found 98 per cent of visitors, and 78 per cent of residents, were happy with the museum. This was compared with a national average of 64 per cent at similar museums.
When contacted, committee chairman Steve Wills had not read the annual report but said the museum in general had been a focus of change, including the new permanent exhibition on its mezzanine floor.
"That's generated a lot more community interest from groups and people coming through," Wills said.
The museum also had a very proactive Friends of the Museum society.
Facilities like the museum, as well as libraries and the CBay aquatic centre, provided a great experience for people and were affordable, he said.