Staff Spotlight: Grace YoungJoo Jeon
Many Tulane University Libraries (TUL) users encounter staff members’ warm welcome at the circulation desk or receive research assistance from subject librarians. Yet there are many active members of the TUL team who diligently work behind the scenes who users may never see, including Grace YoungJoo Jeon, Assessment and User Experience Librarian.
With significant experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, Grace focuses on human-computer interaction, information behavior, and the use of technology in improving outreach to various communities. After starting at TUL in late 2018, Grace prioritized an assessment on user experience at information and help desks at Howard Tilton Memorial (HTML) and Rudolph Matas Library for the Health Sciences (Matas). To determine service performance and user satisfaction, she recruited 21 Tulane undergraduate and graduate students to interact with librarians and staff in person, on the telephone, through emails, and via chat using devised scenarios and questions.
In January 2021, Grace presented her research at a session during the Association of Research Libraries’ (ARL) Library Assessment Conference. Participants reported that staff appeared to be experts in their field while remaining approachable and friendly at the four selected locations (HTML’s Circulation Desk, HTML’s Research Help Desk, HTML Media Services, and Matas’ Info Services desk). As a bonus, students learned more about the services and resources available at TUL and developed relationships with librarians and staff.
As a strong collaborator, Grace adjusted and implemented instruments shared with her by associates at Texas State University who ran a similar user engagement study. Grace says, “My favorite part of my job is partnering with colleagues from all of TUL’s different departments. Users interact with each unit in unique ways, so it’s interesting to examine the needs of each distinctive group and develop specialized plans for how they can improve.”
Currently, Grace is studying TUL users’ experiences with online platforms by tracking website, library search, and social media data to determine engagement trends and improve online interactions. Dean David Banush says, “Grace’s work has become essential in the evaluation and refinement of our service. The data she collects and analyzes directly informs strategies across the library.”