Imagine the Possibilities

Concurrent Program Session

Lost in the Library? Never Again with User Centered Design

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Ballroom A

What’s more important than the way someone feels when entering your library? Whether a customer is new to our country or new to our doors, libraries can create environments that are welcoming to all. In this interactive session three seasoned speakers and practitioners will share tools and recommendations to create intuitive wayfinding, user and staff focused design, and advice for ensuring fully engaged and strategically located staff who approach customers with ease.

An online version of this concurrent program session was also presented during the PLA 2018 Virtual Conference.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Understand the principles of user-centered design as it relates to new and at-risk populations
2: Learn techniques to use with all staff in working with new and at-risk customer without barriers between them such as desks and screens
3: Learn how to identify and address challenges new library users face who are new to the concept of the public library or from at-risk populations

The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 1: People with no previous knowledge of the topic.

This session will have: Medium interaction (example: single speaker/panel with questions or discussion throughout)

Handouts: Download 1  

Track: Invent

Tags: Spaces and Places, Buildings and Facilities, Equity of Access, Inclusion, Multicultural Services, User Experience (UX)


Bridget Quinn-Carey, CEO
Hartford Public Library , Hartford , CT

Bridget Quinn-Carey is the Chief Executive Officer of the Hartford Public Library. Prior to joining HPL, Ms. Quinn-Carey served as the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, and Interim President/CEO of the Queens Library. She has over 25 years of experience working in libraries. Ms. Quinn-Carey has a BA, MLS and MBA. She is a member of ALA, BCALA, PLA, CLA, and NYLA.

Maxine Bleiweis, Principal
Maxine Bleiweis and Associates, LLC , Bridgeport , CT

Maxine Bleiweis brings 40 years of direct experience with public library services and user-centered design. She learned that energizing staff at all levels of the organization to deliver service from the library customer's perspective was a bigger challenge than having the best design. She has developed techniques and processes to take staff from ?no? to ?of course? by helping them gain the stills and confidence to shed barriers to service and engage with their community.

Margaret Sullivan, Principal
Margaret Sullivan Studio , 10010 , NY

Margaret Sullivan is a leader in visioning, programming and designing innovative cultural centers, with a focus on public libraries. She skillfully collaborates with stakeholders and the design team to represent a holistic understanding of the 21st century public library delivery service model and is a leader in translating these innovations into physical spaces.

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

The PLA 2018 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.

Attendee Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 23, 2018, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 23, 2018. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours. No meal tickets will be sold onsite.

Exhibitor Cancellation Policy

All booth space cancellation requests must be received in writing by Show Management (Corcoran Expositions). If space is reduced, the net reduction of space will be treated as a cancellation of that space. If Show Management receives a written request for cancellation of space on or before October 31, 2017, the exhibitor will be eligible for a refund less the nonrefundable deposit of $950 per 100 square feet of exhibit space. For cancellations received after October 31, 2017, exhibitors are liable for 100% of the cost of space.


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Thank You PLA 2018 Conference Sponsors!

Other Questions

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PLA 2016 Archive

Looking for handouts and other information from the PLA 2016 Conference, which took place April 5–9, 2016 in Denver, CO? The PLA 2016 Conference website has been archived at

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