Library UX Chicago hosted our first coffee chat of the year at Ellipsis Coffeehouse on January 17th. The discussion was following up on what we learned from Andrew Asher and Donna Lanclos at our Introduction to Ethnography Workshop - and how we hope to apply ethnographic methods to projects in the new year.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.”
It is easy to say that a project “failed” if it didn’t go as smoothly as we thought it should have. We might learn from these unexpected bumps, but people often feel pressure to omit details about problems along the way when summarizing and presenting work.
Beyond that, it would be good to talk about projects in a more nuanced way than to simply say that they “succeeded” or “failed”. Projects can be useful for some users but not others, or they can meet some stakeholder goals but not others. These are all opportunities to learn.
For our Library UX Chicago end of year celebration, we commemorated a year of work with its successes and failures, but more importantly all of the opportunities we had to try new things and learn.
This event took place at at the Student Center at Columbia College Chicago
We also accepted proposals for presentations and discussion topics centered around (but not limited to):
We deliberately seek and strongly encourage submissions from underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, the LGBTQA+ community, and people with disabilities.
We held another Library UX Coffee Chat on Friday, November 22nd from 9-11 am at Everybody's Coffee, 935 Wilson Ave.
This gathering was for having coffee and an informal discussion, to learn from peers, workshop new ideas, or to just come and listen.
LibraryUX was delighted host a day-long workshop designed and facilitated by Dr. Donna Lanclos and Dr. Andrew Asher exploring the use of ethnographic methods in libraries.
We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) continuing education program in making this event possible.
About this Event
This workshop was held Friday, October 18, 2019 from 10am-4pm at the University of Chicago Library.
Workshop attendees participated in a range of activities designed to explore ethnographic methods, including practice mapping, observations, and recording. The day ended with an overview of ethics for observational research, followed by a group brainstorm and discussion.
Attendees finished the day with a new understanding of the reasons for adopting an ethnographic approach to assessment and institutional contexts. They experienced using a range of qualitative methods to gather information from people about why and how they go about their work/study practices, and had opportunities to connect these methods to the questions they need answered about people and practices within and around their institutional contexts.
About our Speakers
Dr. Donna Lanclos and Dr. Andrew Asher are anthropologists who have collectively worked as assessment and user experience experts in libraries and higher education for more than a decade. They have led on projects including Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries (ERIAL), the Atkins Library Ethnography project (at UNC Charlotte), and conducted fieldwork in libraries in the US, UK, Ireland, and Poland. They have also consulted on anthropological projects for EIFL, CLIR, and Jisc. They are currently partners in Anodyne Anthropology, LLC, which offers research, analysis and facilitation in libraries and other education contexts. You can find Donna and her work at www.donnalanclos.com or on Twitter @DonnaLanclos. Andrew is @aasher on Twitter, and his website is www.andrewasher.net.
On Friday, September 27th, Library UX held a coffee chat at pHlour Bakery & Cafe. This month's chat was about assessing library instruction, and ethnographic methods.
We continued our series on ethnography in libraries with a discussion of "So You Want to Do Anthropology in Your Library?" by Andrew Asher and Susan Miller. This is the toolkit from the ERIAL project.
This book club discussion took place on Tuesday, August 20 at the Joseph Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago IL
In this interactive workshop, attendees learned how to use the Project Outcome for Academic Libraries surveys and resources. Project Outcome is a free toolkit that helps libraries measure four key learning outcomes – knowledge, confidence, application, and awareness – across seven library program and service areas. The survey topics cover: Instruction, Events/Programs, Research, Teaching Support, Digital & Special Collections, Space, and Library Technology. Project Outcome provides academic libraries of any size the means to easily measure outcomes in those areas and to use that data as the basis for continuous improvements and advocacy.
This workshop was on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at Loyola University, Lakeshore Campus, McCormick Lounge in Coffey Hall, 1000 W Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60626
The July 12 coffee chat at the Spoke and Bird South Loop was a discussion on evaluating library spaces. These informal coffee chats are designed to allow attendees to talk through the emerging needs at their library, and learn from the experiences of others.
To continue getting ready for our fall ethnography workshop with Andrew Asher and Donna Lanclos, we held a discussion of their article "'Ethnographish': The State of the Ethnography in Libraries".
The discussion took place on Tuesday, July 23 at the Jennie Huizenga Memorial Library, Trinity Christian College. Remote participation was available. The discussion of the article was led by Emma Boettcher, University of Chicago and Cathy Mayer, Trinity Christian College.
These informal coffee chats are designed to allow attendees to talk through the emerging needs at their library, and learn from the experiences of others. Our theme for this chat is “Summer Projects.” We want to hear about the projects and/or research – big or small – that you are engaging in (or wishing for) at your libraries and universities this summer.
When: Friday, June 7th | 9:00am - 11:00 am
Where: Meet at Cosi 116 S Michigan Ave