People Interact

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

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Wandering Librarian: Public Library of Valencia

IMG_20160601_190855Wandering across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, I made a visit to the Public Library of Valencia. Housed in an early 1400’s Greek cross structured building, what was once the Hospital for the Poor Innocents became the public library in 1979. Like most libraries confined to a historic building, library usability and navigation suffers. I had a difficult time even finding the entrance and had to walk around the entire outside before I found it. Despite the flag & arch in the photo, this door is not the entrance.

IMG_20160601_191924Once I was inside, I was floored by the beauty of the building. From the 2nd floor I got a better understanding of the layout; each wing of the building is a section of the collection. Although, the lack of map or floor plan made it difficult to tell where each section was.

From a quick walk around the building I garnered that the collection was organized by the Dewey system.  The infantile (children’s section) grouped titles by series or author’s collection. The infantile section to me was the most user friendly section. A padded and cushioned nook beckoned the tiny users to make themselves comfortable. IMG_20160601_191424IMG_20160601_191410

While the library has OPAC computers, self-checkout machines & computer terminals, the library needs way more in terms of upping the user experience; say basic signage. All in all, the library does what libraries are supposed  to do (provide informational, technological services etc.) but with less flare and ambition.


Upcoming Panel Discussion: Career Transitions for Librarians

A Panel Discussion on Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Transitioning to Another Type of Library

Wednesday, June 29th
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Baruch College, 151 East 25th Street

career-transitions.jpgInterested in learning strategies on making a major change in your career? Want to know how our colleagues have successfully refocused their own work by moving from one type of library to another successfully? This program brings together a panel of librarians who have worked in more than one type of library — special, public, academic, and more. Our colleagues will share their experiences, as well as the challenges and reward of making such career transitions.

Based on the newly published Career Transitions for Librarians, our panelists will provide thoughts, advice, and wisdom from librarians who have found occasion to make big changes in their career in libraries.


Note: The hot off the press Career Transitions for Librarians is co-edited by Davis Erin Anderson and Ray Pun, great colleagues and librarians.

Full disclosure: We contributed a chapter and will be a part of the panel discussion. See you there!

UX SIG Meeting: Hands on User Testing Session at NYU Libraries User Experience Department

Join METRO’s UX SIG and the NYU Libraries User Experience department in a hands on user testing session. We’ll meet in the Bobst Library lobby at 10am. Learn how we create scenarios and tasks, facilitate testing, as well as how we synthesize our observations for improved user experiences.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Getting Started in Project Management for Librarians – METRO Workshop

Project Management for Librarians: Upcoming Workshop

In case you missed our initial announcement last month, we’re doing a METRO workshop titled Getting Started in Project Management for Librarians. Join us on Tuesday, June 7th from 10am-1pm. Register at

Whether you’re organizing an event, renovating or rearranging a space, creating a program, or implementing a grant, you’re managing a project. Project management can help you manage projects more effectively and efficiently. Learn tools and techniques for successfully planning, organizing, and administering projects. To best respond to the constantly changing library world we will be sharing principles and concepts from design thinking and agile project management.

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Receive a basic overview of iterative and agile-like project management from a design thinking perspective
  • Gain knowledge to successfully manage a project cycle from start to finish through hands-on activities and exercises
  • Receive a project management toolkit
  • Learn about tools, strategies, and techniques to manage projects and teams better

Register at