Library IT Spotlight on: User Experience Group

The User Experience Group in Library IT is the newest unit of the LIT department. It was formed with the express purpose of keeping our patrons’ needs at the forefront of all library digital projects. The work of the group is focused on major library digital interfaces, including:

  • The library’s web site, The web site is maintained in a Drupal content management system. We use a Yale wide Drupal instance called YaleSites.
  • Major vendor-provided services such as Springshare’s products Libguides (Library subject guides), and Libcal (room scheduling and hours).
  • Search interfaces such as Orbis and Articles+. A large amount of the group’s work has recently involved Quicksearch, a Blacklight search combining records from the Orbis and Morris catalogs, along with records from Articles+.
  • In support of these interfaces the group does usability testing and tracks metrics. 

Within this new group we have a very new position of an Emerging Digital Analyst. With this new addition we are adding communication and staff support to our portfolio of work.

The UX Group recently had time to do some strategic planning, and we reflected on the purpose of our group, our priorities and also feedback we received through the LIT Satisfaction Survey. From those reflections we’ve formed some guiding principles. In our efforts we will

  • work collegially with all library staff
  • communicate in multiple ways, and give staff opportunities to give us feedback
  • strive to meet deadlines, and acknowledge honestly when we cannot 
  • focus on a service model as opposed to a project model, and include planning for ongoing support when work is completed
  • use metrics to guide decisions
  • work to be trusted experts in user experience

We invite you to contact any of the staff listed here with your questions and comments. We would like to hear from you.

User Experience Staff

Katie Bauer (

User Experience Librarian

I’m the manager of the UX group, and also focus on usability, Google Analytics and metrics for digital interfaces. Originally from upstate New York, I grew up in a very rural area in a pretty large family with three brothers and a sister. I went to college at Mount Holyoke and studied mathematics, which I continued in a master’s program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where I earned an M.S in Applied Mathematics. I taught math for several years before going into a librarianship program at SUNY Albany. I’ve been at Yale for 17 years in various positions in the library system.

I’m married and have two grown children in college. I live in Hamden with my husband and two dogs, and spend much of my free time enjoying the outdoors taking hikes with them (when it isn’t freezing cold).

My office is in SML 510, and my phone number is 432-2491

Jenn Nolte (

Emerging Digital Services Analyst

I grew up on the Connecticut coastline and have lived in CT my whole life. I earned a BA in English and Women’s Studies from Fairfield University in 2003, and my MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) from Southern Connecticut State University in 2013.

I’ve worked in SML for 11 years now, 10 of those in the Library IT office. I came to Yale in 2004 as a Catalog Assistant in the Catalog Management Team, working on the massive OCLC Reconciliation project. A year later I moved to Library IT, where I became responsible for MARC record loads to the Orbis catalog, among other duties.

Today I am responsible for supporting Articles+, the library’s discovery interface for licensed e-resources. I co-chair the E-resource Access Group with our Electronic Resource Librarian, Angela Sidman. I am involved in implementation of the Quicksearch beta service, a unified discovery service powered by Blacklight and meant to provide a single search across several library resources at one time. I run a monthly Emerging Technologies + Libraries discussion, open to all library staff and Yale community members, and I also do a good deal of communication about LIT work, including running the departmental social media accounts and compiling and sending the LIT newsletter and the Digital Initiatives newsletter. I am on the L-SARC committee, and I am also a Personal Librarian!

My office is in SML 609 and my phone is 432 4878. Please feel free to stop by of call and say hello! I am happy to answer any questions or refer you to someone who can.

Kalee Sprague (

Senior Systems Librarian for Integrated Access

I am originally from Bozeman, Montana, although I lived and attended school for many years in Billings, Montana.  I earned a BA in Spanish Literature from the University of Minnesota, and my M.L.I.S. from the University of California, Berkeley.

I have worked for the Library for 18 years, first as a Database Analyst working primarily with Orbis, then as a Systems Librarian in the Programming group working with a variety of systems like Yufind, the Finding Aids database, the Orbis public interface, the new Findit digital collections system, and Quicksearch, the new Blacklight-based discovery system.

Currently I am in the User Experience group. As part of that group, I am the project manager for the Quicksearch project (, coordinating the work of the Quicksearch Implementation team.  In addition, I am currently the Technical Lead on the project, using technologies like Ruby on Rails, HAML, and Javascript / CSS to mold Quicksearch to meet the needs of YUL users.  Occasionally I also work on the Findit digital collections interface.  In support of both of these projects, I chair the Discovery and Systems Metadata group, coordinating the work of metadata specialists to identify correct metadata mappings for these two projects and create guidelines like the Discovery Metadata for Digital Materials manual.  Finally, I support the production Orbis interface, the Finding Aids interface, and am a Personal Librarian.

I sit in room 609 and can be reached at 2-7845.


Meng Tang (

CIS Support Specialist

I came to Yale as an Acquisition Assistant, and later became a Cataloging Assistant.  From being a member of the Workstation Support Group to my current position in Library IT, I have had the chance to visit all the libraries, meet many people, and do many hardware and software support tasks.  I love having the chance to learn new technology and the challenge of solving problems.  I started learning the Drupal platform for the library’s website when I joined the UX group in late 2013 and am looking for any possible future benefits that this system can bring to us.

Steve Wieda (

Senior Web Developer

I have worked with academic research libraries since 1998, serving both IT and administrative leadership roles centered on web communications and technologies.  During that time it has been my pleasure to work with amazing people on fascinating projects that have positively impacted the institutions I have served and beyond.

At the Yale University Library, I will be leading the LibGuides 2 implementation, managing the continuing migration to YaleSites, and providing consulting services for website construction, content management, usability, and accessibility.  I will also administer the YUL YaleSites/Drupal site, the Library’s various webservers, and the mailman list-servs.  In the coming months I’m looking very forward to meeting as many of you as possible.  Together we will build and maintain a fabulous web presence for the Yale University Library.

Spotlight on Library IT Staff: Workstation and Technology Services

Following on the staff bios for the Digital Library & Programming group and the newly reorganized Enterprise Systems & Services group, Library IT would like to turn the spotlight on the Workstation & Technology Services group.

Here is a closer look at the members of the Workstation & Technology Services group:

Greg Blasko; Manager, IT Infrastructure & Client Services

An employee of Yale University since 1996, I have spent a majority of my career supporting various technologies in the School of Medicine’s Keck Foundation Biotechnology Resource Laboratory. At Keck, I managed all IT operations including supervising desktop support specialists, providing server support, and designing mission critical FileMaker Pro databases used to manage all financial aspects and laboratory operations of the department. In October of 2013, I joined the Yale University Library and now manage a team of support technicians maintaining the reliability and security of a large computing infrastructure for Library staff and patrons. Some accomplishments during my first 14 months here at YUL include the adoption of ServiceNow as a ticketing system, the reduction of backup overage charges resulting in savings of over $5,600 per month, the successful migration of over 100 workstations from Windows XP to Windows 7, and the establishment of several key relationships between YUL and Central ITS. Some of my favorite off hour activities include skiing, mountain biking, playing guitar and most of all being a dad!

Reon Keller; IT Support Technician

I started working at Yale 2003 as a casual, providing remote access support including but not limited to VPN. In 2008 became a permanent employee for Technical Support. I have a strong background in desktop and mobile device support and networking. With some years under my belt, I now provide technical support throughout YUL. I deliver hands-on support and collaboration in special projects, software training, software upgrade and rollouts, to name a few things.

Frederick Rodriguez; IT Support Technician

Before coming to the Library in 2010, I worked as a researcher in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale Medical School for 7 years. The former 4 years of my work I preformed experiments and analyzed data to look at Stat-6 regulatory gene in a mouse EAE model and the proliferation-activated receptor-y agonists remodeling of human artery induced by allocative T-cells. The latter 3 years, I co-lead the implementation of a database that stored both human and mouse tissues for the Yale JDRF Center. When I joined Workstation and Technology Support unit, I was tasked with converting all of my support units and public computers to Windows 7, and managing Mac computers along with iPads for the library as a whole. I have worked on a few special projects such as Office 2007 training, upgrading AV infrastructure and scanners in public areas, managing the iPad teaching initiative pilot along with ITG, and maintaining a standard computer image both 32- and 64-bit. On my personal time I enjoy running, watching “Newsroom” and “The Big Bang Theory,” eating chocolate :-), drinking wine :-)), and reading about theoretical computation, robotics, biological science, and the latest technology.

Jerzy Grabowski; IT Support Technician, MSSA / Beinecke

As an accomplished Information Technology support professional with over 12 years of comprehensive experience in a multi-site, multi-host, networked environment, I appreciate supporting clients on both sides of the Wall Street tunnel, effectively delivering technical advice to Library personnel. I’m the newest member of the Workstation and Technology Services Staff, starting my career at Yale in January 2013 as temporary employee. Since July 2013, I have supported both Manuscripts and Archives and Beinecke Library staff. It is awesome to work for Yale University Libraries. My pastimes are tennis, skiing and fishing.

Library IT Reorganization, Enterprise Systems and Services

I am pleased to announce a reorganization of the two units within Library IT that currently report to me, and the addition of two new staff members to the department. Effective immediately, Enterprise Systems and Programming Services, and Systems Infrastructure and Integration Services will be combined into a single unit within Library IT. The new group is known as Enterprise Systems and Services. In addition, I am delighted to announce that Cindy Greenspun and Lauren King will transition from Access Services and join Enterprise Systems and Services.

These changes are intended to enhance and broaden services provided to the Library, address various staffing changes that have occurred over the last six months, and increase internal efficiencies. A brief overview of the staff and their areas of responsibility follow in an effort to clarify who you should reach out to if you have questions or need assistance. Updates to the Library and departmental organizational charts are forthcoming.


Cindy Greenspun, Business Systems Analyst

Cindy is a direct report and will be responsible for current and future integrated library systems with a focus on circulation subsystems, access management systems that provide physical and virtual access to the Library and its resources, and the development of technical solutions to automate and improve workflows and processes.


Lauren King, Technical Assistant

Lauren will report to Cindy Greenspun and continue to work with Yale ITG in support of the iPad Loan Program in Bass Library, provide assistance updating web content for Access Services, and assist with the work of the unit.


Yue Ji, Senior Programmer Analyst

Yue is a direct report and will continue to be responsible for the development, implementation, and support of software solutions that both enhance enterprise systems such as ORBIS and ArchivesSpace and improve workflows and processes.


Robert Rice, Technical Lead

Bob is a direct report and will have a broad set of responsibilities to support the entire lifecycle of core systems and storage infrastructure for the Library and explore opportunities to transition services to providers such as Yale ITS, library vendors, and cloud infrastructure providers such as Amazon Web Services.


Steve DiSorbo, Senior Systems Programmer

Steve will report to Bob Rice and provide Unix, Linux, Windows Server, and VMware systems administration, systems programming, storage, and database support for Yale University Library’s local and hosted infrastructure.


Steelsen Smith, Business Systems Analyst

Steelsen is a direct report and will provide a leadership role in supporting current and future fulfillment systems and their respective user communities. This includes systems such as Aeon, Ares, ILLiad, consortial programs and associated systems, and GFA LAS.


Melissa Wisner, Senior Systems Librarian

Melissa is a direct report and will provide a leadership role in supporting current and future collections management systems and their respective user communities. This includes systems such as Voyager, ArchivesSpace, and Aeon.


I would like to thank Bernadette Cioffi, Michael Dula, Russell Epstein, Brad Warren, and the institutional union representative Kevin Pacelli for their assistance throughout the transition. I would like to also thank the staff in Enterprise Systems and Services for their patience, feedback, and high level of engagement throughout this reorganization.

New Staff in the Digital Library Programming Services Department

I’d like to introduce everyone to Tracy MacMath, she joined us this week as a User Interface Programmer who will be working primarily on Hydra, Blacklight, Ladybird and other Hydra related applications we adopt such as Avalon. Previously Tracy worked as a User Experience Producer at Gartner and received a Masters of Science in Interactive Communications from Quinnipiac University.

In addition to introducing Tracy, I thought it might help to offer some quick bios for the whole team.

Michael Friscia – Manager, Digital Library Programming Services 
I arrived at Yale in 2007 and worked primarily supporting workstations, ILLiad and programming on various projects for the LSF, Map Department and the wide range of Digital Library interfaces. Since then Library IT has changed quite a bit and I now manage the group that is primarily responsible for working with the Hydra implementation in support of a number of grant funded projects including Arcadia, NEH and the Dr. Henry Kissinger Papers. I started programming early, my first computer arriving for Christmas in 1979 and recently celebrated 30 years of programming C++ applications though still enjoy programming in Algol and Basic on a variety of vintage computers in a collection that spans from 1964 to 1995 with some overflow in my office that I crank up from time to time. I enjoy writing software of all types but spend my free time working on several open source video game and game emulation projects.

Eric James, Senior Programmer Analyst
My official title is Programmer Analyst, Library IT.  I was hired 7 years ago to work on a digital repository service that became the current YaleFindingAidDatabase, and a grant project A MiddleEasternElectronicLibrary (AMEEL) that was one of the earliest adopters of a software stack for the submission, achiving and dissemination of digital material.  This work has matured over the years and is now basically taken the form of Hydra, an interinstitutional project with these same goals bringing together such components as fedora, solr, and mysql.  I am a programmer on these these projects (php, java and ruby/RAILS) and have been involved in various teams such as the Digitization Task Force, the YFAD Coordinating Committee, the Digital Repository Archiving Committee, and most recently the Kissinger Project working to coordinate technology with our strategic plans.  I have participated as a programmer in several sprints for the fedora 4 project (the future underlying repository of most of our solutions) and in the development and use of the hydra stack, and am involved in working groups related to these projects.  Throughout these projects I have worked with software project management tools such at GIT, sharepoint, wrike, basecamp, pivotal tracker, jira, confluence wikis, and classesv2.  I have been involved in several conferences including participation as presenter, and in lightning talks and poster sessions at Open Repositories, code4lib, hydraConnect and the DigitalLibraryFoundation.

Osman Din, Senior Programmer Analyst
I got into software engineering, and programming in particular, due to my background in Computer Science. My current career focus is on developing back-end large-scale services for digital content management and publishing, as well as writing web applications and tools that aid in this enterprise. Besides other assignments or projects that I participate in, the bulk of my time is dedicated currently to two major projects, Ladybird 2 and Fedora 4.  Ladybird 2 is a Java application for managing the publishing and discovery of digital content to repositories (such as Fedora) and user-facing web applications (such as the Hydra interfaces). I’m the lead developer for this project. The code is written via IntelliJ, lives in GitHub (eventually, it will become an open source project), and is managed via Jenkins for continuous integration. For Fedora 4, which is an open source repository system with about 30 developers, I keep the code that I write in a fork on GitHub, and submit it to the Fedora 4 project team lead in the form of GitHub pull requests. The code is tested automatically for integration and fitness via Travis and Jenkins; the documentation for new functionality is kept up-to-date in Confluence; the status updates for features and bugs are recorded in Pivotal Tracker. My favorite tools for software design and programming are IntelliJ, bash, Eclipse (for proprietary frameworks), Virtual Box, Git, Jenkins and LucidChart.

Lakeisha Robinson, Programmer Analyst
How I began a career in programming:
Immediately following college is when I started my career at IBM. It was there at IBM, where I designed and coded programs in C/Assembly, when I realized how much I loved programming. I had a hardware background in Electrical Engineering and didn’t have a strong programming background. When I left that job I decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science to strengthen my programming skills. I started my career here at Yale University 2 years ago. I’ve participated on many exciting projects including Quicksearch, Kissinger, Ladybird and Findit.

Projects I’ve worked on and am currently working on:
I am the technical lead on the Blacklight based Quicksearch project. Quicksearch is where we are unifying our Orbis and Morris records to be searched in the same interface. I am responsible for many of the code changes for the setup, ingest and interface functionality. I am also working on the Kissinger project where I am responsible for the discovery of Kissinger material. I’m also one of the original contributors to our Blacklight based digital ‘Findit’ interface where I was responsible for the creation of the MODS formatted XML document retrieving data from the Ladybird database. I also was responsible for the object discovery in the interface and I continue to do ongoing work on enhancement.

Anju Meenattoor, Programmer Analyst
I have been working in IT for 8 years focusing mainly on web development and C#.Net applications. I started my career at Yale in January 2014 and am current working on Dr. Henry Kissinger project. Since January, I have been involved in developing applications for importing Kissinger MODS files, automate Kissinger digital file import into ladybird, Manual QC tool for checking Kissinger digital files and Ladybird maintenance.

Tracy MacMath, User Interface Programmer
I’m the newest member of the Digital Library Programming team. As a User Interface Programmer, I’ll be working primarily on our implementation of Hydra, Blacklight, Ladybird and other Hydra-related applications we adopt in the future (such as Avalon). Before coming to Yale, I was a User Experience Producer for the Marketing group at Gartner in Stamford. I received a Master of Science in Interactive Communications from Quinnipiac University, and an undergraduate degree in music (drums and percussion).