People Interact

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

Tag Archives: library

New Series: Wandering Librarian

In the past, we’ve posted about our visits to various libraries. We’ve finally decided to make a series out of these visits. Keep an eye out for our new series Wandering Librarian in which we share our thoughts about the libraries we visit.

Past visits:

Austin Public Library

Culebra, PR

Darien, CT



Next METRO User Experience (UX) SIG Meeting: Darien UX Tour

metropolitan new york library council logoJoin us on Wednesday, May 6 from 10am-1pm for our next METRO UX SIG meeting at Darien Library where we’ll be a getting tour of the library with a focus on their UX department. Optional lunch and networking following the tour. For more info and to register.

Check out our posts about Darien Library. Yes, Darien is on our list of favorite libraries 🙂

Webinar: Assessing and Improving Your Library Website

ny3rslogo2On Tuesday, I attended the first of NY3Rs Association’s webinars in a series on website UX presented by Aaron Schmidt of Team Influx, a library user experience group.

This first webinar, titled Assessing and Improving Your Library Website: Usability and Conventions, focused on basic website usability. Covering navigation, scope, rewrite, mobility,  and iteration, Aaron discusses website conventions. Complete with website screenshots, Aaron gives the good, bad & ugly of sample library websites.

Overall,  a very concise and informative presentation. I will surely be attending next week’s webinar on October 7th.


Sacramento Public Library: Central Library

library-picWhile on a trip to flee the East Coast storms, a visit to Sacramento included a stop at the Sacramento Central Library. The largest of Sacramento’s 28 libraries is a Carnegie building with a more recent attachment; resulting in a very spacious library. At the time, the Carnegie building was inaccessible except for the Sacramento Room housing all things Sacramento.

Greeted by the usual circulation desk, catalog computers and self check-out kiosks, navigating the rest of the main floor was difficult because of the lack of signage. There was no large floor plan to refer to. Instead, it took about 10 minutes of hunting down a library brochure located at the end of the circulation desk hidden by other brochures before I was able to find a floor plan.

I Street PressMap in hand, I continued my tour to the second floor and the impressive genealogy center where patrons can schedule one-on-one sessions with a genealogist. This floor also housed the GED and passport offices as well as the I Street Press. This is the library’s community publishing center which is also where the print-on-demand Espresso Book Machine is located. 

National  Geographic Magazines

Highlights of Visit:

  • Cleanest public restrooms ever
  • Collection of National Geographic Magazines
  • Allow to pay cash/coin to print
  • JAWS reader computer program for visually impaired
  • Friendly staff
  • Book club led by English professors
  • Patrons can see a 3D printer in action at the Arcade Library

deaf collection

Low lights of Visit:

  • Minimal signage on main floor
  • Was not able to find braille collection but did find a small “deaf collection” 
  • Was not able to tour the Carnegie building

Despite these minor low lights, the visit was enjoyable.  All in all, a very impressive library.

METRO New York Library Council Presents: Web Usability Testing for Libraries

logoTue, Oct. 1, 2013. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. US/Eastern

57 East 11th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003
United States

Check out this workshop being co-delivered by our very own Lisa!

Have you ever wondered what users really think of your library’s website? Learn how to incorporate something that is too often missing in web design: the user perspective. The session will include a discussion of why usability testing is important and easier to implement than you might think, a live demonstration of a real usability test, and hands-on training on how to conduct “discount” usability testing.

Who should attend:
Anyone interested in improving their library’s Web site, including those who work in academic, public, or special libraries.

By the end of this program, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of usability testing
  • Understand how to conduct their own tests
  • Know where to find more information and resources