The need for more child friendly material, museum tours, audio-visual material, the demand for more local history, more interactive materials, the need for an online service, more connection to social media, more educational outreach, a genealogical research service, a linkage to the adjacent café, more seating and better signage in Fitzgerald’s Park are just some of the findings from SWOT analysis within a new draft strategic plan for Cork City Museum, which has come before members of Cork City Council.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted that the report lays bare the need to modernise Cork Public Museum and especially to improve the service. “I wish to commend the museum’s curator in achieving a lot with limited resources, being very friendly, professional, open to new ideas, making progress with specific aims such as accreditation, inclusion, exhibition upgrading and collections care. His work on the Late Viking Age finds from the former Beamish and Crawford Site, World War I Trenches temporary exhibition as well the Jewish exhibit from the Old Cork Synagogue and the Traveller barrel top caravan have been great additions to telling the story of people in the Cork region”.
“The report lays bare though the need for more staff; you cannot have just one person responding to hourly emails on genealogy and object searches as well as planning for the future. For all intents and purposes, our museum is like a mini Crawford Art gallery. It needs more financial help to implement the proposals within the draft strategic plan. The objects that Cork Public Museum holds need to be made much more accessible to the wider public. For my part I will continue my lobbying in getting an educational officer installed within the Council, who could work between the Museum, local studies in Cork City Library and Cork City and County Archives. If this was a legacy post of the upcoming War of Independence remembrance programme in Cork City, I would be very content”.
The Museum has been located in Fitzgerald’s Park since 1945. In 2005 the long-awaited extension to the building was opened. This enabled the provision of new display facilities, showing a greater range of items relating to the history and culture of Cork City and environs. This, coupled with the more recent major enhancements of Fitzgerald’s Park, has led to an increase in footfall in the Museum.
Last year the City Council approved the proposal for the Museum to seek accreditation under the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MPSI). One of the key requirements of MSPI is to have a comprehensive strategic plan approved by the Council, with an implementation plan. To this end Heritage Works were commissioned to draw up a draft Strategic Plan.