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Reference Materials

Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter Handbook

November 19, 2008 | Public Programs
Federal support for museums through the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is based on the premise that museums are valuable community organizations providing rich opportunities for learning and civic engagement. Yet, until recently, there has been a paucity of systematic and evidence-based research on the public impact of museums. Therefore, since 2005, the IMLS Office of Museum Services has funded research projects under the auspices of the National Leadership Grant program. These grants support projects that ‘raise the bar’ in museum research and practice. Funded projects have national impact and generate findings that, through broad dissemination, move the field forward. This project was funded in the program’s inaugural round. Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter: Working with Community Perceptions to Achieve Your Goals draws on the illuminating research conducted as part of the IMLS-funded study. Its findings provide useful information about the perceptions of the public at large as well as specific insights into the views of particular audience segments. We are proud to have supported this project and confident that its results will contribute to improved practice, inform future policy discussions, and spawn additional studies. We also acknowledge and thank the project’s principal investigators, John Fraser and Jessica Sickler, for their commitment to the broad and timely dissemination of the project’s results.


  • Association of Zoos & Aquariums
  • Johnny Sq
    Institute for Learning Innovation
  • JS 149 sq small size
    Lifelong Learning Group
  • Citation


    Award Number: LG-25-05-0102-0
    Award Number: 0205843
    Resource Type: Report
    Discipline: Education and learning science | Social science and psychology
    Audience: General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
    Environment Type: Public Programs | Aquarium and Zoo Programs

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