Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the process and work undertaken by the library anthropologist and the Usability Task Force (UTF) for reconfiguring the library's physical and virtual spaces to meet the educational needs and expectations of users, including students, faculty, and community patrons. Design/methodology/approach – Through formal usability studies and ethnographic research, the paper describes the process and work undertaken by the library anthropologist and the UTF. Findings – Through surveys, focus groups observation data were obtained about the current study and web habits of undergraduates and faculty. Originality/value – This paper presents an ethnographic approach to policy development and implementation to re‐orient the physical and virtual library environments at a large research library. Libraries and library administrators will find value in the policies established and processes outlined for the development of user‐centered learning spaces.
Reference Services Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 16, 2011
Keywords: Ethnography; Focus groups; United States of America; University libraries; Web sites; Students; Faculty; User studies; Usability; Redesign
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