Save the Date! Service Design Conference January 12


User experience remains a hot topic after NEASIST’s 2016 UX conference, and now you can deepen your understanding with a holistic view of service design. Do you want to tailor your entire ecosystem — personnel, spaces, and systems online and offline — to improve your users’ experiences?

The New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology, together with the Simmons College Student Chapter, invite you to participate in our 2017 Winter Event, Service Design: The Holistic Experience.

WHEN: Thursday January 12, 2017
WHERE: Simmons College in Boston

With participatory breakout sessions and thoughtful keynotes, this one-day conference will give you the concepts you need to talk to stakeholders in your organization about service design. It will give you tools you can use to gather the data that will inform your organization’s service design discussions. It will give you a platform to share your ideas and experiences designing better services.

What should you do now?
Save the date for Service Design: The Holistic Experience on January 12, 2017

Get in touch with by 11/4 to propose a talk, breakout session, tour, or lightning round if you’re interested in sharing your own service design experience — redesigning spaces, websites, or services of any kind.

Vote Your NEASIS&T Board


Cast your vote for members of the 2016-2017 NEASIS&T Board:

The ballot will be open until Wednesday (9/28/2016) of next week.  We are also accepting nominations for the following:

  • Membership & Outreach Coordinator
  • Webmaster
  • Annual Meeting RepresentativesTerms run from October of this year to next year.  You do not need to live in Boston to participate; virtual participation is welcome.  You can learn more about these positions from our Board Nominations post.


Call for Board Nominations: Gain Professional Skills and Work with Amazing People


We are now accepting nominations for board positions for our regional chapter.  Terms run from October of this year to next year.  You do not need to live in Boston to participate; virtual participation is welcome.  This is a great way to gain professional skills, work with amazing people, and network widely.

Below is a brief description of each board role.  If you have any questions or if you would like to nominate yourself or an interested colleague, please reach out to  Voting will happen in September.

Chair-elect (2 year commitment)
The Chair-elect, who automatically becomes Chair in the following year, works collaboratively with the Chair in planning and executing NEASIST programs and serves as the Alternate Chapter Representative to the Assembly.  The Chair-elect will assume the duties and responsibilities of the Chair in the event of the Chair’s absence, resignation or removal from office.  The Chair-elect assumes the primary responsibility for leading the Program Committee in planning the chapter’s programs during the year.  As Chair, this officer leads the New England chapter and the board, holding quarterly board meetings and setting the strategic direction for the chapter.  If you are interested in building project management skills, this is the position for you!

Secretary (1 year commitment)
The Secretary keeps records of all meetings and correspondence to members and assists in making logistical arrangements for meetings and activities. S/he also maintains the internal documentation for both the Board and the Program Committee.  If you are organized and have a knack for synthesizing multiple perspectives into a coherent narrative, this is the position for you!

Treasurer (1 year commitment)
The Treasurer keeps records of all income and expenditures and must be aware of Society policies regarding chapter finances and expenses.  This officer prepares and submits the chapter’s quarterly and annual reports and receives/reviews the chapter’s financial statements.  If you are organized and would like to gain financial management experience, this is the position for you!

Membership and Outreach Coordinator (1 year commitment)
The Membership and Outreach Coordinator carries out one of the most important functions of the chapter: communicating with members.  This officer should be in regular contact with the membership to share and solicit information for the listserv, relevant social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Meetup, and Eventbrite), the NEASIST blog and newsletter, in collaboration with the Webmaster. The Membership and Outreach Coordinator also prepares regular reports on current chapter membership.  If you have strong communication skills and are motivated to get others involved in NEASIST, this is the position for you!

Webmaster (1 year commitment)
The Webmaster is responsible for managing the chapter’s website. This officer should update the site content, create pages, and post announcements as requested by the Board and the Program Committee. Other responsibilities might include the proposal and implementation of new website features, and the management of outreach tools in collaboration with the Membership and Outreach Coordinator.  If you have basic web development skills and an inclination toward quality control and consistency, this is the position for you!


How to Build Collections around Faculty CVs and Syllabi: Wrap-up and Handout


Jennifer Ferguson’s workshop on using faculty material to build collections was a big success!  We paired up and worked in teams to look over faculty CVs and syllabi that we brought with us.  An important take away was that faculty members interweave their own research interest into their courses.  So, don’t worry that the material you are collecting is not directly supporting the curriculum, because it does!

Here is Jennifer’s handout showing you the steps on how to get started on building collections that align with both curriculum and faculty research interests

Building Collections with Faculty CVs and Syllabi [pdf; 373KB]

NEASIS&T Picnic 2016: Competitive Croquet and RDAP Recap


Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Time: to
Place:  *location change* 25 Park Street — corner of Park Street and Harvard Ave. in Brookline
Public transit: 66 and 65 buses, green line C and D trains.
Parking: two-hour free on-street parking on Part Street and Harvard Ave

RSVP via

Join us for convivial company and competitive croquet at our annual picnic! The program committee will provide the snacks and drinks. The 2016 NEASIST travel award winners will provide brief updates.  YOU will provide the company and conversation! All are welcome — professionals, students, NEASIST members, and nonmembers alike.

Edouard Manet - A Game of Croquet. Two ladies and two gentlemen in Victorian clothing playing a game of croquet. One lady is readying her mallet to hit a ball.
Edouard Manet – A Game of Croquet.

You can also expect compelling communiques from Regina Raboin and Anna Newman, who will have come back from RDAP (Research Data Access and Preservation Summit) with lots of info about research data management and new trends in information science. We’ll also share information about our 2016-2017 programming; this is your chance to weigh in!


We’ll be there enjoying the garden from 5:30 onwards. The informal program will begin at 6. Goodwin Garden is behind 11&12 Goodwin Place in Brookline Village, near the Brookline Public Library. There’s easy access by public transit (including the green line D and E trains as well as buses on Washington Street, Harvard Street, and Huntington Ave), and there’s street parking on Washington Street. We have a rain location nearby, but keep your fingers crossed that we can enjoy the garden! Questions? Email

Conversations on Data Management: An RDAP Review


Thanks to the generous support of NEASIST, I was able to attend the Research Data Access & Preservation (RDAP) Summit earlier this month in Atlanta, Georgia. As a student (now recent grad!) of the Simmons College School of Library and Information Science, I first became interested in data management during a Scientific Research Data Management course taught by Elaine Martin and a teaching team from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, including my fellow travel grant recipient, Regina Raboin. This course provided a solid foundation in research data management, as well as practical training in conducting a data interview and creating a data management plan. This past semester, I’ve been able to apply the knowledge and skills I developed during this course as the Research Data Manager Intern at Harvard Medical School, where I’ve been helping to conduct outreach to biomedical researchers to understand their data management needs and practices.

I arrived at RDAP with a strong interest in data literacy and a desire to understand how information professionals could fulfill an instructional role in research data services. Many of the panels and talks presented a variety of ways in which libraries and institutions are fulfilling that role, from workshops to special events, and this has helped to evolve my thinking around this topic. Overall, however, my experience at RDAP has inspired me to think more broadly about research data services, about how institutions can build sustainable data management programs, by using their resources efficiently and effectively evaluating their success.

The question of sustainability was addressed specifically in one panel, where panelists from James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Michigan shared their ideas about the considerations of technology, management, and strategic planning in building sustainable services, but the theme continued throughout the two days of the conference. The panel on “Building the Research Data Community of Practice” brought together speakers who shared ways that the research data community is coming together to collaborate and learn from each other—from communities, such as DataQ, the Escience Portal for New England Librarians, and Datacure, to events, such as the Virginia Data Management Boot Camp and the Midwest Data Librarian Symposium. Another panel, “Measuring Up: How Are We Defining Success for Research Data Services?”, presented various approaches to the assessment of research data services, as well as a frank discussion of challenges in conducting evaluations. Many libraries are using tracking systems such as LibAnswers to track their data management interactions, but also recognized that these tools cannot easily or accurately portray the nature of the interactions, or the time commitment involved. Institutions with data repositories, who are tracking a variety of statistics on downloads, page traffic, and user engagement, shared their approaches to visualizing and understanding this data for evaluation purposes. Understanding and utilizing resources effectively was a theme throughout these presentations, especially during a panel on “Engaging Liaisons”, which explored how liaison librarians could best be involved in data management, drawing on their skills in advocacy, outreach, and relationship building. These panels, as well as the lightning talks, poster presentations, and informal conversations that filled in the rest of the conference’s busy schedule, have encouraged me to think not just about the types of research data services that should be offered, but how these services should be constructed, managed, and evaluated—in essence, applying the much-beloved lifecycle model to the services themselves.

When I applied for the NEASIST student travel grant, I saw RDAP as a great way to learn more about emerging trends in data management and connect with professionals working in this area, and my experience at the conference exceeded these expectations. The ideas and conversations that I had while at RDAP were overwhelmingly motivating, and I would like to see other LIS students have this opportunity in future. One of the most controversial topics at the conference was the cost of attendance, which many worried was limiting attendance and shutting out valuable contributions. Next year’s conference planners are committed to lowering these barriers, which is a positive step forward, but this discussion underlined for me how fortunate I feel to have been given this opportunity by NEASIST. I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts from the conference at the NEASIST Summer Picnic in June, and I thank NEASIST again for their generous support.

To see slideshows from many of the panels and talks that I mentioned in this blog post, see the ASIST Slideshare account.

-Anna Newman

2016 ASIS&T Elections


Shape the future of ASIS&T and cast your vote!  Eligible voters should have been sent an email with instructions on accessing the voting systems and the special login username and password required for voting on May 11.

Below are the candidates running for the ASIS&T Board of Directors.   Click on their names to read their personal statement.  All votes must be received by June 15, 2016.

President-elect (for the 2017 ASIS&T administrative year ):
Treasurer (for the 2017-2019 administrative years)
Director-at-Large (for 2017-2019 administrative years) – Elect two:

Building Collections around Faculty CVs and Syllabi


Date: Thursday, June 2, 2016
to Location: Wheelock College Earl Center for Learning and Innovation 
Parking is nigh impossible.  We suggest you take public transportation.
RSVP (space limited):

This is the second workshop in our Collection Development series.  Jennifer Ferguson will be talking about building collections strategically around Faculty CVs and syllabi, so bring a copy of one or both to work with in this workshop.

Jennifer Ferguson is a Liaison Librarian to the Arts, Humanities, and Careers at Simmons College.

Interested in participating virtually? We’re interested in helping you do that — contact us at


UX/UI Unconference Handouts


Thanks to our UX experts and attendees – both in-person and virtual via our go-to meeting software – yesterday for the great turnout and lively discussions!   Here is a link to our event evaluation if you didn’t get a chance to fill it out:

There were some handouts shared at the event with useful tips and suggestions on how to do usability testing.

Remote & Moderated Usability Testing Method
Interviewing Users

And some folks have asked for the brownie recipe Annie used:

Join NEASIST for our first UX/UI Un-Conference


Date: Monday, April 25, 2016
to Location: Faculty & Staff Dining Room right outside of The Fens Cafe in the Simmons College Main College Building.
See who else is going and RSVP :
We will have a virtual participation option! Please email, if you would like to be a virtual participant.

This is a great opportunity to discuss current trends and best practices with usability experts in an informal setting. Come bring your ideas and questions for our UX experts. Discussion topics will include distance usability testing, flash ethnography, and more!

Our experts:

Elizabeth Quigley
Topic: Distance Testing
User Experience Lead, IQSS
Elizabeth has an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College. Her usability research mainly focuses on improving open source products for researchers, such as The Dataverse Project, an open source data repository. Her research interests are: discoverability of data, user experience of academic products, and best practices for integrating user experience processes into existing products.

Deirdre Costello
Topic: Flash Ethnography
Deirdre Costello is a Sr. User Experience Researcher at EBSCO Information Services. She is passionate about discovering how technologies fit into users’ lives and their pursuit of information. Deirdre is a librarian, and has a background in research, analysis and writing.

Amy Deschenes
Topic: Building Empathy through User Interviews
Amy Deschenes is the Library User Experience Specialist at Harvard University. In addition to overseeing various user studies in the libraries, she also hosts training workshops with staff on how to conduct usability testing, ethnographic research, and user interviews. During her first year at Harvard she worked to establish the User Research Center, a dedicated space to support user experience research at Harvard. She is the author of the book, “Free Technology for Libraries.” Her website is