One thing I've enjoyed in the Toronto Star since Michael Cooke became publisher are the occasional front-page items bearing the deck/headline "The Star Gets Action". This label is meant to represent times when an investigation or article by the Star has yielded corrective action in the government or elsewhere.
So for this post on Unedit My Heart, I'm borrowing that showy-showman style. Yes, we are reporting today that "Unedit my Heart Got Action" (or what passes for its governmental equivalent) on its long-held observation that accessibility measures at the Royal Ontario Museum—particularly economic access—are woefully substandard. (For more evidence of my whinginess/steadfastness on this front, you can look back to these items from 2007, 2008 (twice) and 2009, among others.)
Basically, today I received a hard copy of a new report on the ROM written by the Ontario Legislature's Standing Committee on Government Agencies. As frequent readers may know, back in September 2009 I presented to this committee about the ROM's poor access levels as part of their review process of the museum—which is, just to recap, an agency of the government of Ontario (not just a tourist attraction, natch!).
Here's where the "action" part comes in: the government committee's #1 recommendation for the ROM is that it "develop and implement a plan which would enhance access by the residents of Ontario to the Museum."
Sure, they only had two recommendations overall, but the fact that they recommended this at all, let alone first, makes me tremendously excited.
To quote the passage in full:
During the Hearings the Committee was struck by the importance of the issue of access to the Royal Ontario Museum—both in the sense of the possible effect of price on attendance, and in the sense of exposure to the Museum of Ontarians of all ages, places of residence, economic status, and cultural background. Without suggesting which methods would be best employed by the Museum in increasing access, and without suggesting that visits to the Museum by out-of-province and out-of-country visitors are unimportant,
1. The Committee recommends that the Royal Ontario Museum develop and implement a plan which would enhance access by the residents of Ontario to the Museum.
The Committee asks that the ROM respond to the Recommendations and provide the Committee with its plans to address them by sending its response to the Clerk of the Committee within six months after the Chair has tabled the Report in the Legislature.
So.... I guess this all means that in a few months we should check back in with the ROM to see what access plan they've submitted to the government, no?
To read the full report (which does contain other notes on access, as well as a making-me-sound-more-cogent-than-I-was summary of my presentation) click here. To read other notes from my presentation, including data showing that the ROM ranks among the most expensive museums to visit in the entire world, click here.
Image of the ROM by Saku Takakusaki from Wikimedia Commons
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Posted by Leah Sandals at 8:13 PM