User Experience in Libraries : Applying Ethnography and Human-Centred Design book cover
1st Edition

User Experience in Libraries
Applying Ethnography and Human-Centred Design

ISBN 9781472484727
Published May 17, 2016 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Modern library services can be incredibly complex. Much more so than their forebears, modern librarians must grapple daily with questions of how best to implement innovative new services, while also maintaining and updating the old. The efforts undertaken are immense, but how best to evaluate their success?

In this groundbreaking new book from Routledge, library practitioners, anthropologists, and design experts combine to advocate a new focus on User Experience (or ‘UX’) research methods. Through a combination of theoretical discussion and applied case studies, they argue that this ethnographic and human-centred design approach enables library professionals to gather rich evidence-based insights into what is really going on in their libraries, allowing them to look beyond what library users say they do to what they actually do. 

Edited by the team behind the international UX in Libraries conference, User Experience in Libraries will ignite new interest in a rapidly emerging and game-changing area of research. Clearly written and passionately argued, it is essential reading for all library professionals and students of Library and Information Science. It will also be welcomed by anthropologists and design professionals working in related fields.



Andy Priestner manages Cambridge University’s pioneering FutureLib innovation programme, employing user experience and design thinking to develop new library services across the university. He is the founder of the UX in Libraries Conference and provides training and consultancy on the subject to institutions across Europe.

Matt Borg was an academic librarian at Sheffield Hallam University for fourteen years, during which time he was responsible for a new research-based approach to user experience. He is now a Solutions Expert at ProQuest's Ex Libris, where he works to bring new technology to libraries across Europe, as well as a freelance trainer in UX techniques.


"The question becomes how to get this book, these powerful chapters, into the right hands...There are no answers offered in this review, other than for practitioners to keep talking and sharing. If we’re lucky, with its honesty and rational approach, User Experience in Libraries: Applying Ethnography and Human-Centered Design can break through."— Heidi Steiner Burkhardt, University of Michigan Library, Weave: Journal of Library User Experience

"This book serves as a guide, and inspiration, for anyone who is engaged in public service in a library setting and interested in designing a research project that evaluates library space and services, from one shot instructional sessions to reference to remodeling the library space itself. While the focus of the book is academic libraries, and the user group that the studies considers are primarily student users, this book describes user experience research methodologies with enough detail and references that any library could design a user experience research project that examines any user population. User Experience in Libraries provides novice researchers and experienced researchers alike with the tools to apply this methodology and use the resulting data to create impactful services and spaces, demonstrating the value that libraries continue to bring." -Ariel A. E. Scotese,  Cornell University Law Library, Journal of New Librarianship