May Program Committee Meeting — In Person!


Our next Program Committee meeting will be the 2nd Monday of May – May 8th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Thornton’s Fenway Grille at 100 Peterborough St, Boston, MA 02215.    This is a completely open Program Committee meeting.  You don’t have to be in the Program Committee to join.  Nor do you have to be committed joining the Program Committee meeting.   If you’re even just a little bit curious about the NEASIST PC Committee (like who are these shadow people who plan these awesome NEASIST events?), please stop by!

For existing PC members:
We’re not only trying out having the 2nd Monday of the month as our regular PC meeting date, but we’re also trying out having a few in-person PC meetings after work that are a little more social so we can get to know each other, which we don’t get to do when we’re just barreling through an agenda over Skype in the middle of the day.  We will be providing some apps so we can chat without growling stomachs drowning out the conversations.

If you can’t get there by 5:30pm – no worries!  Get there when you can get there and we’ll be hanging out there until 7:30pm.

I’ve given the Thornton’s Fenway Grille folks a rough head count, but I don’t want to end up completely off.    It would be great if you can RSVP via,


Up to $750 to support your participation at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting


Application Deadline: Friday, April 21

Notification of Award Winners: Wednesday, May 3

About the Awards: Professional/Practitioner and Student

The Association for Information Science & Technology, New England Chapter (NEASIS&T) is pleased to announce two awards to support participation in the ASIS&T Annual Meeting.  Our goals are to support scholarship and connect research and practice, bringing new voices to the chapter. There is a student award and a practitioner award.  Each award will support your year-long membership in ASIS&T as well as your conference registration and part of your travel costs up to $750.

The ASIS&T Annual Meeting will take place in Washington D.C. from October 27 – November 1, 2017 and will be focused “on the diverse ways in which people from different backgrounds, cultures, and disciplines forge connections with each other, discover and use information, and engage with technology”.  For more information, you can visit the annual meeting webpage.  It is still 7 months out from the annual meeting, so the schedule has not been fixed yet.

In addition to the conference support, the award provides ASIS&T membership, offering significant benefits:

  • Membership in our New England regional chapter

o    Mentorship and networking with experienced NEASIS&T members

o    Opportunities to build professional skills (including project management, budgeting, marketing, etc.)

  • Discounted conference registration for ASIS&T and NEASIS&T events
  • Webinars and discounts on other publications
  • A year’s subscription to the Journal of ASIS&T and the Bulletin

Eligibility & Applications

Applicants must be either current graduate students or practitioners in the field of information science at the time of their application. We define information science broadly: librarians, archivists, data/knowledge managers, information architects, web developers, etc., are all encouraged to apply. Applicants do not need to be current NEASIS&T members, nor do they need to live or work in Boston. However, award winners are expected to participate (in person or remotely) in NEASIS&T programming in 2017-18.

Here is the application link:

Terms of Awards

Each award winner will be welcomed into our New England regional chapter by participating in events in person (at least once) and remotely. As a travel award winner, you will:

  • Meet with a NEASIS&T representative at the conference
  • Share your conference experience with the NE-ASIS&T chapter
  • Participate in a NEASIS&T meet-up based on the winners’ professional interests
  • Review award applications for the 2017 Travel Awards
  • Submit receipts documenting travel- and conference-related expenses, such as registration, airfare, food, and lodging, up to the value of the award

*If a winner is unable to meet all of the terms due to a relocation, NEASIS&T should be notified immediately.
Questions? Contact Kate Nyhan at

Library Carpentry – May 15 @ MIT


This Library Carpentry, one-day, hands-on workshop will cover jargon busting, data structures, using regular expressions for pattern matching, use of the Bash shell (aka the command line) to speed up and automate tasks, and using OpenRefine for data cleanup.

We welcome groups enrolling as this helps with post-workshop integration of the skills. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own work. You don’t need experience to participate — beginners are welcome.

Register for the event here.


Belinda Weaver

Belinda Weaver organised the 2016 global sprint that took Library Carpentry from a single London workshop to a growing global community. A former librarian and repository manager, she now provides eResearch infrastructure to researchers at Queensland universities. Based in Brisbane, Australia, she is a certified Software Carpentry instructor and instructor trainer and serves on the Software Carpentry Steering Committee. She runs local skills and outreach events such as Research Bazaar and Hacky Hour and tweets as @cloudaus.

Juliane Schneider

Juliane Schneider has had a long, weird library career, with data and discovery as the common thread. She has worked as an insurance librarian, a medical librarian, as a database designer for EBSCO, a research data curator and is now the Lead Data Curator for Harvard Catalyst, and In 2016, with fellow UCSD librarian Tim Dennis, she organized and taught the first Library Carpentry workshop in the United States, and is a certified Data Carpentry instructor.


We’re grateful to these sponsoring organizations for making this workshop possible and affordable.

Library Carpentry
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region
New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science and Technology

Service Design: The Holistic Experience 1/12/2017 — Program



Thursday, January 12, 2017, 8:30am – 3:45pm EST
8:30-9:30 Breakfast and Registration
9:30-9:40 Welcome, Tom Hohenstein
9:40-10:25 Keynote: Meeting People Where They Are: An Introduction to Service Design in Libraries  [slides, pdf]
Callan Bignoli and Lauren Stara

10:25-11:10 Keynote: Designing for Participation: Dignity and Autonomy of Service
Miso Kim
11:10-11:30 Break
11:30-12:15 Keynote: User Input and Feedback In the Design Process [slides, pdf]
J.Stewart Roberts
12:15-12:45 Keynote Speakers Panel
Callan Bignoli, Lauren Stara, Miso Kim, and J. Stewart Roberts, moderated by Kate Nyhan

12:45-1:45 Lunch

1:45-2:25 Student Lightning Talks

  • Usability Evaluation and Design Recommendation for WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting [slides]
    Beth Vargas and Mel Petricko
  • Usability Evaluation and Design Recommendation for EBSCO, LaunchPad Mobile App
    Jean Thrift, Anna Wada, and Zhan Hu
  • Usability Evaluation and Design Recommendation for MBLC, Massachusetts Libraries [slides, pdf]
    Jonathan Golden
  • Usability Evaluation and Design Recommendation for BPL, Digital Commonwealth  [slides]
    Maggie Anderson, Stephen Humeston, Irina Sandler, and Krystal Stevens
  • Usability Evaluation and Design Recommendation for Simmons Admission and Student Life, Simmons College Website [slides, pdf]
    Rachel Karasick, Sawyer Newman, Saffana Anwar, and Douglas Upton

2:45-3:45 Breakout Sessions

Abstracts & Bios


Meeting People Where They Are: An Introduction to Service Design in Libraries

Callan and Lauren will kick off the conference with an exploration of service design – what is it and how can it make your library better tomorrow? Digital, physical, and the space in-between: it’s all about service.

Callan Bignoli, Assistant Library Director for Technology, The Public Library of Brookline
Callan is a web designer/developer and a librarian, currently managing technology for the three busy public libraries in Brookline. Before that, she served as web coordinator for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). She takes a user-centered approach to her work and believes that librarians ought to keep a sketchbook at the ready for capturing their ideas and experiences.

Lauren Stara, Library Building Specialist, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC)
Lauren Stara is an architect and a librarian, specializing in library building design. She is currently a Library Building Specialist for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Her past library experience includes everything from front desk clerk to director in public libraries, as well as adjunct instructor for library education.

Designing for participation: dignity and autonomy of service

This presentation will deepen our understanding of the social and ethical aspects of service, such as human dignity. The basis of dignity is autonomy. However, current frameworks of service, which are often based on the logics of mass production and information control, attempt to control customers’ perceptions and actions. There is a paradox of action and passion. Miso Kim proposes a framework of service based on the concept of participation for the purpose of achieving a shared goal.

Dr. Miso Kim, assistant professor, College of Arts, Media and Design at Northeastern University
Dr. Kim holds a PhD in Design, an MDes in Interaction Design, and an MDes in Communication Planning and Information Design from Carnegie Mellon School of Design. She also holds a BS in Architecture from Sungkyunkwan University in Korea. Prior to joining Northeastern, Miso was a Senior User Experience Designer in the Cloud Collaboration Technology Group at Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley, leading efforts to redesign WebEx’s virtual meeting experience. At Carnegie Mellon, she developed and taught service design, experience design, and information design courses, while working on diverse interdisciplinary research projects.

User Input and Feedback In the Design Process

User input is critical for successful architecture. Good architectural design requires both a careful assessment of the needs of the building’s users, and a collaborative design process that explores a full range of creative design solutions. The design process for the public library must take into account the needs of the diverse collection of patrons who come to the library for different reasons. We will examine some of the methods that have been successfully employed to get user input and feedback at the right time in the design process, and share some of the lessons learned along the way.

J. Stewart Roberts is the founding principal of Johnson Roberts Associates, an architectural practice in Somerville, MA, that specializes in architecture for communities. The design of public libraries has been the focus of Mr. Roberts’ career for the past twenty-nine years. He has been responsible for over one hundred library feasibility studies and the construction of thirty public libraries in New England and the Midwest.

Breakout Sessions

Assessing the Library with Service Design

Librarians are not new to designing or assessing services, but we tend to develop each service in isolation from the other services we offer, with little to no user input prior to implementation. Service design allows for a more holistic and systemic look at the various systems that make a library function. Assessing services through a systems lens helps bring the barriers and issues that users and staff may be confronting to light. This methodology is also unique in that it is a co-creative process conducted with library staff and library patrons. By working together, the librarians and patrons can create more relevant services, or refine current services to be more effective and efficient. This presentation will cover service design and tools used in the service design process. Joe and Annie will also share insights from their work currently being done at Reed College using service design.

Joe J. Marquez is the Social Sciences and User Experience at the Reed College Library. He has presented and written on service design, UX tools, library space assessment, website usability, and marketing of the library. He recently co-authored a LITA guide on Library Service Design with Annie Downey. He has an MLIS from the University of Washington iSchool and an MBA from Portland State University.

Annie Downey is the Associate College Librarian and Director of Research Services for the Reed College Library. She has written and presented on service design, critical librarianship, information literacy, K-20 library instruction, assessment, and academic library administration. She recently co-authored a LITA guide on Library Service Design with Joe Marquez. Her book Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspiration, and Ideas published by Library Juice Press in June 2016. She received her PhD in higher education in 2014 and her MLS in 2004 from the University of North Texas.

Talk ‘n Tour: the Newly Renovated Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons at Wentworth Institute of Technology

Long a space of consumption, the 21st century library is a place of discovery, engagement, and production. To realize these unprecedented opportunities, Kevin will talk about how library staff, administration, students, and faculty came together to plan an ambitious renovation of the (then) Alumni Library into an array of learning spaces that will inspire, ensure connectivity, and support all modes of learning.

Kevin Kidd was appointed Director of the Library at Wentworth Institute of Technology in February 2015. Immediately after his appointment, he began working with administration, students and faculty to plan an ambitious renovation of the (then) Alumni Library. The renovation was completed in August 2016, and the Library was renamed the Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons. Kevin holds an MS in Library and Information Science and an MA in Irish Literature, and has been a Senior Research Fellow at the European University Institute.

So You Want to Do User Testing: Operationalizing a Plan

Work towards designing or revising library services often begins with a great deal of optimism and enthusiasm. A successful re-design project will require careful planning and a clear understanding of the steps necessary to bring a library service project to a successful conclusion, without which disillusionment and frustration can set in quickly. In this workshop we will:

  • Review the phases and steps involved in library service design projects
  • Examine different types of methods involved in service design projects
  • Practice designing a library service design project plan

Participants will walk away with materials that will guide them through the planning and implementation stages, which they can use for work in their own facilities.

Denise Hersey is the Assistant Director for Clinical Information Services at the Yale Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, where she has worked since 2005. She currently leads a team of clinical librarians who work with clinical staff of the Yale-New Haven Hospital, assisting them with finding information and literature for their research needs and clinical questions. Denise is the library’s liaison to the Departments of Anesthesiology, Surgery, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine and the Yale Smilow Cancer Center. She participates in clinical rounds in critical care and provides clinical information at the point of care. She also has experience managing qualitative studies such as Yale University Library’s “Understanding the Research Practices of Humanities Doctoral Students at Yale University,” on which she was the principle investigator.

Kelly Marie Blanchat is the Electronic Resources Support Librarian at Yale University Library, where she has worked since 2015. Prior to joining Yale University, she worked as the Electronic Resources Librarian at Queens College Libraries (CUNY), and in Academic Licensing at Springer Science + Business Media. Kelly has published on workflows for electronic resources, including the book Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Management (American Library Association, 2017), and is a contributing author in the Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook (ACRL, 2016).

Translational User Research: Turning Results into Quick Fixes and New Visions

In this breakout session, Rong will outline the phases that usability and UX researchers go through to process, code, and analyze data based on various metrics or measurements that reflect usability principles of efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction. She will also discuss the process of translating research results into meaningful practical solutions including quick fixes and long term overhaul in design. Strategies concerning how to triangulate quantitative activity patterns with qualitative narrative insights will be introduced. Approaches to articulate and visualize recommended changes using tools such as content inventory, wireframes, and wireflows will be presented.

Dr. Rong Tang is an Associate Professor at School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College. She is the founding and current Director of Simmons Usability Lab. She has conducted multiple usability research projects, and has presented and published her findings at a variety of conferences and research forums including ASIS&T Annual Meetings, iConference, Boston CHI, and Liberact Workshop. Dr. Tang helped to establish a User Experience Lab at multiple locations, including National Taiwan University, Jiangsu University, and Harvard University Library.

Service Co-Design: Using Participatory Design Methods to Empower Users


When we design user experiences, we often work directly with users during discovery research and evaluation phases, but the work in between—generating ideas, designing solutions—is conducted in isolation from the very people we’re designing for. Especially in service design, we sometimes lose the ability to ensure our users are truly empowered by the experiences we create for them! However, participatory design methods can help us bring users into the heart of the process—empowering them as active participants in the creation of products, services, and experiences for themselves. When we move beyond the practice of designing for people and instead design with them, the outcomes are more innovative, human centered, and meaningful.

In this session, we’ll cover:

  • Core concepts in participatory design and service design – and how they intersect
  • Basic participatory service design methods, including fundamental tools and exercises
  • How to choose activities, frame design prompts, and facilitate participatory service design activities with to generate the best results
  • How to use the outputs of these activities to create actionable insights

Jen Briselli’s first love was science, but while earning her physics degree she fell in love with the challenge of communicating as much as she loved researching. She spent several years designing learning experiences as a physics teacher, then earned her Master of Design degree from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied service design and design strategy. She is currently the managing director of experience strategy & design at Mad*Pow in Boston.

She considers herself a strategist and storyteller, more than a problem solver, because she dislikes framing every design opportunity as a problem to be solved. Her design philosophy is less about solving people’s problems for them, and more about building the tools, environments, and circumstances that enable people to solve their own problems, and improve their own lives.

Talk ‘n Tour: the Newly Renovated Boston Public Library in Copley Square


The renovation of the Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square puts the BPL on the cutting edge of library services – reshaping and redefining the patron experience at a 21st-century urban public library


Gianna Gifford is the Chief of Adult Library Services at the Boston Public Library

Service Design: The Holistic Experience 1/12/2017


User experience remains a hot topic after NEASIST’s 2016 UX conference, and now you can deepen your understanding with a holistic view of service design. Do you want to tailor your entire ecosystem — personnel, spaces, and systems online and offline — to improve your users’ experiences?
The New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology, together with the Simmons College Student Chapter, invite you to participate in our 2017 Winter Event…

Service Design: The Holistic Experience
WHEN: January 12, 2017 ||| Thursday ||| 9:30 AM – 3:45 PM (registration starts at 8:30 AM)
WHERE: Simmons College in Boston, MA
HOW MUCH: Registration $75 ||| NEASIST/SLA members $50
SO: Register today!

With participatory breakout sessions and thoughtful keynotes, this one-day conference will give you the concepts you need to talk to stakeholders in your organization about service design. It will give you tools you can use to gather the data that will inform your organization’s service design discussions. It will give you a platform to share your ideas and experiences designing better services. Visit our event site to check out the roster of event speakers and see the topics to be discussed.

Save the Date! Service Design Conference January 12


User experience remains a hot topic after NEASIST’s 2016 UX conference, and now you can deepen your understanding with a holistic view of service design. Do you want to tailor your entire ecosystem — personnel, spaces, and systems online and offline — to improve your users’ experiences?

The New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology, together with the Simmons College Student Chapter, invite you to participate in our 2017 Winter Event, Service Design: The Holistic Experience.

WHEN: Thursday January 12, 2017
WHERE: Simmons College in Boston

With participatory breakout sessions and thoughtful keynotes, this one-day conference will give you the concepts you need to talk to stakeholders in your organization about service design. It will give you tools you can use to gather the data that will inform your organization’s service design discussions. It will give you a platform to share your ideas and experiences designing better services.

What should you do now?
Save the date for Service Design: The Holistic Experience on January 12, 2017

Get in touch with by 11/4 to propose a talk, breakout session, tour, or lightning round if you’re interested in sharing your own service design experience — redesigning spaces, websites, or services of any kind.

Vote Your NEASIS&T Board


Cast your vote for members of the 2016-2017 NEASIS&T Board:

The ballot will be open until Wednesday (9/28/2016) of next week.  We are also accepting nominations for the following:

  • Membership & Outreach Coordinator
  • Webmaster
  • Annual Meeting RepresentativesTerms run from October of this year to next year.  You do not need to live in Boston to participate; virtual participation is welcome.  You can learn more about these positions from our Board Nominations post.


Call for Board Nominations: Gain Professional Skills and Work with Amazing People


We are now accepting nominations for board positions for our regional chapter.  Terms run from October of this year to next year.  You do not need to live in Boston to participate; virtual participation is welcome.  This is a great way to gain professional skills, work with amazing people, and network widely.

Below is a brief description of each board role.  If you have any questions or if you would like to nominate yourself or an interested colleague, please reach out to  Voting will happen in September.

Chair-elect (2 year commitment)
The Chair-elect, who automatically becomes Chair in the following year, works collaboratively with the Chair in planning and executing NEASIST programs and serves as the Alternate Chapter Representative to the Assembly.  The Chair-elect will assume the duties and responsibilities of the Chair in the event of the Chair’s absence, resignation or removal from office.  The Chair-elect assumes the primary responsibility for leading the Program Committee in planning the chapter’s programs during the year.  As Chair, this officer leads the New England chapter and the board, holding quarterly board meetings and setting the strategic direction for the chapter.  If you are interested in building project management skills, this is the position for you!

Secretary (1 year commitment)
The Secretary keeps records of all meetings and correspondence to members and assists in making logistical arrangements for meetings and activities. S/he also maintains the internal documentation for both the Board and the Program Committee.  If you are organized and have a knack for synthesizing multiple perspectives into a coherent narrative, this is the position for you!

Treasurer (1 year commitment)
The Treasurer keeps records of all income and expenditures and must be aware of Society policies regarding chapter finances and expenses.  This officer prepares and submits the chapter’s quarterly and annual reports and receives/reviews the chapter’s financial statements.  If you are organized and would like to gain financial management experience, this is the position for you!

Membership and Outreach Coordinator (1 year commitment)
The Membership and Outreach Coordinator carries out one of the most important functions of the chapter: communicating with members.  This officer should be in regular contact with the membership to share and solicit information for the listserv, relevant social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Meetup, and Eventbrite), the NEASIST blog and newsletter, in collaboration with the Webmaster. The Membership and Outreach Coordinator also prepares regular reports on current chapter membership.  If you have strong communication skills and are motivated to get others involved in NEASIST, this is the position for you!

Webmaster (1 year commitment)
The Webmaster is responsible for managing the chapter’s website. This officer should update the site content, create pages, and post announcements as requested by the Board and the Program Committee. Other responsibilities might include the proposal and implementation of new website features, and the management of outreach tools in collaboration with the Membership and Outreach Coordinator.  If you have basic web development skills and an inclination toward quality control and consistency, this is the position for you!


How to Build Collections around Faculty CVs and Syllabi: Wrap-up and Handout


Jennifer Ferguson’s workshop on using faculty material to build collections was a big success!  We paired up and worked in teams to look over faculty CVs and syllabi that we brought with us.  An important take away was that faculty members interweave their own research interest into their courses.  So, don’t worry that the material you are collecting is not directly supporting the curriculum, because it does!

Here is Jennifer’s handout showing you the steps on how to get started on building collections that align with both curriculum and faculty research interests

Building Collections with Faculty CVs and Syllabi [pdf; 373KB]

NEASIS&T Picnic 2016: Competitive Croquet and RDAP Recap


Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Time: to
Place:  *location change* 25 Park Street — corner of Park Street and Harvard Ave. in Brookline
Public transit: 66 and 65 buses, green line C and D trains.
Parking: two-hour free on-street parking on Part Street and Harvard Ave

RSVP via

Join us for convivial company and competitive croquet at our annual picnic! The program committee will provide the snacks and drinks. The 2016 NEASIST travel award winners will provide brief updates.  YOU will provide the company and conversation! All are welcome — professionals, students, NEASIST members, and nonmembers alike.

Edouard Manet - A Game of Croquet. Two ladies and two gentlemen in Victorian clothing playing a game of croquet. One lady is readying her mallet to hit a ball.
Edouard Manet – A Game of Croquet.

You can also expect compelling communiques from Regina Raboin and Anna Newman, who will have come back from RDAP (Research Data Access and Preservation Summit) with lots of info about research data management and new trends in information science. We’ll also share information about our 2016-2017 programming; this is your chance to weigh in!


We’ll be there enjoying the garden from 5:30 onwards. The informal program will begin at 6. Goodwin Garden is behind 11&12 Goodwin Place in Brookline Village, near the Brookline Public Library. There’s easy access by public transit (including the green line D and E trains as well as buses on Washington Street, Harvard Street, and Huntington Ave), and there’s street parking on Washington Street. We have a rain location nearby, but keep your fingers crossed that we can enjoy the garden! Questions? Email