MARS Committee Reports

User Experience Design Committee
After an exciting and productive inaugural program at Midwinter, we are hosting our first official event in Chicago. Guest speakers LeiLani Freund and Michele Crump, both of University of Florida, will present the fascinating data published in their new book, Meeting the Needs of Student Users in Academic Libraries: Reaching Across the Great Divide. Their presentation is called, How Wide the Divide—Why We Are Still Asking? In 2011/12, the presenters examined the perceptions and preferences of users and library staff in the information commons (IC) environment. Two survey instruments, one for library users and one for library staff, measured responses to same or similar questions asked of IC users and staff at five academic university libraries throughout the United States. With the analysis of the Crump/Freund surveys, the presenters discuss the perceptions of library staff and library users to confirm the existence of a divide and determine if assessing the user experience will offer strategies to narrow the divide. Will asking the users about their library needs bring about a real understanding of library services? Can academic libraries put the users and their needs at the center of service development and if they do, will this revitalize the library as more than “place”? The presenters will involve the audience through discussion of assessment practices and implementations. Their examples ask the user to participate in the library community, a community defining every user as a distant learner and incorporating mobile technology to access resources at point of need.

The presentation will take place at 1:00-2:30 PM on Saturday, June 29 in the McCormick Place Convention Center, room N135.

Melissa Clapp
Chair, User Experience Design Committee, 2012-2013