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Customer Experience Guiding 21st Century Planning - Renovation Initiative
Carnegie Library and MAYA Unveil Information Architecture Concept During National Conference

(Pittsburgh-April 1, 2004) How can 21st century libraries reinvent the customer experience by using the concept of information architecture to drive innovation and experimentation?

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and MAYA Design revealed a new approach for improving the customer experience during the10th annual Public Library Association conference in Seattle.

"In the past libraries were organized for the librarian. We now are determined to create new ways for casual users and new customers to work with the information available from their public library. Our plans turn the library's resources inside out and make them easier for the customer to access for themselves," says Sheila Jackson, Director of Main Library Redesign.

MAYA Design President Mick McManus joined Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Sheila Jackson, Main Library Redesign Director, and Karen Rossi, Circulation Services Manager, to present how the Library's $40 million Capital Improvement Program will revolutionize the way the customer experiences the library. The user-centered revitalization is the first comprehensive effort undertaken by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in its 100-plus year history.

"In information-rich spaces such as libraries, it's crucial to have an organizing scheme for the information--an architecture--that provides structure for visitors. This structure makes it easy for them to know where they are, where they should go, what they can do, and how they can do it," noted McManus.

The conference audience included more than 750 library professionals, authors, exhibitors and guests from around the country. McManus, Jackson, and Rossi described how the new Information Architecture program would meld the physical, digital and human aspects of the library.

The unique approach has impressed others within the public library community as well including Joey Rodger. Ms. Rodger is currently serving as President of the Urban Libraries Council. Founded in 1971, the Urban Libraries Council is an association of public libraries in over 140 metropolitan areas.

Rodger said, "The ongoing transformation of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will not only create exciting spaces and services for the people of Pittsburgh, but will serve as a model for the re-invention of the urban library around the country. Library users will benefit from a seamless experience."

The Oakland-based Main Library, which remains open throughout renovation, is scheduled for completion this fall. Two of the library's community branches serving residents in the Homewood and Brookline sections of the city are complete and several other branch renovations are now in progress.

To learn more about Information Architecture and how it applies to Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Capital Improvement Program visit http://www.carnegielibrary.org/presentations.


About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
A contemporary and vibrant institution, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will be recognized as the region's best information resource. It will serve as an essential community anchor by promoting positive change and helping neighborhoods to flourish. By embracing the future while guarding tradition, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will be a preferred destination for knowledge, entertainment and social interaction.

About MAYA Design:
Pittsburgh-based MAYA Design is a design consultancy and technology research lab. Its designers, engineers and human scientists tame the complexity of technology products and environments in ways that lead to positive, fruitful experiences. Peter Lucas, PhD, is Founder/Principal/Cognitive Psychologist; Joseph Ballay is Founder/Principal; and Mickey McManus is President/Chief Operating Officer.