Assessment & User Experience Research

About AUXR

Proposal: Assessment & User Experience Research Department


The assessment program has had success in bringing the principles and practices of assessment to Yale University Library. As the culture of assessment has developed , the institution needs have grown. This proposal is designed to address the expanding assessment program as well as incorporating the user research program that has developed under the auspices of Library IT .

The first goal in the YUL Mission, Vision, Goals and Guiding Principles relates to user experience. It states that we should “p roactively engage with users and staff to impro ve services continuously”. In the library’s vision statement, it states that “Library services are seamless, and driven by evidence - based understanding of the disparate needs and research practices of our users. ” By incorporating the user t esting program and expanding the analyst capacities, the department will be better equipped to support the library’s mission.

Guided by the Yale University Library mission, vision, goals, and guiding principles Assessment & User Experience Research (AUXR) Department works with all library units to improve the users’ experience of library services and spaces. AUXR staff will:

  • Build a culture of assessment
  • Collect and analyze data to evaluate library operations
  • Study users' needs and priorities
  • Provide leade rship for addressing user needs across the library


Establish Assessment & UX Research as a new YUL unit by defining the function and purpose of the team, team roles, and the relationship to the overall library mission, vision, goals, and guiding pri nciples.

  • Integrate the goal setting process with stakeholders by supporting the assessment and UX research related goals of all YUL departments.
  • Outline an assessment program and strategy to expand and routinize library usage data with the goal of supporting more self - service options to stakeholders.
  • Develop an education and advocacy program to continue the goal of establishing a culture of assessment at YUL.



  1. Coordinates external reporting obligations (ARL, ACRL, IPEDS, and more)
  2. Provides consultation and support for library staff engaged in assessment work
  3. Explores, analyzes, and disseminates data related to library systems and services
  4. Creates learning opportunities for library staff in the use and dissemination of assessment da ta and related information

UX Research

  1. Designs, conducts, analyzes usability studies utilizing various methods (observations, surveys, interviews, card sorting, focus groups) to assess user needs, preferences and trends
  2. Utilizes user input to collaborate w ith other library units on the implementation of products and services throughout the library
  3. Consults with library staff of user needs 4. Advocates for the user

Advisory Group

Department initiatives and priorities will be informed by a n advisory g roup of key stakeholders.

Mission: To build evidenced - based, assessment culture throughout the Yale University Libra ry, in which data gathering, assessment , and user research activities become critical components of decision making for YUL’s programs and c ollections.


  • Develop mechanisms to gather the ma ny calls for data gathering, assessment , and user testing from YUL departments, programs, and collections.
  • Prioritize assessment activities based on their ability to further the mission and objectives of YUL that makes the best use of YUL resources.
  • Define and help build an infrastructure in which statistics, data, user engagement, and assessment results are readily available to YUL staff and stakeholders.
  • Identify training needs in data gath ering and assessment, develop programs to address those needs, and advocate for the resources to implement them. Sarah Tudesco, Assessment Librarian Meng Tang, Library Business Data Analyst Jennifer Nolte, User Experience Research Librarian 4
  • Support the department in data gathering and assessment, so that they have the tools and resources that they need to carry out their activities and programs.
  • Advocacy to ensure that the gathering of data and assessment results, and the reporting and presentation of them, adhere to YUL and Yale standards.
  • Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of assessment activities across YUL and work for their c ontinuous improvement.

Membership: The group will be chaired by Sarah Tudesco and representatives from library leadership who are invested in assessment at YUL.

Community of Practice

There is a growing community of stakeholders with significant professiona l responsibilities in assessment. This includes positions that managers plan to fill in the next few months in Technical Services and DASHRS as well as positions that were recently filled in Collection Developments and Access Services. The department would coordinate and lead a new community of practice to encourage information sharing and professional development.