Libraries and Technology

Anders Lyon, the Stacks Coordinator at Gleeson Library, attended the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Forum in Denver, November 9th-12th, 2017. LITA is a division of the American Library Association and this year’s annual conference focused on the intersection of libraries and technology. The topics covered data management, analytics, digital initiatives and user experience.

Of particular interest to Anders were sessions focused on user experience (UX). UX includes the library’s web environment as well as physical space. The focus of these sessions were methods of gathering user experience data which would be used in future project improvements/redesigns.

For example, in one presentation a mobile kiosk called the UX Cafe was set up in high traffic areas. Patrons were offered coffee and granola bars to participate in a brief study. For more on UX resources and blogs, check out UX for the Masses.

Anders noted that while Gleeson Library solicits feedback from the university community, establishing something similar to the UX Cafe here would formalize the process and increase the frequency of data collection. He proffered an example of a study where users would be asked to find a resource from the library’s digital collections. Administrators of the study would take notes as users describe the process of finding the resource. The results would be used to identify areas in need of improvement and to implement changes to the library’s online environment.