November 27, 2015

Ithaka S+R Hires Anthropologist and Library Redesign Expert Nancy Fried Foster

From an ITHAKA S+R E-Mail:

Nancy Fried Foster, an anthropologist and well-known expert in helping libraries redesign their spaces and services to meet the needs of today’s researchers, has joined the not-for-profit research and consulting group Ithaka S+R.

Widely recognized for her work at the University of Rochester Libraries that began in 2003 , Foster has consulted with a growing number of libraries in the United States and other countries, helping them to understand their local and remote users and to design vastly improved spaces, services, and technologies to meet their needs. She has also published books, one on eXtensible Catalog and another on studying students (a  third is forthcoming from the American Library Association this fall), and has led numerous workshops to share her experience and educate librarians on using participatory design processes in their work.

Foster bring a critical new component: using anthropological methods to enhance libraries’ understanding of their users and what they do each day, and translating this into clear ways that libraries can reshape themselves to have a greater impact. 

“Nancy offers a wealth of knowledge and effective, qualitative approaches that libraries can really benefit from at a time when they are undergoing tremendous change,” said Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R Managing Director. “She is also simply delightful to work with and has an infectious, insatiable commitment to libraries and the work they do. ”

Read Nancy Fried-Foster’s Bio

See Also: Last December, Nancy Fried Foster Answered Seven Questions Posed by Library Journal’s Meredith Schwartz About Being a Library Anthroplogist

See Also: Full Text Research Papers by Nancy Fried Foster (via U. of Rochester Institutional Repository) ||| Repository Bio

See Also:  Participatory Design in Academic Libraries: Methods, Findings, and Implementations
This report from CLIR (October 2012) includes an introduction by Nancy Fried Foster

See Also: Nancy Fried Foster’s LinkedIn Page

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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