Using Design Thinking to Create Transformative Learning Experiences: New ALA Annual Preconference

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/15/2019


Samantha Imburgia

Associate Editor

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions

American Library Association

CHICAGO — ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions has partnered with Infopeople on a three-hour interactive preconference at ALA Annual, where library staff and trainers will have the opportunity to develop more innovative and meaningful learning for their staff and users using design thinking. Design thinking is a unique approach that can help librarians create training that is more impactful both in theory and practice.

In this preconference, participants will be introduced to design thinking concepts, learn best practices for using these concepts, and understand how they relate to learning by working through a toolkit, developing and testing prototypes, and participating in facilitated small group discussions.

Using design thinking principles, participants will:

  • Learn how to design better training through empathy to gain insights into learners’ challenges and needs.
  • Develop and test prototypes and creative training ideas without a large investment of time or money.
  • Gain hands-on experience with the design thinking process.

The preconference takes place on Friday, June 21 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. More information about the preconference is available at To register for this event, include it with your initial ALA conference registration, or add it later. Early Bird registration closes Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm Central.

Greg Diaz and Brenda Hough will be leading the event.

Greg Diaz is a librarian with the Chicago Public Library, where he serves as a Branch Manager. Greg has  developed design thinking projects and training since 2014, when he joined the CPL Games Team, and worked to develop the CPL Games on the Go initiative and CPL Design Thinking Bootcamp.

Brenda Hough has been a librarian for more than 20 years. She has delivered training and instruction for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WebJunction, the Public Library Association, Infopeople and more. Previous positions include Staff Development Coordinator and Continuing Education Coordinator. Currently she is an instructional designer for Infopeople.

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions produces high-quality professional development events and materials for the library profession, covering a wide variety of topics in formats that include live workshops, asynchronous eCourses, and more.

Infopeople is a project of the Califa Group, a nonprofit library membership consortium of more than 230 libraries. Infopeople provides library staff quality continuing education opportunities that are tailored to library needs and developed by experienced library professionals.