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Rachel Vacek

Rachel Vacek

Head of Design & Discovery, University of Michigan Library
Rachel Vacek is the Head of Design & Discovery at the University of Michigan Library where she oversees the public-facing interfaces across the library’s web presence. She manages a team of program managers, front-end developers, user interface designers, content strategists, and user experience and accessibility specialists. She regularly teaches workshops and speaks at local and national library conferences on library UX, discovery interfaces, service design, and library leadership. Rachel was a 2007 ALA Emerging Leader, a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, and the 2014-2015 Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) President. For more about Rachel, see her website at or follow her on Twitter (@vacekrae).

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Just how good (or how bad) are the Web-based interfaces encountered by library users these days? Having invested in the creation of significant digital collections, how can libraries enhance usage of those collections? How do scholars and students (especially those working remotely) expect to engage with this content online? What should the interfaces be designed to support? Is there a baseline that has been established? What room exists for innovation in the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI)?

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