I’m Rebecca Blakiston, user experience strategist at the University of Arizona Libraries.
I created this blog many years ago while in library school as I was still finding my professional self. It seemed like a good opportunity to share things I was working on and connect with likeminded readers.
Over the past few years, most of my posts relate to the user experience in libraries, my focus and passion. I’m not great at keeping it up to date, but try to squeeze in a post when I am inspired and have a few minutes. If nothing else, I try to post my slidedecks or recordings of presentations that are made public.
I’ve been at the University of Arizona Libraries my whole career. Starting as a student worker in 2003, I then worked full-time in access services from 2005-2007. After obtaining my Master’s in Library Science in 2007, I landed an assistant librarian gig with undergraduate services, which later evolved into instructional services. I was “continued” (given tenure) and promoted to associate librarian in 2013, and in 2014 moved to the technology department to work with our web team. In 2017, I moved to library administration to oversee user experience strategy for the organization.
My current position
I’ve been a user experience librarian since 2014. In my latest role, I promote user experience as a strategy for the entire organization. I provide training and consultation for staff and coordinate user research to help us make informed, thoughtful decisions to improve the user experience. I do things like usability testing, user interviews, persona development, and user journey mapping, and try to help us focus on what matters most to our students and faculty.
My service and scholarship
I’m active in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), most recently as 2016-2017 chair of the University Libraries Section (ULS). I’ve published papers on instructional design, continuous learning, and content strategy. See my Academia profile for more on my research interests, publications, and presentations.
I organized the Certificate in User Experience available through Library Juice Academy, and for four years taught Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing, Writing for the Web, and Developing a Website Content Strategy.
I wrote the book, Usability Testing: a Practical Guide for Librarians, published in 2014, and Writing Effectively in Print and on the Web: A Practical Guide for Librarians, published in 2017.
I hope you enjoy the blog. Thanks for visiting!