By Maurini Strub
It’s been over a year since the east wing of the 1st floor of Ekstrom Library was renovated. We hope that during this time you’ve enjoyed using the space, and maybe discovered a new favorite spot.
Before the renovation, we collected feedback on your needs, desires and difficulties, and that data helped inform the design of the space. Design solutions include a clearly identified, “one-stop shopping” service desk; enhanced technology support and printing services; an intuitive approach to the layout of services and spaces; and a mixture of learning and study spaces.
Assessing how well we met our goals is the focus of a survey we’ll be conducting through April 25. As you walk through the first floor-east, you’ll see some questionnaires, and a large red box as you enter the east lobby (see photos).
The survey seeks to discover your satisfaction with these improved learning spaces, how these spaces have impacted your success at UofL, your experience using our services, and the value of collocating some of our primary services. Concurrently, we’ll conduct periodic observations and review collections usage data.
We’d love to hear about your experience in these new spaces. Please feel free to complete this very short questionnaire or fill out the paper one and leave it in the red box in the lobby!
As Ekstrom Library continues to look at its spaces, we’re about to embark on an assessment of the east side of the first floor. Over the next four months, we’ll be using a variety of methods to look at how people use this space, including:
- Whiteboards,with a theme or question
- Quick polls (mini-surveys)
- Focus groups
To help us better shape this space, we want to learn more about what:
- Brings you to the library
- You do or what services you use while here
- Works well (and what we could be doing better)
You may notice some observations as early as next week; will start seeing the first round of polls and whiteboards around mid January; and, calls for focus group participation by the end of January. Keep an eye out for opportunities to join the conversation! It’s a chance for you to have your voice heard and influence how we use our spaces. We’re all (eyes and) ears and excited to learn from you!
By Melissa Laning and the new faculty
Melissa Laning is an Associate Dean at the University of Louisville Libraries.
Sarah-Jane Poindexter joined the libraries’ faculty as Archivist for Manuscript Collections/Co-director of the Oral History Center on January 2, 2013. Prior to joining the University of Louisville Libraries, Sarah-Jane was Associate Curator of Special Collections at the Filson Historical Society where she was responsible for arranging and describing document collections related to local history and assisting researchers with using the collections. Sarah-Jane has also held positions at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky, and Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections, and internships at the Tufts University Digital Collections & Archives and the Boston Athenaeum. She holds a M.S. in Library and Information Science with an Archives Management Concentration from Simmons College in Boston, MA. Her B.A. in Anthropology is from the University of Louisville.
In her current position, Sarah-Jane preserves the cultural memory of UofL and the greater Louisville area by organizing, preserving, and providing access to items of enduring historic value. These archival items include letters, journals, photographs, oral histories, maps, and architectural drawings. She is planning an oral history project to document and preserve the history of Louisville’s LGBTQ community.
Before working in archives, Sarah-Jane was an archaeologist at the Public Archaeological Laboratory (Pawtucket, RI) and AMEC Earth & Environmental (Louisville, KY). She also served as a groundskeeper for Katherine Hepburn.
Heather Fox was appointed to the faculty on February 4, 2013 as Archivist for Digital Collections. Her prior professional experience includes serving as Associate Curator of Special Collections at the Filson Historical Society, Project Archivist at the Kentucky Oral History Commission and at the Speed Art Museum, Archival Consultant at Appalshop, Inc., and Data Wrangler at UofL Archives and Records Center. In each of these positions, Heather was responsible for arranging and describing historical collections in all formats including a born digital collection of the August 2009 Louisville Flood. In most of these positions, Heather’s work focused on making collections accessible to a broader audience through web technologies. She holds a M.S. in Library Science with a concentration in Archives Management from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Louisville.
Heather works with the Digital Initiatives Librarian to provide web-based access to digital versions of archival collections and faculty research. She is currently working on describing and adding images to the Caufield and Shook photograph collection which contains images of Louisville from 1875-1939. http://digital.library.louisville.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/cs/
Heather plays in a (mostly) girl garage rock band and co-hosts a weekly garage rock radio show on ArtXFm.com with UL photo curator Elizabeth Reilly.
Maurini Strub joined the libraries faculty on March 11, 2013. She previously served as a Reserves Specialist at the Oakland University Library in Rochester, MI and as an Adult Specialist at the Oxford (MI) Public Library. In addition, Maurini worked on a multi-institutional Sakai Interaction Design Project at the University of Michigan. Her M.S. in Information is from the University of Michigan and her B.A. in Biology is from Oakland University.
User Experience and Assessment are relatively new areas for libraries. As our User Experience Librarian, she will study our how users interact with library tools, spaces and services. The information she collects will help libraries make user-research based decisions and changes. Maurini will use qualitative and ethnographic assessment methods to measure the usability, desirability, adoptability, and value of library programs and services. As the Assessment librarian, she will plan, design, and implement initiatives to measure the effectiveness of the University Libraries in meeting its strategic goals. It is also her goal to promote the integration of assessment into all phases of planning and services.
Maurini is currently working on analyzing the qualitative responses from the 2012 Benchmark Survey. This survey was conducted to evaluate how the U of L community uses the library and understand more about their needs.
Maurini was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, where she travels regularly to visit family.