Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the ASERL-Auburn Forum on Library User Studies: It’s All About U. It was co-sponsored by ASERL and Auburn University Libraries and hosted by Georgia Tech at the Klaus Advanced Computing Center. The program was excellent, the facilities were great, and the food was unusually good for this sort of thing.
The day kicked off with Bonnie MacEwan, Dean of Auburn University Libraries and ASERL president, and Richard Meyer, Dean of Libraries at Georgia Tech, welcoming us. This was the second one of these one-day forums. The one last year had something to do with cataloging.
The participant list was very diverse. People came from different types of (I think mostly academic) libraries, were at all points in their careers, worked in varying positions within librarianship. I find it really interesting that, at this point, user studies resonates across the field like this though it doesn’t clearly reside in any one position. I wonder if the idea will evolve so that the standard is to have one position where the user studies expert spends most of their time on the issue, or if the idea will evolve more like liaison duties or teaching where everyone plays some part in the process.
The next several posts are my notes from the day.