Designing the Future

A Design Thinking Workshop

Chicago, IL

October 5, 2016

Designing the Future

Register for this workshop

The challenges facing libraries are real, complex and varied. As such, they require new perspectives, new tools, and new approaches. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in partnership with Chicago Public Library and Aarhus Public Library, IDEO—an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow—created a toolkit for using design thinking to better understand and service library patrons.

This full day workshop will draw upon the toolkit and take a step-by-step approach to guide you through the process of understanding design thinking to put it into practice at your library.


Through expert instruction as well as collaborative and individual hands-on activity, you will learn:

  • Design Thinking and its application to libraries
  • How to tap into your creativity to understand and apply human centered design thinking
  • The practical and critical steps in design thinking guided by the design thinking toolkit
  • How to more deeply understand your patrons and how they experience the services you provide to effectively serve their needs.

This workshop does not require pre-existing knowledge or experience with human-centered design thinking. All participants will be given the tools and information needed to walk away with ideas to emulate in your library, regardless of your library’s size or budget.


8:30-9:00: Registration

9:00-9:45: Introduction/Why Design Thinking?

9:45-10:30: Inspiration (research)

Build and practice strategies to learn about your library’s users and prospective users by observing, listening and building empathy with them through a variety of research techniques.

10:30-11:00: Inspiration (interviews)

We’ll learn how to develop interview questions and practice user interviews that give you actionable insights into what users want but may not be articulating in obvious ways.

11:00-11:15: Break

11:15-12:30: Develop a “How Might We. . .?” question to guide your design project

Participants will be led through exercise and asked to break out of their box in order to create a problem statement that is broad enough to invite new ideas and narrow enough to be solvable.

12:30-1:30: Lunch

1:30-2:00: Ideation (brainstorming & prototype)

Your team will apply insights you’ve gathered from the morning’s user research to answer your “How Might We. . .?” questions and generate many possible solutions. Then, you’ll work together to choose one idea to test.

2:00-2:45: Ideation (prototype)

Now, it’s time to test your idea. We’ll use a hands-on approach to bring your idea to life and simulate testing it with users to gather their feedback.

2:45-3:30: Iteration (user feedback & mini-pilot design)

Participants will use live feedback from peers to make improvements to their prototype and prepare a mini-pilot.

3:30-3:45: Break

3:45-4:30: Closing panel

Featuring libraries that have applied design thinking to a variety of large and small service improvement projects across CPL’s 80-branch system.

4:30-5:00: Closing reception

By registering for this event, you are agreeing that Library Journal/School Library Journal may share your registration information with sponsors currently shown and future sponsors of this event. Click here to review our full Privacy Policy. Library Journal Diversity

October 5, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(Registration 8:30-9:00)

Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library
400 S State Street
Chicago, IL 60605

In Partnership with

Chicago Public Library

Sponsored by