New iteration: Getting Started with Library Service Design eCourse

For Immediate Release
Thu, 11/09/2017


Colton Ursiny

Administrative Assistant

ALA Publishing

Chicago—ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions announces a new iteration of our popular eCourse, Getting Started with Library Service Design. Joe J. Marquez and Annie Downey will serve as the instructors for a 4-week facilitated eCourse starting on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.

Learning outcomes

After participating in this eCourse, you will:

  • Understand the basics of the service design methodology and tools in order to determine if it is a good match for your library’s assessment program.
  • Learn how to create an effective service design plan in order to begin developing a similar plan for your library.
  • Learn best practices for employing a service design project in order to implement an effective project of your own and avoid common pitfalls.
  • Understand the importance of making assessment part of the fabric of the library. When this is done, then we can get one step closer to being aware of necessary changes to the library environment.

Service design is a holistic, co-creative methodology that puts the user at the center of the service delivery model to create user-centered services. This eCourse will explore the service design methodology as a valuable toolkit that librarians and administrators can use to assess, revise, and create library services, spaces, and workflows.

Within this 4-week eCourse, you will read articles, respond to prompts in a general discussion board, and complete exercises to help familiarize yourself and get comfortable using service design tools. By the end of the course, you’ll create a draft service design plan for a service or touchpoint in your own library. The course will also rely on a workbook created by the instructors that highlight the phases and tools of service design, as well as the list of library service design heuristics.

eCourse outline

The first half of each week will be about reading and familiarizing yourself with the content, while the second half of each week will be centered around group discussion and activity completion. The instructors will also open up a weekly forum for general questions.

Week 1 ­- What is Service Design?

In this week, you will be introduced to the theory behind service design, what it is used for, and how it can benefit their library. This week is a foundational week with article readings and Moodle books. The purpose of the readings is to help you stay up to date and understand the concepts involved in Service Design.


  • Introductions
  • Service Safari

Week 2 ­- Phases, Tools, and Heuristics of Service Design

This week describes the 4 necessary phases for any service design project along with key tools (exercises) used in service design. While not an exhaustive list of tools, the tools highlighted will get any research team thinking in service design terms and quickly getting them toward a “thick description” of their users and user behavior. You will also be introduced to the service design heuristics.


  • Tool Matchup
  • Journaling

Week 3 ­ Service Design in Action

In this week, you will read about the service design efforts at Reed College. This case study will review how Reed College Library User Experience group (LUX) has implemented service design in their own research about how students use services. This week’s content is about demonstrating and reinforcing how the tools are used in an actual service design project.


  • Customer Journey Map
  • Submit Idea for Final Project

Week 4 ­ Best Practices, Going Forward, and Managing Change

In the final week, we will wrap up what we learned and share some useful learnings from our own experiences with service design. We will also discuss what our next steps are as well as where we might want to take the methodology next. This week’s readings focus on lessons learned from using service design. We also highlight next possible steps with service design for the librarian profession and look at the importance of managing change. This last section will help you make the case for using service design and looking at how to adapt your library to current user needs and expectations.


  • Create Draft Service Design Plan

About the Instructor

Joe J. Marquez is the Web Services Librarian 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 coauthored a LITA guide on Library Service Design with Annie Downey. His current research interests involve service design in the library environment and space usage assessment. He has an MLIS from the University of Washington iSchool and an MBA from Portland State University.

Annie Downey is the Director of Research Services for the Reed College Library. She received her PhD in higher education in 2014 and her MLS in 2004 from the University of North Texas. She has written and presented on service design, critical librarianship, information literacy, K20 library instruction, assessment, and academic library administration. She recently coauthored a LITA guide on Library Service Design with Joe Marquez. Her book Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspiration, and Ideas published by Library Juice Press will be released in June 2016.

Registration for this ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions facilitated eCourse, which begins on January 8, 2018, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions (ELS) produces high-quality professional development events and materials for the library profession. ELS events cover modern issues on a wide variety of topics in formats that include live workshops, asynchronous eCourses, and print publications. We help ensure that today’s library employees have access to the professional development opportunities they need, whether they are brushing up on the basics or expanding their horizons with cutting-edge tools. Contact us at

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