Speaker Nancy Fried Foster
Nancy Fried Foster is Senior Anthropologist at Ithaka S+R, where she helps libraries and organizations understand their users and design better spaces, services, and technologies. For almost ten years, Nancy directed anthropological research at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries. Projects there included eXtensible Catalog, IR+, the Camelot Project, ...
Nancy Fried Foster is Senior Anthropologist at Ithaka S+R, where she helps libraries and organizations understand their users and design better spaces, services, and technologies. For almost ten years, Nancy directed anthropological research at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries. Projects there included eXtensible Catalog, IR+, the Camelot Project, and other technologies, as well as such spaces as the Gleason Library and the Messinger Graduate Studies.
Since 2009, Nancy has worked through the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries (AMICAL) to introduce participatory design and work-practice study to colleges and universities around the world, and from 2007 to 2013 she delivered workshops in the US through the Council on Library and Information Resources. She has consulted to several universities in the US on projects that focus on space design while also taking account of digital technologies, including the reprogramming of McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland and participatory design of the Active Learning Center at Purdue University.
Nancy edited Studying Students: A Second Look and Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester (with Susan Gibbons) and is currently completing The Living Library: An Intellectual Ecosystem (with Patricia Steele and others). Nancy has a PhD in Applied Anthropology from Columbia University; a Dipl. from the University of Oxford; and a BA from Barnard College.
Librarians have used gate counts and head counts for years to understand the use of their spaces and resources. These counts can be even more helpful with only modest investments in time and training. Indeed, conducting observations is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to get a better of sense of what people really do in libraries and how library and archives staff can provide even better facilities and services.
This interactive workshop begins with a group activity to sensitize participants to their environment, the people within it, and the ways that people interact with each other and with the things that surround them. After a review of some key concepts, workshop participants will conduct observations in an academic library. The workshop concludes with a review of findings and implications and a discussion of how to implement what was learned in the workshop.
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This event is co-sponsored by METRO and the Association of College and Research Libraries, Greater New York Metropolitan Area Chapter.
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