The Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium, An Astounding 90 Years of Analog Science Fiction and Fact

City Tech’s annual Sci-Fi Symposium kicked off, as usual, with a beautifully crafted library exhibit which made great use of all four of our exhibition cases. The items featured brought together various City Tech contributors with works created by Analog magazine, this year’s symposium partner.

“The exhibits were a collaboration between City Tech and Analog Science Fiction and Fact. City Tech Student Design Intern Julie Bradford created the symposium poster, Prof. Ellis designed posters on the City Tech Science Fiction Collection and the history of the City Tech Science Fiction Symposium, Analog designed posters highlighting the symposium speakers, a timeline of the magazine’s long history, and Analog supplied the cover artwork that fills in the background of each display case. Artifacts in each case were pulled from the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, including the Jan. 1934 issue of Astounding. ” – Professor Ellis

Main Display case highlighting the 4th Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium in celebration of 90 years of Analog SF. Courtesy of Professor Jason Ellis.
Display case highlighting the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. Courtesy of Professor Jason Ellis.
Display case highlighting the published work of speakers at the 4th annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium. Courtesy of Professor Jason Ellis.
Display case highlighting the history of the annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium. Courtesy of Professor Jason Ellis.

On December 12, 2019 over 100 attendees, many of whom traveled from out of town to participate, gathered in the Academic Complex to celebrate Analog, their contributors and our historic Science Fiction collection.

Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium Poster by Julie Bradford.

Visit the collection’s OpenLab page to view the program of the day’s events, video of the readings and panel presentations, peruse the live finding aid, or to learn more about the collection.

The Library’s New Responsive Website Redesign 2015-05-27 15-45-31by Prof. Junior Tidal

The Ursula C. Schwerin Library launched a major redesign during April 2015. Using the results of on-going and previous usability studies, the library website is easier to use, accessible, and most importantly, user-centered. Some of these features include incorporating responsive design practices and an upgraded content management system (CMS).

Responsive design is a technique that promotes the unification of a singular user experience across a multitude of devices. In other words, using the library’s new website should be similar if viewed on a desktop workstation, tablet, or Smartphone. This redesign is a response to the increase of phones and tablets connecting to the library website. According to the library’s analytics data, visits from mobile devices has doubled since the previous academic year.

The library website is powered by the Drupal 7 content management system. Popular among libraries, this open-source CMS is supported by a highly active community of users and developers. The system uses the Bootstrap web front-end framework, which is inherently accessible and responsive. Notable changes include integration with Google’s calendar API, the library’s blog LibraryBuzz, and social media networks including Twitter and Instagram.

Most importantly, the library’s new website will provide easier access to our resources. Electronic resources, the new OneSearch discovery layer, and access to library news and events are a click or a touchscreen tap away.

Source: Newsletter

Interview with Prof. Suzanne Miller, English Department

Suzanne Miller - Headshot
Interviewed by Prof. Anne Leonard
For our Spring 2015 issue, Prof. Anne Leonard, coordinator of library instruction and information literacy, interviews Prof. Suzanne Miller of the English department. For the past several semesters, Suzanne has worked with instruction librarians to bring her ENG 1101 students to the library for one additional research workshop, which is led by a librarian. Students prepare for this session by selecting a research topic. During the workshop, they search and evaluate articles, books, and other sources that fulfil the research requirement of their writing assignment. The extra session affords time for consultation about search strategies and keywords with a librarian as well as feedback about their topics from Professor Miller.
AL: Please tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been teaching at City Tech? Can you tell us a little about what you did before coming here?
SM: This is my sixth year at City Tech. I was an adjunct for two years before moving to a substitute line in the English Department. I joined the department as a full-time faculty member in the Fall of 2013. Before City Tech, I worked in the New York public schools as an artist-in-residence, teaching playwriting to fifth graders. If we want to go way back, I did this sort of work in Seattle and in Providence, while I was a graduate student at Brown (I received my MFA in playwriting in 1998.) While in Providence, I taught writing and theater courses at Brown and at the Rhode Island School of Design. All along, I’ve been working as a playwright.  I live in the Prospect Lefferts neighborhood of Brooklyn with my husband, two daughters (Margaret, 10 and Eloise, 9), and our labradoodle, Teddy.
AL: Why is the library important to your teaching? What does the library offer to you and your students?
SM: The students are savvy in many ways when it comes to gathering information, but they are not so savvy when it comes to distinguishing between good and bad sources. The librarians and the library instruction sessions give the students a basic understanding of what sources (both electronic and print) are out there, and how to recognize the credible ones. The library is essential to my teaching, especially when it comes to the research component of the writing courses. Without the librarians and the library instruction sessions, most students would rely solely on Internet search engines without knowing how to distinguish between good and bad sources.
AL: What abilities do your students come away with from their library instruction sessions?
SM: I think the students gain an awareness of what’s available beyond the Internet. Even if they are not convinced about actually using the library databases or print materials, the students leave the library sessions with a sense that there’s life beyond Google! Also, just being physically in the library is important. Sometimes the students do not know where the library is—and often they don’t know what the library has to offer beyond being a place to study and check out books. It’s great to make them aware of the reference librarians, for example.
AL: Can you describe the value that these abilities have for you students beyond the classroom, and beyond their course of study at City Tech?
SM: One of the most important life skills that students will hopefully take away from the library is learning to question the sources that they find online or anywhere— to develop a “don’t believe everything you read” mindset. Although the students may have this mindset regarding what they read on social media, they sometimes think that whatever information they find online with regard to research is fine and true. If we can teach students to approach their information sources with a healthy dose of skepticism, this will help them in their studies and in their lives.
AL: Is there anything more you’d like to see in City Tech Library?
I had occasion to use one of the small, private study rooms recently (to conduct a short rehearsal for a play reading), and I found it very helpful to have this space available. I think encouraging students to form study groups in the library (and to use these private rooms) would be a great way to help them improve their study habits and academic performance.
AL: What would you tell a colleague from another department to encourage them to bring their class to the library for an instruction session?
Many of the students are unaware of the resources available to them—especially the library databases. And even if the students are aware of the library resources, they may be intimidated by them. The instruction sessions give students a sense of how to navigate the databases; in addition, these sessions give the students a personal introduction to the library. I hope this personal touch makes it more likely that students will visit the library either in person or online.  In addition, I would say that while these sessions are, of course, focused on the students’ needs, I’ve also learned a lot about the library databases from the librarians, and I’ve used this knowledge to help me design my courses and in my own research.
Source: Newsletter

Student Reading for Pleasure: Graphic Novels and Prize Winners

by Prof. Monica Berger

Research shows that there is a relationship between recreational reading and the success of college students as undergraduates and in the workplace. Students who read for pleasure have better overall reading comprehension, increased verbal fluency, and develop greater critical thinking skills. The problem is that leisure reading of literary works has declined as the Internet and online culture has risen.

To address this issue, libraries create dedicated leisure reading collections for browsing. These collections help get books into students’ hands and ultimately stimulate student reading for enrichment and pleasure. At City Tech, we’ve have two longstanding, chiefly literary, collections: books in English and books in other languages including Chinese, Russian, and Spanish. These books are located under the main stairwell in the library that connects the library’s two floors.

A few years ago, we decided to develop a graphic novels collection. The books we bought were located in different parts of the library. Observing that City Tech students like to browse books and knowing that our library is fairly large with over 200,000 print volumes, we recognized that it might be challenging for our students to locate and browse our graphic novels. The solution was to arrange our over 250 graphic novels in one place.

Our graphic novels are now found under the stairwell, on the left side of the staircase when facing the plasma screen. Arranged by call number in their new location display, they can still be searched in the library’s catalog. Our collection features a wide variety of graphic novels and cartoon-related books including manga, underground comics, superhero comics, graphic novelizations of literary works, and covers subjects including science and history.AwardWinnerDisplaySign

Highly-regarded literary works are also mixed into our collection. In order to highlight some of the best poetry, fiction, and plays in the library, we created a new book display of award-winning books. This display greets students as they enter the library. We swap in a few new, different books every week as books get borrowed. These prize-winning books will stay on the display for the indefinite future. These examples of excellent writing will, we hope, inspire and excite our students and encourage them to explore further reading.

Source: Newsletter

City Tech Librarians Help Organize First Critlib Unconference in Portland

by Prof. Anne Leonard

A national discussion on critical librarianship has been taking place in libraries, on social media, and at professional conferences. Inspired by critical pedagogy, critical librarianship questions and contests traditional, oppressive power structures in libraries and institutions and strives to make library practice more just, equitable, and inclusive. City Tech librarians helped create an opportunity for an intensive set of discussions around issues related to this effort. Organized in part by Maura Smale, Ian Beilin, and Anne Leonard, the critlib unconference took place at Portland State University on March 25, in conjunction with the ACRL Conference at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

Unlike a traditional conference, an unconference is a meeting during which all discussion is determined by participants, and formal panels and presentations are rejected in favor of unscripted discussions. More information about the critlib unconference can be found on the website . A summary of social media posts can be found on Storify.

Source: Newsletter

Usability and the Mobile Web

by Prof. Junior Tidal

Prof. Junior Tidal, Multimedia & Web Services Librarian, recently published a book entitled “Usability and the Mobile Web: A LITA Guide” published under the American Libraries Association TechSource imprint. Usability is the measurement of how well a website functions to support users in efficiently finding and retrieving  information. The guide uses several examples that have driven the Ursula C. Schwerin Library website’s usability testing. The Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Guides provide information on emerging technologies applicable to libraries.

The book examines various aspects of mobile web usability. This includes a survey of devices, the concept of the mobile context, defining and differentiating mobile apps, websites, and hybrids, and the programming languages and frameworks to create these systems. The guide also provides sample usability tests, including scripts, consent forms, and analysis matrices. Readers will also learn how to apply usability testing data to make more effective user-centered designed websites.

The book is available at the Ursula C. Schwerin Library.

Source: Newsletter

City Tech Library Faculty Scholarship

Compiled by Prof. Monica Berger

Here are some of our recent publications and presentations:

Almeida, N. (2015, Feb). MOOCs as Microcosm: Rethinking Knowledge Production & Dissemination. Presentation at the Electronic Resources and Libraries Conference, Austin, TX.
Almeida, N. (2014). Possible Futures: E-Reserves, Decentralization, and Collaboration. Journal Of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserves, 24(3/4), 77-89.

Berger, Monica, and Jill Cirasella. “Beyond Beall’s List: Better Understanding Predatory Publishers.” College & Research Libraries News 76.3 (2015): 132-5. <>

Berger, Monica. “My Not so-Secret Life as a Rock and Roll Librarian.” LACUNY News 33:2, Dec. 2014. <>.

Berger, Monica. “On Being a Rock and Roll Librarian,” Grace-Ellen McCrann Memorial Lectures, Library Association of the City University of New York, New York, NY, December 11, 2014.

Berger, Monica. “What is Publication Quality? Generating Conversations,” Library Association of the City University of New York, Scholarly Communications Roundtable, May 7, 2015.

Ian Beilin and Anne Leonard co-facilitated a roundtable discussion, “Sharing Strategies for Engaging Students in a Critical Information Literacy Approach to Library Instruction,” at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference in Portland, OR in March.

Cooney, C., Gold, M., Smyth, P., and Zweibel, S. (2015, January). DH Box: a push-button digital humanities laboratory. Presented at the METRO annual conference, Baruch College, New York, NY.

Regalado, M., and Smale, M. A. (forthcoming, November 2015). “I am more productive in the library because it’s quiet:” Commuter Students in the College Library. College & Research Libraries. Retrieved from

Rosen, J. R., and Smale, M. A. (2015). Open Digital Pedagogy = Critical Pedagogy. Hybrid Pedagogy. Retrieved from


Lanclos, D., Smale, M. A., Asher, A., Regalado, M., and Gourlay, L. (2015, March). The topography of learning: Using cognitive mapping to evolve and innovate in the academic library. Panel presented at the Association of College & Research Libraries 2015 National Conference, Portland, OR.

Regalado, M., Smale, M. A., and Albarillo, F. (2015, March). Assessment in focus: Conducting effective interviews and focus groups, workshop at the Metropolitan New York Library Council, NY.

Smale, M. A., and Regalado, M. (2014, October). “Anytime I’m on the train, I would just type it up:” Commuter Students Using Technology, keynote at the York College Symposium on Teaching and Learning with Technology, NY.

Tidal, J. (2015). Usability and the Mobile Web: A LITA Guide. Chicago: American Libraries Association, TechSource.

Tidal, J. (2015). One Site to Rule Them All: Usability Testing of a Responsively Designed Library Website. Presented at the Academic Research and College Libraries Conference, Portland, OR.

Tidal, J., Zweibel, S. (2015). Bootstrap Basics. Presented at the LACUNY Emerging Technologies Committee Workshop, New York, NY.

King, E., Klish, H., Miller, D. Tidal, J. (2015). Decoding Code Words. Presented at the American Libraries Association Midwinter Meeting: LITA/ALCTS Joint Interest Group: Library Code Year, Chicago, IL.

Source: Newsletter

Resources of Special Interest to Classroom Faculty

By Prof. Monica Berger

For your scholarship and general reading, don’t forget that the library provides unlimited access to the New York Times via the New York Times Digital Pass. You will need to sign up following the directions provided in this earlier article from Library Liaison. Once you have created your account, you should login directly from the NY Times website. If you need access to .pdf facsimiles of the Times for historical research, try the New York Times Historical.

Did you know we have unlimited access to the Chronicle of Higher Education? Enjoy access to all the content on the Chronicle’s site without any waiting period for access.

FireShot Capture - • Statista - The Statistics Portal for Market Data, M_ - http___www.statista.com_Two special library offers that your students will love are EasyBib and Statista. EasyBib is a student-oriented tool for managing citations. EasyBib also helps students learn various aspects of writing and preparing research papers and presentations. All users need to register in order to set up an account in order to save their work. Statista  is a statistics portal integrating data and facts in diverse subjects. It includes reports, infographics, and data that can be downloaded and exported in various formats. Lastly, CREDO is a student-friendly collection of encyclopedia content that will help your students at the early stages of their research.

Don’t forget to access our resources via the library’s website for easy linking and seamless authentication from off-campus.

Source: Newsletter

Internet Resource of Interest: The Grey Literature Report By Prof. Joan Grassano

Looking for a fact sheet on gun violence and children?  An analysis of racial and ethnic health care disparities in the U.S. male population?  A report examining the impact of the Affordable Care Act on women’s health?  Try The Grey Literature Report, an online publication of the New York Academy of Medicine Library (NYAM). The Grey Literature Report is an invaluable resource for health services research.  Both a current awareness service and a searchable database, The Grey Literature Report helps readers identify and access grey literature documents in the NYAM’s specialty areas of health policy, public health, urban health, global health, prevention, elimination of health disparities, and healthy aging.
What is grey literature? The NYAM Library accepts the definition adopted at the Fourth International Conference of Grey Literature, held in Washington, D.C. in October 1999:  “that which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers” (as cited in “What Is Grey”).   To view the extensive list of organizations (with URLs) that contribute documents to The Grey Literature Report, follow this link.  Document types include, but are not limited to, case studies, conference proceedings, fact sheets, issue briefs, research reports, statistical reports and white papers.
The NYAM Library applies a highly selective collection development policy to The Grey Literature Report, a particular strength of this resource.  The Report is limited primarily to research-level documents directed at members of the health care community, including researchers, practitioners, academics, policymakers and students.  Consumer health information is, generally, not selected.
Health professions faculty, we encourage you to explore The Grey Literature Report to see what it has to offer you and your students.  Freely accessible on the web at, the Report is issued six times per year.  The database, which contains documents produced from the late 1990s to the present, is also updated on a bimonthly basis.  The NYAM invites readers to register for a free subscription to The Grey Literature Report by completing a supplied form.  If you have any questions about this exciting resource, please contact Prof. Joan Grassano by phone (x5478) or email (

What We’re Reading!!

Summertime, and the reading is easy… or challenging, or inspiring, or thought-provoking, as the case may be. Many City Tech library faculty take advantage of the slower summer months to catch up on their reading, and this past summer was no different. From the cool rainy days of June through the heat wave of July and a surprisingly-pleasant August, librarians read a variety of books for leisure, scholarship, and research. Here several City Tech library faculty discuss their favorite reads of the summer, many of which are available to borrow from our library (or other CUNY libraries).
Ian Beilin, Assistant Professor, Instruction Librarian
MP3: The Meaning of a Format by Jonathan Sterne
A fascinating, intricately woven contribution to the history of technology and of audio technology specifically, Jonathan Sterne’s MP3: The Meaning of a Format traces the origins of today’s most commonly used music format, the MP3, far back in history. The book reveals much more than just the history of a particular format. In the course of his research, Sterne discovered that the story of the MP3’s genesis is composed of many strands, and in order to tell this this story explores a wide variety of subjects, including the development of telephone technology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hearing research, and economic and cultural history, just to name a few. One of the primary lessons of his research is that new formats are heavily dependent on previous formats, and are profoundly shaped by the presuppositions, experiences, limitations, and specific interests of the people who create them. Formats are not only technological solutions to technological problems; they are also have political, economic, and aesthetic dimensions. In the case of the MP3, Sterne shows how a relatively small group of people drew on a long tradition of audio, hearing and communications research, as well as their own aesthetic and ideological assumptions (both conscious and unconscious) to create the formal standard now known as “MP3.” Like all good historians, Sterne explains that what has become common and universal is actually just one possible outcome among many possible ones, and by no means the most desirable. His story reminds us that our world is made up of objects, institutions, and structures that, far from natural or inevitable, are contingent, unstable, and always subject to change and challenge.
Monica Berger, Associate Professor, Electronic Resources and Technical Services Librarian
Lost Worlds: Adventures in the Tropical Rainforest by Bruce M. Beehler
I heard the author, an ornithologist and leading international nature conservationist, give a talk about his experiences discovering new bird species in remote parts of Papua New Guinea. Since he was such a good speaker, I thought I’d give his memoir, Lost Worlds, a try. Although I enjoyed the stories about horrible living conditions in the field and near-death escapes as well as the author’s other adventures in the different countries where he worked, the most interesting part of the book was learning about the politics of development. Conservationists, in competition with oil and mineral companies, need to create genuine and mutual relationships with indigenous groups or the likelihood of habitat destruction in the name of profit is highly probable.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
Grann, a New Yorker contributor, recently wrote a great article on an American who had a tragic involvement with Fidel Castro. Having read an excerpt from The Lost City of Z years ago, I thought this would be a good summer read. The book is about the many explorers who tried to find El Dorado, a lost, golden city, in the Amazon, particularly an explorer named Fawcett who disappeared into the jungle in the 1920s. Grann retraces Fawcett’s steps. The author’s startling discovery is revealed in the final pages of the book.
Cailean Cooley, Lecturer, Administrative Support Librarian
Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street by Herman Melville
I first read this story in high school, and became interested in giving it a fresh look when a friend mentioned it in conversation. I couldn’t remember how the tale ended, but recalled that much of the story possesses a singularly dark flare that I really treasure. When reading it again this summer I was delighted to be chaperoned through the story by a narrator with such preposterous candor and ceremonial hubris. At one moment I believed the storyteller had cast himself as the satirical, omnipotent patriarch (all the while convincing me that he was in actuality, a witty, self-deprecator we could all adore). But the next minute I was convinced that a more lonely or pitiful soul could not be found on Wall Street. Melville’s occasional colloquialisms aren’t a hindrance for the reader, but rather quite charming. In fact, his ability to weave an element of charm through his prose, despite the story’s overwhelming thread of unrest, is quite genius. I highly recommend this short story for the first (or fifth) time. I downloaded the digitized copy by Project Gutenberg using my iBooks app, which made reading this classic easy and fun!
Bronwen Densmore, Assistant Professor, Instructional Design Librarian
Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries by Jon Ronson
I became aware of Jon Ronson’s work through the public radio show, This American Life, where he is a frequent contributor. Some readers may also be familiar with some of Ronson’s previous books, (The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Psychopath Test), where he delves into fringe beliefs and institutional culture (at the same time). Lost at Sea, Ronson’s most recent book is a collection of recent magazine publications loosely organized around the notion of the eccentric personality, and includes interviews with robots, Juggalos and Indigo Children. Ronson himself is probably as much of an eccentric as many of the subjects of his interviews, which make his interactions over the course of this book both sympathetic and entertaining.
Anne Leonard, Assistant Professor, Instruction/Reference Librarian
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
I did not set out to read highly-praised, much-blogged-about fiction this summer, but some now-forgotten online review led me to pick this up. If fiction set in and around university life is a genre, then I am a fan of that genre. The narrator of this novel is the daughter of an aloof and troubled psychology professor who regards his family members as potential laboratory subjects. The action shifts between the narrator’s childhood and her own college years, and the narrator’s stark self-awareness, combined with growing isolation and near-muteness that overtakes her in late adolescence, is wrenching and mysterious. It is not until nearly halfway into the book that a key event in the narrator’s childhood is revealed, which sets in motion the narrator’s search for love, identity, forgiveness and family. Happily, I avoided the many spoilers appearing all over the Internet and was remained engrossed by the narrator’s parallel tales of complex sibling relationships in her early childhood and the lengths she goes to in early adulthood to heal from devastating trauma.
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
I hope I’m not the only reader of to read this less like a cookbook and more like an extremely compelling encyclopedia, picking, choosing, and jumping around. Its organizing scheme is intuitive but nontraditional; instead of grouping recipes by meal or function, the book is organized by botanical family. Thus recipes for the beloved nightshades or Solanaceae are grouped together – tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers – and so are recipes that use the beloved and aromatic members of the Lily or Liliaceae family, including onions, garlic, leeks, and asparagus. A somewhat new but enthusiastic and successful gardener, Madison’s tales of raising many of these vegetables in her New Mexico garden are alluring to any garden-less city dweller, and she disperses practical advice about vegetable cultivation on every page. Madison’s recipes are elegant and unpretentious, yet homey and achievable. It is a true pleasure to read a cookbook authored by a passionate chef and eater who endorses no dogma, doctrine, or rigid eating style, but gracefully coaxes the best from simple and fresh ingredients.
Maura Smale, Associate Professor, Information Literacy Librarian
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
I’d been meaning to pick this up when it was published last year, and was reminded of it recently when it was mentioned by several academics that I follow on Twitter. Blurbed as “a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century,” this novel is a fast, fun read that’s perfect for the summer. The protagonist is a twentysomething out-of-work designer in San Francisco named Clay who literally stumbles into a job on the night shift at a round-the-clock bookstore. As one might suspect (because what bookstore is open 24 hours a day?), Clay soon discovers that the bookstore is but one piece in a giant game-like puzzle, with various players striving to break a mysterious code. Of course, the plot soon thickens; I won’t spoil anything by revealing that it involves both cutting-edge information technology from Google as well as an ancient secret literary society. Mr. Penumbra was a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish.
Too Big To Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger
I enjoyed Weinberger’s previous book—Everything is Miscellaneous—while working towards my master’s degree in library and information science, especially his discussion of information classification systems (and what librarian wouldn’t?). Weinberger is a researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and his most recent book tackles the effects that the increasingly networked nature of information has on our ability to build and share knowledge. The book covers topics that are likely familiar to those of us who work with information in its many forms, from information overload to crowdsourcing (think Wikipedia) to homogeneity of ideas (often called the “filter bubble”). Weinberger’s measured discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of networked information is fascinating reading that manages to be both concise and thought-provoking. I’m thinking about assigning parts of this the next time I teach our library course LIB 1201: Research and Documentation in the Information Age.
Junior Tidal, Assistant Professor, Multimedia and Web Services Librarian
User Experience (UX) Design for Libraries by Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches
This summer I’ve been catching up on some reading, and I recently read through this book on UX or user experience. User experience is the measurement of quality dictated by a user or group of users regarding a system. While UX is typically applicable to websites, it can also be used for other tasks involving an interaction that must be completed. The authors review some very low-tech methods, such as card sorting, surveys, and interviews, that can be uses to improve websites. Card sorting asks users to label cards and arrange them the way that they think works best for the names of links on a website. Based on this input, administrators can improve the website to make for an easier browsing experience. Not only can this make the website easier to use, but it can also provide data to support important design decisions. Although this book is specifically geared towards librarians and libraries, it would also be a good read for anyone creating websites used by a wide range of people. The book takes into account balancing the needs of users, libraries, and organizations. This tends to get overlooked as websites are developed with considerable effort, but are underutilized.
–Compiled by Prof. Maura Smale