New iteration: Getting Started with Library Service Design eCourse

For Immediate Release
Wed, 11/14/2018


Colton Ursiny

Administrative Assistant

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions

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, January 7, 2019.

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 Instructors

Joe J. Marquez holds an MLIS from the University of Washington iSchool and an MBA from Portland State University. He has presented and written on service design, UX tools, library space assessment, website usability, and marketing of the library. His current research interests include service design in the library environment and space usage assessment. He is the cofounder of the LUX Service Design consulting firm. He is the coauthor (with Annie Downey) of Library Service Design. He is an academic librarian in Portland, Oregon. He was awarded the first Future of Librarian Fellowship in 2017 from the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries and was named a 2018 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal.

Annie Downey holds a PhD in higher education and an MLS from the University of North Texas. She has written and presented on service design, critical librarianship, information literacy, K−20 library instruction, assessment, and academic library administration. Her other books include Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspiration, and Ideas and Library Service Design (with Joe Marquez). She is an academic librarian in Portland, Oregon. She was awarded the first Future of Librarian Fellowship in 2017 from the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries and was named a 2018 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal.

Registration for this ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions facilitated eCourse, which begins on January 7, 2019, 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.

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