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

In her role 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 serves as a co-facilitator of the Libraries' User Experience Community of Practice. In complement to this work, she also serves as a member of the Communications Working Group, supporting outreach and engagement through social media and other means, and regularly provides research assistance via the Libraries Ask A Librarian service.

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. Recent publications include the co-authored articles "Library-Authored Web Content and the Need for Content Strategy,” which appeared in the open-access journal Information Technology & Libraries in 2019, and “Account-Based Recommenders in Open Discovery Environments,” in Digital Library Perspectives (2018) [openly available at]Her most recent book, Putting the User First: Thirty Strategies for Transforming Library Services, was published in 2014.

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 currently serves as the President. She is also a member of the Association for College and Research Libraries, where she serves as chair of the New Publications Advisory Board. From 2013 to 2018, Courtney was chair of the editorial board for the open-access, peer-reviewed publication Weave: The Journal Of Library User Experience. In addition to her contributions to reviewing and substantively revising the library faculty's promotion and tenure criteria in 2019 as a member of the Tenure Criteria Task Force, Courtney is also a member of the Tenure Committee Teaching Subcommittee and was elected Vice-Chair of the Tenure Committee in spring 2020.

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 also holds a Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction from DePaul University.