Monday, March 20, 2017
Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center
10 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Offered with generous support from the
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region.
Everyone is invited! 


Symposium: 8 am – 5 pm
$120 symposium and reception
7 MLA CE Credits pending
Reception: 5 – 7 pm
$25 reception only
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“Using Ethnography and User Experience
in Health Sciences Libraries”







Pete Coco

“See Better, Fail Better, Repeat: User Experience in Your Library ”

There isn’t a patron in the world who comes to a library without a goal in mind. The goal itself, of course, will vary. Some goals will be simple, others complex. Some patrons won’t quite understand what they need and others will know it down to the last detail. At its most fundamental, user experience design is the idea that helping patrons meet their own goals is the highest purpose a library can have. To do this, we need to make understanding our users and their goals a part of our work not only every bit as fundamental as reference, circulation or collection development, but we need to understand even these services through its lens. By introducing and applying a methodology that we’ll call “see better, fail better, repeat,” we’ll take the first step towards improving the user experience that patrons have with our staff, services, and interfaces.

Pete Coco, MSLIS, MFA is the Web Services Librarian at the Boston Public Library and one of the founding editors of Weave: The Journal of Library User Experience, librarianship’s only peer-reviewed outlet focused exclusively on user experience. His writing and speaking engagements center on the connection between user experience (UX) and other elements of librarianship, including information literacy, collection development, service design and open access.















Nancy Fried Foster

“A User-Centered Approach to the Design of Health Sciences Libraries”

Our libraries provide inspiration and rich collections of resources and metadata, but they do not always align with our users current and emerging needs. As our organizations, the information landscape and information technologies continue their rapid evolution, we ask ourselves, “how we can bring library spaces, services, resources, and technologies into the future?” In this workshop, Nancy Foster will offer one way to address this challenge by discussing the uses, value, and methods of a user-centered approach to health sciences library design. This interactive workshop will start with an introduction to user-centered design. It will then provide an overview of tools to use in envisioning the future of a library and identifying important questions to answer. Participants will have an opportunity to experience some tools to increase their understanding of how user-centered design works. The workshop will conclude with a consideration of how to plan a project on a topic of interest to HSLANJ members that engages the relevant communities and uses evidence as the basis for design decisions.

Nancy Fried Foster, PhD is a design anthropologist who helps libraries, universities, and cultural institutions use ethnographic and participatory methods to understand their users and then design spaces, services, and technologies to meet their needs. Dr. Foster provides services through Nancy Foster | Design Anthropology. Formerly, she was the senior anthropologist at Ithaka S+R and served for ten years as director of anthropological research for the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries. Since 2009, she has worked with both U.S. and global library organizations to introduce participatory design and work-practice study to colleges and universities around the world via her popular workshops. Dr. Foster is also a co-author of The Living Library: An Intellectual Ecosystem (ACRL, 2015).

This project is funded in part by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number UG4LM012342 with the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System.

Please direct questions to Robb Mackes, HSLANJ Executive Director, (570) 856-5952 or

Registration form:

Registration deadline is Thursday, March 19, 2020.  You will receive an email confirmation, and invoices are processed every Friday morning.

Cost: $60.00 per person 

Cancellations cannot be accepted after Thursday, March 19, 2020.  Refunds cannot be issued for cancellations received after this date.

Mobile: (In case of emergency)
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