Design Thinking for Libraries (Inclusive Innovation in Libraries)

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You want your services to be innovative and nimble, so you can respond quickly to community needs. But it can be hard to take a risk on a new idea. It can be even harder to turn a successful small pilot project into meaningful, sustainable change for the library. Design thinking provides a method for moving to action or scaling up quickly but strategically. Using design thinking techniques can even help foster a culture of learning and innovation in your organization.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

List the principles and steps of the design thinking process
Explain how to apply design thinking to library programs and services
Describe tools and resources for implementing design thinking


Audrey Barbakoff is the CEO of Co/Lab Capacity LLC, which provides community-centered consulting for libraries and social good organizations. She brings more than a decade of experience in public libraries. Her innovative and inclusive work has been recognized by Library Journal Movers & Shakers, the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal 40 Under 40, the Freedom to Read Foundation, and the Urban Libraries Council. She is certified in design thinking and sat on the advisory board of the design thinking program at the Tombolo Institute at Bellevue College. In addition to her MLIS, Dr. Barbakoff holds an EdD in organizational change and leadership. Her dissertation research focused on building organizational capacity for equity, diversity, and inclusion in public libraries through community-led programs. She is the author of Adults Just Wanna Have Fun: Programs for Emerging Adults and the forthcoming book Twelve Steps to a Community-Led Library. Find her at

State library and/or archives agency; Network/consortia; Public library; Academic library: 4 year and graduate; Special Library; Academic library: 2 year; Government library; K-12 library; Archives
This webinar is presented in Eastern time.