A handbook for effectively serving museum visitors

For Immediate Release
Wed, 08/23/2023


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association



CHICAGO — The “visitor experience” has been a long-neglected aspect of museum practice, receiving less academic attention than areas such as exhibition design or collections care. Despite this, the quality of the visitor experience is the single biggest factor which will influence visitors returning to your museum or recommending a visit to friends or family. Published by Facet Publishing and available through the ALA Store, “Delivering the Visitor Experience: How to Create, Manage and Develop an Unforgettable Visitor Experience at your Museum” discusses the process of delivering a visitor from beginning to end; from opening a new visitor offer and building a team through future planning and strategies for development. Author Rachel Mackay draws from theories from practitioners and academics, arguing that by examining issues such as motivation and relevance, museum operators can start to truly put themselves in their visitors' shoes and build experiences that are impactful and unforgettable.

Mackay has carved out a career developing and delivering the visitor experience in roles at Madame Tussauds, the Natural History Museum, and Kew Palace in London, UK. She runs a web resource for museum professionals focused on operations and Visitor Experience planning at therecoveryroomblog.com, for which she was shortlisted for a Museums and Heritage Award in 2021. Today, Rachel is the Head of Hampton Court Palace for Historic Royal Palaces, where she oversees operational and experience delivery for visitors to Henry VIII's iconic pleasure palace.

Facet Publishing, the commercial publishing and bookselling arm of CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, is the leading publisher of books for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at editionsmarketing@ala.org.