Asee peer logo

Tapping the User Experience to Design a Better Library for Engineering and Textiles Students and Faculty

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Empowering the User Learning Experience: Evolution in Library Design

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1234.1 - 25.1234.19



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Honora N. Eskridge North Carolina State University

visit author page

Honora Nerz Eskridge is currently Director, Centennial Campus Research Services, at NC State University, where she leads library services to the engineering community at NC State and is Director of the Burlington Textiles Library. She holds a master's of library and information science from the Catholic University of America and a bachelor's of engineering from Manhattan College.

visit author page


Kim Duckett North Carolina State University

visit author page

Kim Duckett is the Principal Librarian for digital technologies and learning at North Carolina State University.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Tapping the User Experience to Design a Better Library for Engineering and Textiles Students and FacultyIn recent years, many academic libraries have embraced the “user experience” (or “UX”)movement, which involves performing research on library users to learn about the totality oftheir experience using libraries, including attitudes, motivations, and emotions. This movement,which has its roots in website design and applied anthropology, has gained traction in the librarycommunity, where focus on the user has always been of primary importance, but ever evolvinguse of technologies and learning styles has called for a continual commitment to collectingfeedback from users. This feedback often challenges old assumptions and provides informationabout the life of the user beyond the walls of the library.In 2010, the North Carolina State University Libraries began construction of a new librarybuilding to serve the Colleges of Engineering and Textiles on NC State’s Centennial Campus.Slated to open in January 2013, the James Hunt Library is meant to redefine the library of the21st century in terms of services, technology and learning spaces. Understanding the faculty andstudents in these colleges is critical to the success of this new building, and as a result, userexperience research has been a significant part of the planning process. A major product of thisresearch has been the creation of design “personas,” profiles of archetypical users that helppersonalize user groups to librarians and administrators envisioning space uses and designingservices.This paper will highlight the ways we have collected data on faculty and students in the Collegesof Engineering and Textiles. It will detail the persona-creation process as it was adapted forspace planning in an academic library setting. It will discuss how such user research bringsdeeper understanding to the ways students use spaces and technologies and revealed gaps instudent needs. We will also highlight reusable tools for gathering user experience data andcreating personas available through the web-based Learning Space Toolkit, an IMLS-grantfunded collaborative project between the NCSU Libraries and two design consultancy firms.

Eskridge, H. N., & Duckett, K. (2012, June), Tapping the User Experience to Design a Better Library for Engineering and Textiles Students and Faculty Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21991

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015