2016 Conference Highlights – Engaging with Empathy to Unlock Community Connections

Each week between now and the 2016 MLA/DLA Conference, we’re highlighting one of the conference sessions sponsored by ACRL MD. The conference will be held May 4-6 at the Clarion Resort Hotel in Ocean City, MD.  For more information on the conference, please take a look at the conference program (PDF). To register, visit the MLA conference page. And follow along on social media at #MLADLA16

MLA Engaging

Engaging with Empathy to Unlock Community Connections

Thursday, May 5th
Presenter: Kimberly Miller, Towson University

“Empathy,” or cultivating a shared understanding and experience with others, has emerged as a central component of innovation, communication, collaboration, and problem solving – skills all librarians rely on to provide successful services and create welcoming environments. In this session, attendees will explore an adaptation of the User Experience (UX) method “Empathy Mapping.” After a brief introduction to the history and importance of “empathy” as a concept, attendees will learn the basics of creating an Empathy Map, a visualization technique for organizing data about what user groups think, see, feel, and do. Insights from the finished map provide a new perspective into community wants, needs, and motivations, which can be used to design user-centered library services. Attendees will work together to practice creating an Empathy Map for a library user group of their choosing. This is a hands-on session, so come prepared to explore the potential in your library!

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