Vol. 3 No. 2 (2018)

Personalized Wayfinding Help: Lessons Learned from a Library Concierge Service

Elisabeth Filar Williams
Oregon State University
Published September 22, 2018
  • user experience wayfinding concierge
How to Cite
Filar Williams, E. (2018). Personalized Wayfinding Help: Lessons Learned from a Library Concierge Service. Journal of New Librarianship, 3(2), 171-192. https://doi.org/10.21173/newlibs/5/3


Challenges with wayfinding, or navigation inside a building, can create frustrated and often anxious users. To help alleviate some of these wayfinding issues for users, a large research university’s main campus library created a flexible concierge service in the library entrance at the beginning of the Fall 2015 term; staff from all library departments have worked at the concierge station at the start of most subsequent terms. Questions asked at the concierge station that first academic year along with feedback from library staff were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Findings indicated users primarily had directional and technology-based questions. As a result of these findings, multiple suggestions for library service improvements were made, and additional improvements are being considered for future implementation. This paper discusses why a flexible concierge service was created; how it revealed wayfinding issues, thereby leading to changes that improved the user experience; and how the participation of a wide range of library staff in the flexible concierge service can build empathy with patrons.