User Experience in Libraries: Applying Ethnography and Human-Centred Design (Hardback) book cover

User Experience in Libraries

Applying Ethnography and Human-Centred Design

Edited by Andy Priestner, Matt Borg

© 2016 – Routledge

212 pages

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Paperback: 9781472484727
pub: 2016-05-23
Hardback: 9781472451002
pub: 2016-05-31
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315548609
pub: 2016-05-23
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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.


"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

Table of Contents

1 Uncovering Complexity and Detail: The UX Proposition

Andy Priestner and Matt Borg

2 Using Ethnographic Methods to Study Library Use

Bryony Ramsden

3 Embracing an Ethnographic Agenda: Context, Collaboration, and Complexity

Donna M. Lanclos

4 Holistic UX: Harness Your Library’s Data Fetish to Solve the Right Problems

Matt Borg and Matthew Reidsma

5 Applying Human-Centred Design to the Library Experience

Paul-Jervis Heath

6 The Why, What and How of Using Ethnography for Designing User Experience in Libraries (and a Few Pitfalls to Avoid)

Leah Emary

7 Identifying the Barriers: Taskscapes and the Social Contexts of Library UX

Andrew D. Asher

8 Illuminating Study Spaces at Cambridge University With Spacefinder: A Case Study

Andy Priestner

9 WhoHas?: A Pilot Study Exploring the Value of a Peer-to-Peer Sub-Lending Service

Helen Murphy

10 User Experience Beyond Ramps: The Invisible Problem and the Special Case

Penny Andrews

11 Changing the Dialogue: The Story of the Award-Winning Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

Rosie Jones and Nicola Grayson

12 UX and a Small Academic Library

Margaret Westbury

13 Understanding Our Students and Ourselves: Transformative Library Instruction Through an Ethnographic Lens

Michael Courtney and Carrie Donovan

14 What Makes an Informal Learning Space?: A Case Study From Sheffield Hallam University

Bea Turpin, Deborah Harrop, Edward Oyston, Maurice Teasdale, David Jenkin and John McNamara

15 Spaces for Learning? Using Ethnographic Techniques: A Case Study From the University Library, Edge Hill University

Helen Jamieson

16 Are You Sitting Comfortably . . . ?

Elizabeth Tilley

17 UX in Libraries: Leaping the Chasm

Andy Priestner and Matt Borg

About the Editors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / Archives & Special Libraries
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General