Usability in the Library

About this Site

This website is sponsored by the University of Michigan University Library's Usability Group which is a sub-committee of PARC (Public Access Resource Committee) and ERSC (Electronic Resources Steering Committee). The usability studies represented here have been conducted by various groups throughout the UM Libraries as well as by the Usability Group and its predecessor the Usability Working Group. Only a select group of reports are included here, and more will be added as they are completed.

The goal of this website is to provide open access to our reports in order to share our findings with the University of Michigan libraries as well as the community-at-large. We hope that sharing our findings will benefit and inform others in their research.



Usability Group Mission Statement

The Usability Group guides and implements usability testing of the Library's web resources and services through short-term task forces comprised of Usability Group members, project stakeholders, and additional volunteers. This includes the Library's locally generated web pages and DLPS (Digital Library Production Service) resources, as well as customizable vendor supported resources, such as MetaLib (SearchTools), Aleph (Mirlyn) and SFX. This group works with PARC to set priorities for usability testing shared Library web sites and services, with a focus on testing interfaces and concepts that are broadly implemented across the Library's web environment.



About the Members

Current Members

  • Suzanne Chapman (committee chair) - Head, User Experience Department
  • Barbara Alvarez - Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature Librarian
  • Shevon Desai - Social Science/Humanities Librarian, Reference Department, Hatcher Graduate Library
  • Kat Hagedorn - Project Manager for Digital Projects, Digital Library Production Service
  • Sonu Mishra - User Experience Specialist


Past Members

  • Ken Varnum - Head, Web Systems Department
  • Julie Piacentine - Public Services Librarian, Reference Department, Hatcher Graduate Library
  • David Carter - EECS Librarian; Web & Reference Services Coordinator, Art Architecture & Engineering Library
  • Mike Creech - Web Content Manager, MLibrary
  • Karen Downing - Foundation & Grants Librarian, Reference Department Hatcher Graduate Library
  • Kat Hagedorn (past committee chair) - Metadata Harvesting Librarian, Digital Library Production Service
  • Suzanne Gray - Library Web Services Manager
  • Anne Karle-Zenith - Special Projects Librarian, University Library IT & Technical Services
  • Shana Kimball - Electronic Projects Editor, Scholarly Publishing Office
  • Molly Kleinman - Associate Intellectual Property Specialist and Special Projects Librarian
  • Jennifer Nardine - Public Services Librarian, Shapiro Undergraduate Library
  • Gurpreet K. Rana - Clinical Education Librarian, Taubman Health Sciences Library
  • Bob Tolliver - Engineering Librarian, Art Architecture & Engineering Library


Past Interns

  • Jacob Solomon - School of Information (Spring/Summer 2008)
  • Matt Schulz - School of Information (Spring/Summer 2008)
  • Pratibha Bhaskaran - School of Information (Winter 2008)
  • Krystle Williams - School of Information (Winter 2008)
  • Julie Piacentine - School of Information (Fall 2007)
  • John Suciu - School of Information (Fall 2007)
  • Xiaomin Jiang - School of Information (Spring/Summer 2007)
  • Josh Morse - School of Information (Spring/Summer 2007)
  • Natasha Sant - School of Information (Winter 2007)
  • Cora Bledsoe - School of Information (Fall 2006)
  • Tonya McCarley - School of Information (Fall 2006)
  • Cathy Lu - Web Developer & Analyst, Library Web Services (Spring 2005)
  • Kavitha Reddy - School of Information (Spring 2005) 



Student Internships

The Usability Working Group sometimes employs student interns from the University of Michigan School of Information. If you are interested in working with us, please contact us for more information.

Page maintained by Suzanne Chapman
Last modified: 03/20/2013