Concurrent Program Session

Design Thinking at Your Library: Try Try Again

Friday, April 8, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Colorado Convention Center, Room Mile High Ballroom 1-2

Is your library shackled by the curse of perfection? Looking to find innovative ways to solve problems at your library? Go through the steps of Design Thinking (brainstorm, empathize, and prototype) and learn how to apply them every day. Hear the stories of three California libraries (urban, suburban, and rural) that put design thinking into practice: San José Public Library, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, and Yolo County Public Library.

An online version of this concurrent program session was presented during the PLA 2016 Virtual Conference.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Know that failure isn't scary, it's just another step toward success.
2: Be able to repeat parts of the presentation to your colleagues to further design thinking in libraries across the country.
3: Immediately return to your library (be it rural, urban, or suburban) and implement the design thinking steps.

The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 1: People with no previous knowledge of the topic.

This session will have: High interaction: facilitated discussion; small group discussion; hands-on activity

Handouts: Download 1   Download 2  

Track: Invent

Tags: Leadership, Collaboration, Innovation, Organizational Change, Programming/Services, Transforming Libraries


Erik Berman, Teen Librarian
San Jose Public Library Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., San Jose, CA

Erik Berman is the Teen Librarian for San Jos? Public Library and host of it's library game show, "Do You Know What? What?!" A strong proponent of Teen Services and Youth Advocacy, he is a champion of teen-designed and teen-led programming in the library. Between building a new teen center and recruiting teens to advise on library issues, he is also a self professed nerd and voracious reader of graphic novels.

Nancy Donnell, Branch Manager
San Jose Public Library - Almaden & Vineland, San Jose, CA

Ms. Nancy Donnell was recently promoted to Branch Manager last year. She has planned, presented, and developed library programs for all ages. Nancy's philosophy of public service in that it is user-centered, it responds to information access in various formats, services and programs in an efficient, helpful, friendly manner in person and online. She is thrilled San Jose has been able to increase branch service hours from 4 days to 6 days of service.

Sharon Fung, Branch Manager
San Jose Public Library - Cambrian and Pearl Ave, San Jose, CA

Sharon Fung is a Senior Librarian at San Jose Public Library. She has worked at SJPL since 2006 as a full time librarian and the children's book selector. She received her MLIS from San Jose State in 2004. In addition, Sharon has led the way for exploring new approaches to library programming and outreach through her participation in the Design Thinking Team.

Margaret Hatanaka, Adult Services Supervisor
Rancho Cucamonga Library Services, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Margaret's career with the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library spans 20 year from circulation clerk, to children's librarian and most recently a promotion to Adult Services Supervisor. Margaret's background gives her the flexibility to step into doing a storytime as well as manage the online database budget. Her primary responsibilities range from staff development, programming, collection development, grant-writing and implementation, outreach, and budgeting.

Kristin Brailey, Clerk
Rancho Cucamonga Library Services, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Kristin has been a Clerk for the Rancho Cucamonga Library since 2004. Having worked at Disneyland, Kristin is Customer Service focused and believes it the key to positive long-term relationships with library patrons. Her responsibilities include training, processing materials, and programming.

Sue Billing, Library Associate
Yolo County Library, Yolo County, CA

Sue has been with the Yolo County since 2005 and was recently promoted to Library Associate in charge of the Yolo Branch Library. Sue's specialty is working with volunteers of all ages and in youth services. One of the perks of her position is being able to work at the largest branch - Davis - and the smallest branch - Yolo.

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 26, 2016, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 25, 2016. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours.

The PLA 2016 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.


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PLA Office

The PLA Office is located in A Mezzanine in the Colorado Convention Center. You can access the A Mezzanine from any of the lobbies using Elevator A, across from registration, and press the MZ button to get to the Mezzanine. You can also access A Mezzanine from Exhibit Hall A using Stairwell 30. The office phone numbers are 303-228-8450 and 303-228-8451. Onsite office hours are Monday, April 4–Friday, April 8, 8:00 AM–5:00 PM; Saturday, April 9, 8:00 AM–1:00 PM.

Registration & Housing

Onsite registration hours are Tuesday, April 5, 7:30 AM–5:00 PM; Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 AM–6:30 PM; Thursday, April 7, 7:30 AM–5:30 PM; Friday, April 8, 7:30 AM–4:00 PM; and Saturday, April 9, 8:00–10:00 AM. Conference registration and housing is managed by Experient. Call or e-mail your questions, 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada), 847-996-5829 (all other countries), or Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM Eastern. PLA Conference is a professional event. It is not open to the public.


Contact Corcoran Expositions, Mary Michalik at 312-265-9650,; or Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

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