Mobilizing the Library

Creating positive user experiences is central to the success of any online environment. We know that our virtual spaces should provide seamless streamlined access to resources and services. Unfortunately the reverse is often true: users are thrust into a bewildering world of OPACS, databases, discovery tools, link resolvers, research guides, chat services, and web content. This array of disparate user spaces, multiple authentication schemes, confusing navigation, and frustrating mobile experiences alienates and distances users unfamiliar with the diverse tools librarians take for granted.

Developing user-focused web environments, accessible from all devices, is crucial to the sustained relevance of the academic library to the student experience. Using MacEwan University Library's mobile app, and strategy for an integrated web environment as a starting point, this session will explore approaches for developing positive online user experiences.

Originally presented on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Learning Outcomes

Understand the challenges students face navigating academic library web environments

Consider the impacts of poor online user experience

Explore the benefits of student-centered web strategies

Articulate the growing primacy of mobile technologies

Begin discussions with their own institutions to shift focus to student-centered design

Who Should Attend

This session will be of interest to all levels of librarians and library staff interested in access and discovery tools, web design, mobile delivery, or the user experience.


Sonya Betz is the Web and User Experience Librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. After several years embedded at the front lines of librarianship as a liaison librarian for MacEwan’s English department, she’s now moved the side-of-her desk “web stuff” to the forefront and is eagerly seeking out new opportunities to improve the online experience for MacEwan’s students and faculty. Over the past few years she’s led several teams though redesigns, implementations, and very long bike rides.

Robert Zylstra is the Music and Performing Arts Librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. His background as a systems librarian and his current work in reference and instruction inspire him in his quest to bridge the gap between core library technologies and front line library service.




How to Register

To register, complete the online registration form or or register by mail for the session you would like to attend.

Tech Requirements

Computer with Internet access (high-speed connection is best) and media player software. Headphones recommended.

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