For immediate release | May 10, 2011

New from ACRL: Scholarly Practice, Participatory Design and the eXtensible Catalog

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Scholarly Practice, Participatory Design and the eXtensible Catalog,” edited by Nancy Fried Foster, Katie Clark, Kornelia Tancheva and Rebekah Kilzer. This exciting new title examines the application of forward-thinking, collaborative research and design principles to the software development process.

As part of the development of eXtensible Catalog (XC), a project sponsored by the University of Rochester's River Campus Libraries, four institutions conducted 80 interviews and numerous workshops to understand how researchers learn about, acquire and use scholarly resources. Research findings informed the design and development of XC, a set of open-source applications that provides access to resources across a range of databases, metadata schemas and standards.

In “Scholarly Practice, Participatory Design and the eXtensible Catalog,” members of the project team report on key findings of the user research that was done at Cornell University, Ohio State University, the University of Rochester and Yale University. The team members discuss the value of including library users and technology specialists from many disciplines in the software design and development process. The book will prove useful to librarians working with Web usability, user interface development or library catalogs, along with anyone interested in applying ethnographic research to a variety of development projects

“Scholarly Practice, Participatory Design and the eXtensible Catalog” is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store, and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.