All People

Nancy Fried Foster

Nancy Fried Foster is senior anthropologist at Ithaka S+R, where she helps libraries and organizations understand their users and design better spaces, services, and technologies. For almost ten years, Nancy directed anthropological research at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries. Projects there included eXtensible Catalog, IR+, the Camelot Project, and other technologies, as well as such spaces as the Gleason Library and the Messinger Graduate Studies.

Since 2009, Nancy has worked through the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries (AMICAL) to introduce participatory design and work-practice study to colleges and universities around the world, and from 2007 to 2013 she delivered workshops in the US through the Council on Library and Information Resources. She has consulted to several universities in the US on projects that focus on space design while also taking account of digital technologies, including the reprogramming of McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland and participatory design of the Active Learning Center at Purdue University.

Nancy is co-author of a new book about the University of Maryland project: The Living Library: An Intellectual Ecosystem (ACRL). She edited Studying Students: A Second Look, a follow up to Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester (with Susan Gibbons). Nancy has a PhD in Applied Anthropology from Columbia University; a Diploma in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford; and a BA from Barnard College.