People Interact

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

Wandering Librarian: Westport Library

The first library in our new series is in the quaint town of Westport, CT. I decided to pop in and see why the Westport Library is a finalist for the 2015 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor given to museums and libraries.

Upon walking into the main area, I was flummoxed; they have an incredible MakerSpace. All I have to say is “they have robots!” westportrobotsBesides the robots, their MakerSpace is equipped with 3 3D printers and a Design-Thinking Center. Although after conversations with staff & patrons, the Design-Thinking Center seemed to be one of those timely grant initiatives that follow recent trends (all the buzz words were there; ideate, design-thinking, etc) but fail to capture the true purpose and objective of the trend.

Besides this detail, Westport has all the basics of a great library & them some. Overall, Westport is a user-centered library that pays attention to their patrons’ wants and needs.

Here’s a shortlist of some features that contribute to a great user experience:

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  • digital lending library of ebooks, videos, films, music & audiobook
  • tech petting zoo
  • old fashion typewriter (yes, some people still want to use these)
  • phone/tablet charging station
  • public coat hooks (a small but thoughtful detail)
  • gift shop & cafe
  • self-checkout kioks
  • book a librarian services
  • print, scan & fax service that accept old fashion cash
  • wireless printing

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