Conecta Biblioteca (Connecting Libraries)
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Community Research - Carlos Cavalcanti.j
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Methods used: service design, participatory design workshop design & facilitation, sacrificial prototyping, survey design, journey mapping, participatory evaluation 


Outcomes: Co-author of Participant Guide that over 200 librarians used to learn participatory design methods to develop new educational programming. Over 120 new educational courses developed throughout Brazil as a result.

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How can librarians harness design thinking to become closer to their users and plan better programming?

Connecting Libraries (Conecta Biblioteca) is a nationwide design thinking training for librarians throughout Brazil. I co-authored the Participant Guide and co-led the curriculum development process, which was designed collaboratively alongside library leaders.


Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project teaches librarians design thinking skills and research techniques to help them plan more relevant programming. Some of the skills that are taught in the program and are discussed in the Participant Guide are:

  • Community-based Research

  • User interviews

  • Rapid prototyping

  • Focus groups

  • Surveys

  • Journey mapping (Read about how we use Journey Mapping here)


I also led participatory impact evaluation for this project. Working with a Brazil-based consultant, we investigated the impact of the project on participants work and personal lives, focusing on improvements in self-esteem and perception of their jobs and role within their local societies. You can read more about how I've used participatory evaluation here.  


In this project, I employed the following methodologies:

  •  design workshop design and facilitation

  •  sacrificial prototyping

  •  survey design

  •  participatory evaluation