Jenny Benevento

Lead Information Architect

Jenny is a taxonomist with twenty years of experience creating metadata based user experiences in a variety of fields including news, music, film, online content, and cultural heritage. She’s worked in e-commerce for the last decade focusing on large marketplaces with 50 million+ catalogs of unique items. Her previous clients include Etsy, Sears, Kmart, Associated Press, and the Institute of Library and Museum and Library Services.

Jenny specializes in creating classification & tagging systems and the metadata relationships to make them a powerful, multipurpose tool for organizations and their customers. She designs both user-facing browse experiences and internal backend structured metadata to power site features and analytics. She’s focused on projects classifying more subjective areas of interest, like understanding a user’s taste or style preferences, areas where there’s no objectively “correct” classification. She is an advocate for user centered taxonomies and ontologies, and building metadata for the long term. 

Jenny’s work has been reported on in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Mad Money. Most importantly, her work is celebrated by people everywhere who want to know whether a dress has pockets or not. The web navigation she helped create at Etsy has been featured as a clue in the NYT crossword puzzle, and her Associated Press taxonomy is part of how the news you read every day gets to you.

Jenny has significant management, remote management and team-building experience, and loves mentoring information professionals. 

Jenny has spoken at conferences, including Taxonomy Boot Camp, Information Architecture Conference, SxSW, Special Library Association, American Library Association, Henry Stewart DAM, and Computers in Libraries, and has taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign School of Information Sciences. She’s currently collaborating with several authors on research and indexing for forthcoming books. 

She holds a MS in Library & Information Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in History from Reed College. 

Jenny enjoys travel, terrible movies, swimming, international snacks, and drinking many beverages. She once accidentally moved to South Korea. She collects tiny hats and lives mostly at night time in Chicagoland.

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