Courtney McDonald
Associate Professor • User Experience Librarian
Success and Engagement Strategies

As User Experience Librarian, Courtney McDonald provides library-wide leadership for management of the Libraries' website, conducts and coordinates user experience research and consultations, and facilitates the Libraries' User Experience Community of Practice. 

Courtney's research interests are focused on the intersection of emerging technologies and library public services, and on implementing user-centered design methods and philosophies in libraries. She presents and writes on a variety of topics including web content strategy, user experience design and the selection and implementation of library search & discovery systems. Her forthcoming article, "Library Terms that Users (Don’t) Understand: A Review of the Literature, 2012-2021” is now freely available via CU Scholar and will appear in College & Research Libraries in November 2024. Recent publications include the co-authored articles "Web Content Strategy in Academic Libraries: Methods and Maturity" (2022), "Web Content Strategy in Practice within Academic Libraries" (2021) and "Library-Authored Web Content and the Need for Content Strategy" (2019). 

Courtney has an active record of professional service. Her long history of involvement in the Reference and User Services Association culminated in 2019 with her election to a three-year term in the executive role for that organization; she served as President in 2020-21. She is also a member of the Association for College and Research Libraries, where she chaired the New Publications Advisory Board from 2019 - 2022. Courtney was a founding member of the editorial board for the open-access, peer-reviewed publication Weave: The Journal Of Library User Experience and served as chair of that body from 2013-2018. Her service within the University Libraries has included the Tenure Committee's Teaching Sub-Committee, the Tenure Criteria Task Force and a term as chair of the Tenure Committee (2021-22). She currently serves as the elected Unit Representative for the Libraries to the Boulder Faculty Assembly.

Previous to joining the library faculty as a tenured Associate Professor in 2018, Courtney held positions at Indiana University Bloomington, DePaul University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism and Master of Library Science degrees at Indiana University, and holds a Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction from DePaul University.