New ASCLA online course offers alternative method of understanding the visitor experience

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/17/2015


Marianne Braverman

Marketing and Programs Manager

Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies

CHICAGO — The Reader-friendly Library - evaluating the visitor experience,” a new online course hosted by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), offers participants a range of reader-centered research tools, supporting material and background theory and puts them all to use in the learners’ own libraries. Participants will use their findings to identify appropriate and effective small-scale changes that actively improve the experience of targeted groups of visitors to the library. The course introduces reader-centered observational techniques that help learners measure how different areas and features of the library are used and by whom; what library patrons see and what messages the library welcome is giving new visitors.

The course offers an alternative method of understanding the visitor experience beyond the opinions of the confident regular users; staff anecdotes; customer complaints; footfall counts; or circulation statistics.

At the end of the six–week course, students will be able to:

  • use a range of versatile reader-centered research tools to give insight into how visitors experience the library and to collect evidence about how they are using it;
  • measure the impact of small-scale, specific changes in your own library that aim to improve the accessibility and the experience for targeted visitors;
  • share, collate and organize evidence with a network of learners and an experienced tutor and then plan how to use this evidence effectively to support changes in your library in the future.

This course is designed for professional librarians and other library staff in public libraries who want to investigate ways to attract new visitors and widen the choices of targeted groups of readers in their own library and for library staff who work in prison, school, business, university, health or college libraries.

The Reader-friendly Library - evaluating the visitor experience,” will be held April 20 - May 31, 2015. Registration rates start at $130 for ASCLA members, and registration will close on Friday, April, 17. Register online for this webinar now. Group rates are available, with either single login or multiple login options. Get group registration information at ASCLA’s Online Learning page.

ASCLA, a small, mighty and growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), is a diverse organization of librarians and support staff who work in academic and public libraries, state agencies, specialized libraries and cooperatives, as well as those who are self-employed. Our division’s work centers on member-driven interest groups that represent the diversity and important work of our engaged and active members. Learn more about ASCLA and how to join this innovative division.