People Interact

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

Monthly Archives: May 2013

NYC Bike Share – Will it Work?

nyc-bike-shareIn a post many moons ago, we mentioned Washington DC’s bike share program; well now NYC has joined the game.

Bike share programs take advantage of the sharing economy of large cities and operate similar to Zipcar. The program allows riders to buy a pass, unlock a bike, ride their bike then return the bike to one of the stations. NYC is purported to be the largest program with 600 stations.

So far there have been mixed reviews and bad press. Just yesterday a man was reported to have been hit by an SUV while riding a NYC Bike Share bike.

While NYC may be creating more bike lanes and Department of Transportation claims a 73% decrease in the average risk of a serious injury experienced by commuter cyclists in NYC and a doubling of bike commuters, the city is still not conducive to biking.

bike commute usa

NYC is not even in the top 20 cities with most miles of bike paths per 100k population in the USA according to the League of American Bicyclist.

This same league also gives NYC a silver out of its bronze, silver, gold and platinum award level of bicycle friendly communities.

For now my bike will stay in my apartment gathering dust until NYC moves up in the rank of bicycle friendly cities.

So for now we’ll abstain from using the Bike Share Program for commuting until we hear more positive reviews.


HealthCampNYC: Using Collective Knowledge to Improve Health Literacy and Community Health Through Unconferences

I recently presented a poster session on HealthCampNYC: Using Collective Knowledge to Improve Health Literacy and Community Health Through Unconferences at the Medical Library Association 2013 Conference – One Health: Information in an Interdependent World.

More info
HealthCampNYC wiki
HealthCampNYC summary report
LibGuide on unconferences

The unconference concept is new to some attendees. Many of the attendees are interested in organizing unconferences at their libraries and organizations.

Unconferences is one of our areas of focus. Contact us for more info.

Backpack, Backpack!

doraRecently, on a successful jaunt to Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), I found the backpack of my dreams. I’ve spent time looking for a day pack sans all the padding that adds weight to the pack. Most packs I’ve seen are expensive, canvas and weighted 13 oz- 1lb empty. I find most packs have extraneous padding, straps and buckles. I’m not Dora, I don’t need a purple talking backpack. My needs are pretty simple.

packable packJust as I was about to walk out of EMS, I stopped at a bin by the exit that carried these $40 packs. These nylon, 9 oz packs can be stuffed into its top pocket for easy storage. There are water-bottle holders on the sides. The packs have about 1500 cu. in. of volume. The downsides are that the pack is not waterproof and do not have the built-in internal frame for carrying comfort.  All in all, for a $40 pack I’m very pleased. Take that Dora!

What’s your backpack story? Do you use backpacks? Do you have the backpack of your dreams? 

How to Spring Clean Your Online Presence

SpringFlowers are blooming. Birds are chirping. Spring is here. It’s time to spring clean your online presence.

Here are some ways to get you started:

Update your LinkedIn profile.
Add new information (i.e. attended any classes/training recently?). Clean up your LinkedIn group memberships.

Update your e-portfolio.
Look for and fix broken links. (I just fixed some links on my e-portfolio. Some library associations and groups have recently launched redesigned websites, resulting in broken links.)

Google yourself and/or set a Google Alert.
What’s out there about you?

Monthly Method Spotlight: 5 Whys

whyWhat: 5 Whys

When/why: This method is a quick and easy way of problem solving or a conversation starter to get to the root cause of a problem.

How: 1. Write down the specific problem or issue. E.g. a patron’s item hold is not waiting on the hold shelf for them.

2. Ask a why question & write the answer down. – Q: Why was the patron notified if the item is not there? A: The item was registered but not put on the shelf

3. Repeat step 2 four more times with a different why question related to the specific problem or issue. You may ask more or less than 5 why questions to get to the root cause.

Tips: “If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis. Only the inquiring mind solves problems.” – Edward Hodnett


Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for more info.