People Interact

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

Tag Archives: library

Wandering Librarian: Woodstock Library

A few months ago, I took a trip upstate NY and was walking around the town of Woodstock and stumbled across Woodstock Library; a friendly and small town library packed with reading glasses, a seed lending library, a red-eyed dragon named Fireball, and more. I enjoyed my visit. Check out the photo slideshow below.

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December 8th Online Conference – Driving Library Change with User Experience Design

Join us on December 8th at 3PM EST for “From UX Study to UX Service: Using People-Centered Research Methods to Improve the Public Library Experience” at the Driving Library Change with User Experience Design online conference.

Learn about how a user experience (UX) study on a self-service model led to the development of Book a Librarian, a personalized reference service model in the 5th largest public library in the United States. We will share the various methods used (word association, fly on the wall observations, etc) to evaluate the self-service model, analyze user interactions in the library, and identify gaps in library services. We will also share how we used user-centered research and design to plan and implement Book a Librarian service from start to finish. We will share how and where the UX approach fits into project management and also the various UX design methods used.

Wandering Librarian: South End Branch

IMG_20151008_101804Last summer, mixing work and play, I decided to embark on a story time tour of various libraries. Getting a word-of-mouth recommendation from a fellow mother, the South End Branch was on our list.

Like many smaller libraries, the South End Branch was unobtrusive and downright difficult to find. Entering what was once a school building, via the parking lot, we finally located the branch.

The next fantastic 1 1/2 hours made the search worth it. The  consideration of the staff for the morning program created a friendly and fun morning for the kids. The fact that the library was closed except for story time attendees helped in creating a great program. A mix of singing, free play, stories and snacks made this experience a definite repeat for this wandering librarian.

IMG_20151008_102741While limited in space and resources, the South End Branch manages to offer basic services to their community. Technology wise they have computers, internet, printers and cash-operated copiers. The collections shows the care which was taken in selecting materials suited for their diverse community. The staffs’ knowledge of their patrons’s names further exemplified the South End Branch’s commitment to excellent service. All in all, the South End Branch provided a delightfully intimate library experience for me and my family.


Wandering Librarian: Darien Library

metropolitan new york library council logoAs METRO User Experience (UX) Special Interest Group (SIG) co-conveners, we organized a group tour of Darien Library and its UX department last week. A big thanks to Darien Library for the great tour and their hospitality!

Darien Library

This is our 3rd or 4th visit (we kinda lost track) to Darien Library and we’re continually impressed with what they’re doing. Of course, we may be a little biased cause we’ve got a crush on Darien. Learn more about Darien Library from Alex’s presentation (slide deck) at our February 2015 METRO UX SIG meeting.

Check out the photo slideshow of the tour.

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Read more Darien blog posts.

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:


  • 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