People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Monthly Archives: April 2012

Recap of METRO Workshop: DIY Usability & User Experience

DIY Usability & User Experience: Is Your Library People Focused?

With budget cuts and staff shortages, libraries are asked to do more with less. As a result, libraries are increasingly using technology, self-service models and other trends to make services and processes more efficient. What tends to be overlooked is how these implementations affect the overall library experience for patrons and staff. Is it really more efficient and efficiency at what cost? Whether your library is looking to renovate, relocate, rebrand, or introduce a new service/program, people-centered design is crucial to the process.

In this DIY-style workshop, you will learn to how use people-centered design methods at your library to help you plan, coordinate, assess and evaluate your services and processes to ensure that they are cost- and time-efficient. While you may not have the staff, time, or funding to do a full-fledged library usability and user experience study; together, participants will experience how to use these methods to make small changes for a big impact. Filled with examples, case studies, and activities, participants will leave this workshop with the framework and tools for completing their own DIY usability study.

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Global Librarian Project: Call for Proposals

METRO and ACRL/NY Announce Call for Proposals for Global Librarian Project

We are pleased to announce a call for proposals for a joint publication of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and the Greater New York Metropolitan Area Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Please read on for details.

Book Concept:

Twenty-first century librarians work in an increasingly global environment of diverse populations with a variety of needs. Innovative librarians have embraced the challenge of “going global.” They have identified and acquired the necessary skills to successfully navigate through this expanding environment, and have done much to reinvigorate the practice of librarianship, demonstrating the valuable role played by information specialists. Physical distance is no longer a barrier to excellence in library service, but rather a catalyst for the development of innovative ideas for the creation, organization, management, presentation and dissemination of information. As user-communities have moved beyond the traditional limits of our institutions, so too has our vision for the informational services we must be prepared to provide. While technology clearly has informed much of this recent transformation in librarianship, it has been the librarians themselves who have led the way in renewing the profession to accommodate a rapidly expanding, interconnected global community. Stretching, molding and applying the traditional concepts of library and information science in new, inventive ways, librarians around the globe have designed and implemented creative ways to serve the information needs of their patrons, wherever they may be. Librarians from all spheres — academic, public, school, private, corporate, not-for-profit — are joining this “innovative information revolution “ and forever changing the way in which information is created, organized and shared.

This publication will focus on the vital role played by librarians and information specialists in developing new programs and services which allow them to deliver quality information services in unique and sustainable ways. The multimedia scope of the publication encourages not only case studies, chapters and other text-based reporting, but also short film/video, songs/audio, podcast episodes, animation, etc. that further demonstrate the innovative techniques that librarians have successfully deployed to serve a global environment.

Chapters are sought for an anthology written by academic, special librarians, or LIS faculty sharing information on a unique job or role in librarianship. We want to capture how librarians are dealing with changes in reference, collection development, access, and technical services. Topics of specific interest are in areas of:

  • copyright
  • web services
  • teaching and learning, systems, and assessment.

Optimal chapters might include (but are not limited to) information about your role, position, or skill, helpful educational backgrounds, why this role/position was created, and how this role/skill is changing the profession. Chapters that take a data or research driven look at the changes in the profession over the last 20 years or the future of position in academic libraries are also sought.

Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to:

  • Intellectual Property and the Global Environment
  • Serving Populations Off the Grid
  • Community outreach (or Community Engagement)
  • Serving diverse/international populations
  • Librarians in worn-torn/underdeveloped countries
  • Librarian efforts in times of catastrophic disasters
  • Mobile, real-time librarians
  • International partnerships
  • Librarians in the virtual world
  • Services to indigenous populations
  • Librarians without borders
  • Librarians shaping geopolitical discourse
  • Library’s role in developing countries (BRIC)
  • Creating tools/platforms for disseminating information
  • Preserving cultural (autonomy? independence? or just “preserving culture”?) in increasingly globalized world
  • Crossing language barriers
  • Librarians without buildings/books
  • Librarians and social justice/responsibility movements


Submission of Chapter Proposals (500 words) due by: July 10, 2012
Notification of selected chapters: August 28, 2012
Drafts due: November 26, 2012
Final corrected drafts due: December 17, 2012

Target Audience:

The intended audience for this publication will be practicing librarians in all fields. It would also be of use to library and information science programs offering course work in the expanding role of the librarian.

Proposal Submissions:

All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind peer review basis. Chapters should be written in English using the 6th edition of APA format.

Completed chapters will be between 3000-5000 words in length. Authors are encouraged to include original charts, graphs, photos or other multimedia objects.

Non-traditional and multimedia texts will be accepted for consideration.

Please e-mail your Chapter Proposal (500 words) and a brief personal biography, as a Word attachment, to Your proposal should also include a chapter title. Use the phrase “Global Librarian Proposal” in the email subject line.

After careful review of all proposals, the Editorial Board will contact individuals to request full-length chapters. Further instructions and details will be provided at that time.

Questions and comments should be directed to Jason Kucsma ( or Caroline Fuchs (

Editorial Board:
Caroline Fuchs, Associate Professor/Outreach Librarian, St. John’s University
Jason Kucsma, Executive Director, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)
Lisa Chow, Web Analyst, Brooklyn Public Library
Sandra Sajonas, Business and Career Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library
Carrie Netzer Wajda, New Business Librarian, Y&R

About METRO:
The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) is a non-profit member services organization working to develop and maintain essential library services throughout New York City and Westchester County. For nearly 50 years, METRO has helped its members seize opportunities presented by continuously evolving constituent needs and technological advances. Bridging the intersection of library sciences, knowledge management, and technology innovation, METRO upholds traditional information information access ideals in an increasingly unmediated digital age.

About ACRL/NY:
ACRL/NY (The Greater New York Metropolitan Area Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries) is dedicated to improving library services, encouraging the exchange of ideas and information, providing networking opportunities for librarians and seeking greater cooperation among academic and research libraries. ACRL/NY promotes professional standards, mentors librarians, and enhances professional development through a variety of educational programs. The Chapter encourages local participation in national issues relating to academic and research libraries.

15 Free Ebooks about User Experience and Interface Design


Check out Paul Olyslager’s list of 15 free ebooks about UX and interface design.

We’re aiming to read all of them and will share our reviews.

Find out what else we are reading on  People Interact's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

So far, we’ve read “The Fable of the User-Centered Designer” by David Travis. It was a quick read with good tips for user-centered design.

Everyday Usability: Adaptive Services at DC Public Library

I recently visited the Adaptive Services Division at DC Public Library (DCPL) and talked with staff about their programs, services and resources.

Accessibility is a part of usability.

Adaptive Services Division
The Adaptive Services Division at DCPL helps people with disabilities better use the library.

Talking Book Machine

Talking Book Machine (Image Source: Library of Congress)

Adaptive Technologies
Adaptive technologies are available at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and a selection of technologies is at the branches. See the full list of adaptive technologies.

The staff showed me some of the adaptive technologies, including the talking book player that reads books aloud. The player is available for checkout.

Programs at DCPL Adaptive Services
Accessibility DC meetup meets on the third Tuesday of every month and is for people who are interested in accessibility to get together and share. This meetup came about from AccessibilityCampDC, an unconference on web accessibility. Accessibility NYC meetup is coming soon.

There’s an upcoming free event: Citywide Assistive Technology Expo for Intellectual Disabilities on Saturday, April 28 at DC Public Library. For more info and to register.

Learn more about DCPL Adaptive Services. If you are ever in the DC area and want to learn more about accessibility, be sure to check out the Adaptive Services Division at DCPL.

Thanks to the staff at DCPL Adaptive Services for taking the time to talk with me.

Free Seminars on Photoshop and Web Design

Noble Desktop

Want an introduction to Photoshop, web design or other computer graphics software?

Noble Desktop in NYC offers free in-person seminars as well as online seminars.

I attended a few seminars recently and learned some new things.