From February through June 2016, birthplace staff, as well as an independent consultant, evaluated Girls Writing the World as one part of the larger visitor experience of the site. A range of tools were employed, including interviews with youth and adult visitors, surveys of troop leaders and Girl Scouts, activities that encouraged visitors to share feedback, comment cards, and observations of visitor behavior.
As shown in the evaluations, visitor response to the reimagined library is very strong:
- 69% of surveyed Girl Scouts and troop leaders cited it as their first or second favorite room in the house.
- 39% cited it as their favorite.
Among comments from Girl Scouts about the reimagined library:
- “We loved how interactive the activities were.”
- “I liked the library because it was very creative and had a lot of thought and details in it.”
- “I loved seeing authors’ names on the shelves—books written by women and about women.”
- “In the library I learned about Daisy’s love for poetry…and loved time “progressing” through books that we got to touch and look at.”
Read more testimonials about the exhibit.
From our expert evaluator consultant:
Based on the data collected from all of these differing formats, it seems clear that the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace engages visitors, making an impact on Girl Scouts and other visitors. Visitors find their own meaning in a visit to the site, and in particular, many Girl Scouts find deep personal meaning in their visit. The new library installation is a critical component of that inspiration and meaning-making process, helping girls and others connect past to present. With its focus on girls, leadership, visitor engagement, and innovative interpretation, the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace has the opportunity to become a leader in the reinvention and relevance of historic houses in the 21st century.
Birthplace staff observations of the reimagined library:
- Numerous visitors have found the reimagined library to be a positive and integral aspect of the birthplace experience.
- It has served as a catalyst for rethinking historical interpretation at the site as a whole, moving the interpretation to one of active inquiry where visitors are encouraged to learn and explore on their own or with prompts.
- The new exhibit positions girls as active participants who offer their own creative contributions to make the world a better place.
- Exploring history in unexpected ways via the exhibit has surprised and challenged guests in positive ways, and has allowed experimentation with new platforms for discovery that make history relevant to girls and adults.
- The theme of women’s empowerment, which was the core of Juliette Low’s work and is the central tenet of the Girl Scout Movement today, bridges past and present in the space.
- By preserving and communicating Juliette Low’s interests and ideals, this installation offers innovative solutions to the challenges faced by traditional historic house museums.