Make the Most of Data Analyzation to Improve Library Website UX

Meng Qu is a Web Service Librarian in Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) since October 2018. She gained her M.A. in Library and Information Studies from University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2018. As a computer-technology fanatic, Meng keeps sharpening her skills on website UI & UX development and assisting with data analyzation and data visualization in her daily work. In a recent project to build a new university library’s website, she took the lead in designing the appearance of the website and conducted usability research. Meng’s research interests are website design and development, data analyzation and visualization, and GIS/indoor navigation pathfinding systems.
The Web Service Team in Miami University Libraries has conducted a series of user behavior and demographics data collecting. The scripts are generated in Google Analytics and, and be embedded in the university library websites. This action is under the approval of Human Subject Research Department from the university; and no personal-identified data is recorded.

The intention of collecting user data is simple: the website developers want to have better understanding of our users, in a more objective way; and to adjust the elements in presenting a more attractive, convenient, and human-friendly website. User Experience (UX) is the professional and concise term to express such process.

In this research, a large range of user behavior data have been collected, such as user stickiness, user activities, user events, page traffic, events flow, just name a few. Through the dataset, the developers were able to tell the preferences and trends from users, and to make adjustments. For example, we have noticed an increasing view on the Special Collections webpage during an event of that department. To provide faster access, we chose the top five items and placed them on the library website homepage, which lead to a faster growth of page views on Special Collections. Such decisions rely on large data collections and dataset analyzations, and result to better user experiences.

An other benefit of applying data analyzation mechanism on library UX development is that, realizing the trend in our user and adapt with the trend. For instance, our data shown there is an increasing raise of mobile and tablet usage among the users in the recent 12 month. Then we have realized the responsive design of the website needs adjustments to fit on that special needs. Not only the size and resolutions have been adjusted, but the layouts and functions have been optimized: for instance, we put more functions on the bottom 1/3 of the screen in mobile resolutions because of the different using habits between mobile and desktop users. Rely on data analyzation, we website developers could accurately tell what the users need, and how they approached to their goals. It is a benefit of online services and a new trend in the library field.

To Discovery and Beyond: Using Workflow Automation as an Opportunity for Collaboration and Education

Rebecca B. French
Rebecca B. French is the Metadata Analyst Librarian at James Madison University, where she develops workflows and tools for efficiently creating, manipulating, transforming, and analyzing metadata at scale. Her work spans traditional MARC cataloging, e-resource batch loading, and metadata for archival and digital collections. Rebecca was previously a music cataloger at James Madison University and at Indiana University’s William and Gayle Cook Music Library. She holds a BA from The College of William and Mary and an MLS with a specialization in music librarianship from Indiana University.
This poster describes a project to automate portions of JMU Libraries’ workflow for distributing Special Collections finding aids to various discovery platforms. Through the development of a custom Python app called Spaceport, we were able to greatly improve the efficiency and sustainability of this process while also providing a more consistent discovery experience for our patrons. The project also had broad impacts in other areas. Our incremental and collaborative approach provided space for professional development related to the project, supported evolving project goals and the process of adapting to the new workflow, and strengthened relationships between departments. In addition to describing these and other benefits, this poster includes an overview of the Spaceport app’s functionality along with recommended learning resources for technologies used in the project, including XSLTs, Python scripting, and APIs.

Assessing library spaces as achievement spaces

Christopher Stewart is the Discovery and Metadata Coordinator at Ottenheimer Library at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His research interest is in discovering and developing unrecognized resources for data driven decisions in libraries.


Louise L. Lowe is the Student Success Coordinator at Ottenheimer Library at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her professional focus is implementing meaningful student experiences and services through practical, collaborative, and achievable means. Her research interest is in demonstrating library value through communication and documented outcomes.

In 2019, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Ottenheimer Library began a space study to help maximize the use of the library spaces. The primary goal of the study included understanding students’ perceptions and use of the library while identifying and standardizing measures for continuous improvements. One measure identified was collection space performance. Collection space performance indicators outline how the physical and virtual collections in the applied sciences and formal sciences verses. humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences relate to student achievement and the amount of collection space given to those areas. The results of the collection space performance are then compared to seating capacity and the amount of space given to inactive and active collection space and library user spaces. The poster will demonstrate how collection space performance based on student academic achievement along with other metrics can provide data-driven collection development decisions in order maximize the use of library spaces.

Advisors as Allies: Connecting Libraries and Academic Advising

Laura Birkenhauer
Laura Birkenhauer is the Student Success Librarian for Campus Engagement for the Miami University Libraries in Oxford, OH.
Nearly every college student is assigned to and familiar with how to communicate with their academic advisor; unfortunately, the same cannot be said for most students and their liaison librarian. Though librarians and academic advisors typically perform markedly different duties, both connect students with valuable information and act as mentors and guides. How can librarians build on the commonalities we have with our advising colleagues in order to better connect with students? How might librarians and advisors mutually support one another?

This poster details an academic librarian’s work to forge connections with campus academic advisors in an effort to improve advisor awareness of library services and the role of librarians, focusing specifically on the development of an online training module for advisors about the library. This poster also describes successful and potential librarian-advisor collaborations, including a workshop series targeting undecided students and librarian involvement in the campus organization for advising staff.

Shaping the Future with Departmental Mission, Vision, and Values

Shelly Hypes is the Director of Access Services at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. At J. Murrey Atkins Library, Shelly works with her colleagues to develop thoughtful and innovative ways to connect the campus community with library collections and services. With professional experience in public and academic libraries, Shelly enjoys work allowing her to focus on the management of projects, systems, and change, applying for and managing grant funds, and library branding and design. Shelly is a Certified Ex Libris Alma Administrator and has been awarded the Virginia Public Library Directors Association Award for Outstanding Service for her introduction of ten Little Free Libraries to the city of Danville, Virginia.

Ryan Harris, Head of Research and Instructional Services, UNC Charlotte

Stephanie Otis, Associate Dean for Public Services, UNC Charlotte

While many libraries develop a strategic plan and define Mission, Vision, and Values at the administrative level, how do you accomplish this at a smaller, departmental level? Join us as we define and differentiate between Mission, Vision, and Values, and examine how the process of developing each of these statements benefits high-performing teams. This poster will outline a project to create defining statements for a Public Services unit consisting of Research and Instructional Services and Access Services, at a doctoral-granting institution with higher research activity. Presenters will provide practice-based information that can be used to lead your team through the highly collaborative process of creating your unique Mission, Vision, and Values. We will discuss strategies for honoring the already existing core values of your larger organization, approaches for creating space for all team members to participate, and techniques for honoring diverse learning styles and communication preferences. The process and final products of developing these defining statements can help us understand our purpose, the beliefs that guide our professional behaviors, and how we envision our futures.

The Librarian is Online: Providing support as courses move online.

Megan Wilson is an Assistant Professor and Research & Instruction Librarian at Murray State University. She currently serves as the liaison to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology as well as the School of Agriculture. Having taught and worked with courses in person and online using a variety of formats, her research interests include virtual reference, library outreach and online learning.
In this day and age, academic instruction is increasingly moving online. Many college courses have some degree of online engagement through LMS systems and as such students expect learning material to be deliverable through online venues.

As a liaison librarian, it is not uncommon for questions to be fielded about how to access and/or how to provide access to materials such as books, articles, library tutorials, and reference assistance online and through university LMS systems. Issues that often involve collaboration between library departments, technical support and the university community of faculty and students.

This poster aims to look at some of the challenges that are faced in this endeavor, including issues of equity and accessibility as well as some of the methods that can be used to address those challenges.

Google Colab: Easy Python code execution for non-programmers

Yukari Sugiyama is the Librarian for Discovery and Metadata Assessment at Yale University Library. She plays a key role in the areas of resource discovery and metadata management and performs analysis, remediation, and normalization of metadata in the library’s online catalogs and discovery layer. In ALA, she currently serves on ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Research Interest Group as vice co-chair and ALCTS Continuing Education Committee as ex-officio member.
Python is a programming language with a wide range of functionality including web searching, web scraping, data processing, and data visualization. It is becoming increasingly popular for automation and batch processing within technical services departments.

While it may not be easy to learn Python programming and write Python code, it is not necessarily difficult to execute a code itself.

Introducing Google Colab. Google Colab is a cloud-based software and is a newer addition to the Google Drive products. With the tool, you can write and execute Python programs in your browser without installing Python. What’s more, just like Google Docs or Sheets, Google Colab can be shared with others.

Here at Yale University Library Technical Services, I wrote some Python programs using Google Colab such as a backlog lookup, a link checker, and a MARC record generator for non-programmer cataloging staff. Without training, they can easily execute these programs on their computers. In this presentation, I will demonstrate how Google Colab works and explain how it made automation and batch processing much more approachable and accessible to non-programmer staff, resulting in increased productivity and collaboration.

Leading a Library Department Through Organizational Change

Hyun Chu Kim, Interim Director of Technical Services, Kennesaw State University
Hyun Chu Kim is a Librarian Associate Professor and serves as the Interim Director of Technical Services at Kennesaw State University. She is responsible for leading Technical Services, which encompasses the library’s metadata and discovery, acquisitions, and systems subunits. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Washington and an MLIS from Valdosta State University. Hyun Chu’s main areas of interest and research are technical services in academic libraries and immigrant families and education.

Ariel Turner, Department Chair, Kennesaw State University
Ariel Turner serves as the Chair of the Department of Library Resources at Kennesaw State University, which encompasses the library’s metadata, acquisitions, systems, institutional repository and collection development teams. She began her career in public libraries, and has experience in cataloging, systems, reference, and instruction work. Ariel holds a BA in International Studies and Art History from Oglethorpe University, a MLIS from Valdosta State University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Practice from the University of North Georgia. Her current research focuses on the preparedness of university presidents in a changing higher education environment.

“Prior to July 2019, the Kennesaw State University Library was considered both a college and a department within the institution, which created ambiguity when the library interacted with faculty and the institution. Following the reclassification of Kennesaw State University as an R2 institution and a system-wide comprehensive administrative review to streamline efficiencies, the library reorganized to better reflect the structure in traditional academic units, as a college with two departments. This reorganization led to the creation of two Department Chair positions, which resulted in four interim leadership positions occurring in the institution simultaneously: two interim department chairs, an Interim Director of Technical Services, and an Interim Director of Collection Development.

This presentation will discuss the experiences of the Interim Director of Technical Services and the Interim Department Chair of Library Resources. Serving as interim in this period of change required the ability to lead library faculty and staff through a massive reorganization while learning new roles and gaining expanded leadership skills. These new roles necessitated change management skills, strategic planning, and workflow assessment. A key component of the success of this process was collaboration.

In this session, participants will learn about how to deal with an atmosphere of constant change at all levels, the importance of a willingness to adapt and be flexible, and how to handle ambiguity with workflows and job responsibilities.

Building the Future by Focusing on the Now: A Case Study of Leading through Change


(L-R) Stefanie Warlick, Andrea Adams, KT Vaughan

Andrea Adams is the Interim Associate Dean in Libraries at James Madison University. She is responsible for leading online learning, faculty development, media production services, makerspaces, and classroom technologies in the libraries. Andrea has been in the educational field for over 20 years, including both K-12 and higher education. She received her MS.Ed in Educational Technology at James Madison University and a B.S. in Technology Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

With her diverse experiences in the health and life sciences, teaching and research, facilities operations, community outreach, and management, KT Vaughan brings an optimistic and inclusive perspective to library leadership. After seven years at James Madison University, including as the director of the science library and as Associate Dean, KT will join the Washington & Lee Library as Higginbotham University Librarian on June 1, 2020. Asking questions about – and driving change in – the future of libraries is a central theme of KT’s career. She is currently focused on building inclusive and equitable library environments for people with disabilities, scholarly and digital communication in resource-constrained contexts, and the career advancement and professionalism of library staff and faculty. KT holds the MSLS from UNC-Chapel Hill (2001) and an EdD from Arizona State University (2019). Her dissertation, “Building an Inclusive Library through Staff Accessibility Training” is available via the ASU and JMU institutional repositories.

Stefanie Warlick serves as an Interim Associate Dean of Libraries at James Madison University (JMU). A role she has held since July 2018. Stefanie previously held the position of Director of Public Services at JMU. Stefanie received a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006.

Building the future depends on having a solid foundation in the present. Sometimes the most effective way to reach the future is to shore up cracks in that foundation. This poster will use the case study of the Associate Dean’s (AD’s) actions at the James Madison University (JMU) Libraries to present an example of how to approach dramatic change in a large organization by focusing on maintaining strategic priorities in the now.

In the spring of 2018 the JMU Libraries started an eighteen-month period of great change, including the dean’s resignation and an associate dean’s retirement. A newer Associate Dean and two Interim Associate Deans, working with an interim administrator with no library experience, lead and managed the organization during this period. This included helping the organization process the previous dean’s departure, maintaining our high service quality and strong relationships on campus, and preparing for the selection and arrival of the new dean.

The interim administrator had a clear mandate to “press pause” on new programs and services. This was to avoid creating conflicts with any vision or changes that a new dean would want to put into place. However, no organization can truly pause its development for a significant amount of time. Over this 18-month period the Libraries changed its organizational name, released a completely rebuilt website, hired 20 new staff and faculty including a new dean (~14% of the total staff), developed needed foundational policy and procedure documents, and prepared for substantive progress in areas such as digital scholarship and scholarly communication.

The ADs addressed the tension between maintaining and innovating services by focusing on modeling transparent and collaborative leadership. This started with the development and sharing of six strategic priorities on which the ADs would focus during the interim period. These six priorities provided a framework for the administration’s work, as well as for communicating out what was on pause vs. what was moving forward during the period. For example, work in one priority, “Continue to develop a shared understanding of roles and expectations particularly in the area of decision-making,” included improving equity in making resource allocation decisions for space, positions, and finances. Second, the ADs dramatically increased the quantity and variety of communication that they shared with the organization. This was to counter concerns about the organizational culture, which was tending towards untrusting and anti-inclusive, and to better recognize individual and team accomplishments. Third, they leveraged a collaborative leadership model to accomplish this sometimes difficult and political work in the most transparent, equitable,and sustainable way possible.

This poster will present a brief visual of the JMU Libraries case, followed by example activities and programs tied to each of the six priority areas. It will conclude with thoughts about collaborative and transparent leadership as a means of surviving and thriving both in the now and in the future.

Creating Communities of Practice among Librarians in an Online Learning Environment

Meranda Roy, is an Online Learning Librarian at the University of North Texas. Previously, she was the Faculty Development Specialist at the University of North Texas where she taught several graduate courses and numerous workshops for instructors related to pedagogy. In those courses and workshops, she tired various techniques to encourage the development of communities of practice. Her professional interests include teaching, educational technology, academic development, training and development, human resources, and mentoring.
A community of practice (CoP) is defined as a “group of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (Wenger, McDermott, & Synder, 2002). In other words, people learn more effectively when they are engaging in practice with others. This provides an opportunity for members to informally share their varying levels of knowledge, sills, and experiences and to create an environment rich in diverse perspectives. This can be particularly useful for librarians wishing to learn more about the practice of effective facilitation of library-based and online teaching and learning.

A common challenge with busy librarians is finding a time to physically meet and share/create new knowledge. A possible solution to this dilemma is to create online communities of practice centered around relevant teaching and learning topics. This could provide several benefits for librarians, such as:
• Allowing for greater accessibility across a variety of librarians, communities, and time.
• Adapting quickly to meet the unique needs of librarians while teaching.
• Sharing curated resources from a variety of places and perspectives.

In this poster, I seek to apply the concept of an online CoP in an effort to suggest how librarians can join together as a community to learn and to share ideas, strategies, and tools related to effective teaching and learning. It is through this practice that I hope librarians in a community of practice generate a newer or deeper level of knowledge through the sum of the group rather than independently. These communities will be initially organized around topics such as meaningful and measurable objectives, learner-centered instructional strategies, formative assessments that drive instructional practice, and inclusive teaching practices that create positive learning environments for students.

Additionally, I intend to provide practical strategies and resources that librarians can take to create their own communities of practices in online environments. This will include topics such as encouraging dialog and varying levels of engagement, combining familiar and radical perspectives, and creating a rhyme for the community (Bates, 2016).