Document Type


Publication Date



By its nature design thinking combines creative and critical thinking that is imperative to organizing ideas and improving situations. Design thinking allows libraries to take an iterative approach to exploring a complex problem-space, and generate consensus around a potential solution, all while providing artifacts and documentation of the process. In libraries, design thinking is most commonly employed in the design of spaces or services. However, inspired by Open Access Week, we engaged these strategies to collaboratively deconstruct Western Libraries’ current policies related to open access.

We invited staff and librarians from Western Libraries and our affiliates to explore how we define open access, and why and how our libraries support it. Using a collaborative concept-mapping approach, all members of the group individually answered each question, and then collaboratively mapped the answers. These concept maps have informed Western Libraries’ new statement on open access practices and policies.

Our poster outlines this process and displays the resulting concept maps, offering a framework for integrating design-thinking into the process of policy development.


Presented on February 1, 2018 at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.