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The Assessment & User Experience Strategy (AUXS) Department coordinates and conducts studies of library users’ needs and priorities in order to identify ways to meet and exceed users’ expectations of Duke Libraries' physical and virtual spaces, services and collections. AUXS staff collaborate closely with colleagues throughout the Libraries to improve spaces and services, and they provide leadership for evaluating and improving the design, content, and organization of the Libraries’ online presence. Finally, AUXS staff coordinate library assessment tasks and projects and manage external reporting for the Libraries.

This practicum experience offers students a chance to experience the range of AUXS department activities. While these activities may be of particular interest to students pursuing a career in assessment or user experience, these skills also benefit people looking for other kinds of careers in libraries, from public services positions to technology positions.

The practicum experience accommodates a wide range of abilities, skills and interests. Specific projects will be determined by the student’s area of expertise and interest, in conjunction with the goals of the department and the needs of the library. Weekly check-ins with the practicum supervisor are required to ensure progress and provide immediate feedback. We especially encourage students from underrepresented or marginalized groups to submit resumes and statements of interest.


Practicum students will work closely with AUXS staff to do the following:

  1. Conduct monthly usability studies of both online interfaces and physical spaces and services
  2. Conduct environmental scans and write reports on successful strategies in place at peer institutions
  3. Partner with AUXS staff on observational studies, surveys, focus groups and other user studies to learn more about our patrons
  4. Propose and complete improvement projects in response to patron feedback
  5. Work on data analysis and visualization projects (subject to availability)
  6. Other duties, as assigned -- the possibilities for learning more about and enhancing our users' experiences are endless!


Current enrollment in an MSIS or MSLS program accredited by the American Library Association or equivalent program.  One semester of course work or prior experience in libraries or related fields is strongly preferred. (Note: this is an unpaid practicum. AUXS works with students to satisfy the requirements of their degree program so that students will receive credit toward their degree.)

Successful AUX practicum students take the initiative on projects or tasks; enjoy learning new concepts or UX research methods; excel when working independently and as part of a team; and have a keen interest in assessment, user research, service design, data analysis and visualization, UX principles, or other related topics.  Direct experience or related coursework is appreciated but not required.  


Fall, spring, or summer term (see note below about application dates for each term)


8-10 hours/week between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday - Friday 


On-site practicum work takes place at Perkins Library (411 Chapel Drive; Durham, NC 27708). Virtual practicum experiences may be possible, subject to the specific projects prioritized for a given semester.

Application Process

Please send a resume and brief statement of interest to Joyce Chapman, Assessment Analyst & Consultant, by:

  • June 1 if you are interested in a fall semester practicum (Note: Fall 2024 deadline extended to June 14, 2024)
  • November 1 if you are interested in a spring semester practicum
  • March 1 if you are interested in a summer practicum

Students who send their resumes and brief statements of interest by these deadlines will be given priority as AUXS staff review applications.

Phone: 919-660-5889