This report looks at how staff at eight academic institutions gained new insight about how students and faculty use their libraries, and how the staff are using these findings to improve library technologies, space, and services.
Participatory design is a relatively recent approach to understanding library user behavior. It is based on techniques used in anthropological and ethnographic observation. The report’s editor, anthropologist Nancy Fried Foster, led several participatory design workshops for CLIR from 2007 to 2013.
The report is based on a series of presentations at the second CLIR Seminar on Participatory Design of Academic Libraries, held at the University of Rochester’s River Campus June 5-7, 2013.