UXLibs7 – Paper presenters

In addition to our keynote, plenary and workshop speakers we are delighted to announce our talented paper presenters, who were selected via a blind review process back in February. Find out who they are and what they will be presenting on below…

Left to right: Eleanor Ferguson (UK), Ingela Wahlgren (Sweden), Alison Sharman (UK), Kathryn Sullivan (UK), Gunvor Bjerkelund Røkke (Norway), Maria Sindre (Norway).

University of Sussex, UK
Paper: ‘What are the library vibes?’ Investigation, collaboration, and co-creation at the University of Sussex
Abstract: ‘I go to the library for the vibes…’ This tantalising statement came from a student during my extensive UX work to feed into the design brief of a brand new Library Pavilion building on campus, and I’ve been investigating ‘the library vibes’ ever since.
The Library Pavilion will offer flexible, accessible, and inclusive study space for the whole student community, and student input has been embedded in the process from the start. It will be staffed by students, creating a sense of community and ownership. Students will be directly involved in co-creating the service design.
While the physical collections will remain in the existing library, the new building must be clearly defined as a library space. How do we do that? How can we recreate the ‘library vibes’ in a new building without any books in it?

SLU University, Sweden
Paper: “From problem to prototype” – using a service design course to bridge gaps within a university
Abstract: The SLU University Library has developed and successfully run a service design course, aimed at all staff at the university. The goals were to raise awareness of the benefits of service design and user-centred methods for development, as well as bringing together colleagues from different parts of the university. If you attend Ingela’s presentation you will hear all about the benefits and challenges of creating a course meant to facilitate university-wide collaboration, as well as practical tips and tricks for creating an online service design course.

University of Huddersfield / University of Manchester, UK
Paper: Stronger together: building a UX community of practice
Abstract: Librarians from a network of academic institutions have formed a UX community of practice and meet to share research, ideas and experiences.  They engage in research at their respective institutions on a common theme, sharing the methodology and results on Teams so they can learn from each other.  A Creative Commons learning resource is being produced to share with other libraries.  Attend this session to find out how the group was established, the training organised to get people up to speed, the UX research done so far, the online tools created and the benefits and challenges of working together.

Norwegian University of Technology and Science / Norsk Helsenett (ICT in health care), Norway
Paper: From invisible to popular: how we increased attendance to a library course by 692%
Abstract: In 2021, the number of attendants at our workshop series “Kickstart Your Thesis” decreased. We had to do something. With feedback from our colleagues, we improved how the project group was organised. This changed how we collaborated internally and with other university departments. Who was our target audience and how could we reach them? Through surveys and semi-structured interviews, we developed target audiences, personas, and a user journey. Observing user behaviour through insights and statistics, we tailored web content and social media posts. And boy, did our efforts pay off! We increased the number of attendants by 692 % in one year! (It’s amazing, we know! Thanks for the applause. We love you too. No, you hang up the phone first.)

Left to right: Kerry Murray (UK), Amanda Kraft (USA), Gopal Dutta (UK), Marjanne Goossens (Netherlands), Larissa Tijsterman (Netherlands), Elizabeth Tilley (UK).

Norfolk County Council, UK
Paper: Connections in coastal communities: a new era for public libraries
Abstract: Norfolk County Council are reimagining libraries for the future as high street anchors and thriving Community Hubs. Collaboration with local communities and engaging at every step of the journey is vital to the success of these major projects in Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn over the coming years.
This presentation will share information on Norfolk’s engagement programme which continues to help shape the purpose and design of the new Hubs. During this session, NCC are keen to share our experience so far, and to learn of approaches used elsewhere to develop our programme of community involvement further.

College of Charleston, USA
Paper: An advisory board by any other name: embedding UX and cultivating engagement through a user working group turned homegrown student organization
Abstract: Following advice offered in Library Service Design (Marquez & Downey, 2016) my library painstakingly grew a student user working group (UWG) in early 2019 under the banner of an advisory board long since abandoned by former administration. In late 2021, the participating students worked tirelessly to become an official, student government-sanctioned club/organization. This paper will highlight some of the pros, cons, and emerging best practices for connection and collaboration with student organizations, specifically examining the ways in which an abandoned advisory board turned UWG turned student organization has provided opportunities for library-led UX research, participatory design, and peer learning.

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Paper: “We don’t start with Library”: students interviewing students about using the Library website
Abstract: This paper covers two UX projects conducted at Manchester Metropolitan University Library in 2021 and 2022. Students were recruited to lead the projects. They designed questions and testing processes, with training and guidance from Library staff.
Different pages on the Library website were tested for their effectiveness at satisfying user tasks. Video interviews were used to gather the data. Students also analysed results and presented these to Library staff.
The research revealed that many students do not start their search for information on Library webpages, find them confusing and do not make use of guidance. Students also requested more personalisation.

Wageningen University & Research / University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Paper: The Dutch University Libraries (UB) UX Community FKA UXLib-NL
Abstract: A UX Community can contribute to your UX efforts. Collaboration, connecting with fellow UX practitioners, getting inspired and sharing knowledge on UX are the driving force. In the Netherlands we organise UX Community days for public research universities and send out newsletters. Our joined efforts have already emerged following these days and newsletters. In this presentation we will combine theory and practice on communities, share some best practices and discuss how a community can contribute to your own UX efforts. Are you ready for the next step? Are you ready for some co-creation within UX?

University of Cambridge, UK
Paper: How to make a grand entrance
Abstract: Grand entrances can be wonderful. They can also be intimidating and difficult for users to navigate. They are likely to be part of buildings which are also grand and where change is often exceptionally difficult to bring about. Using small-scale UX methodology can inform us about the specific problem areas in the entrance; critical to success is the collaborative nature of work like this which necessitates extraordinary layers of additional communication and needs a team working in the space which is 100% behind the user research – contributing ideas, managing the research, and discussing outcomes.

Left to right: Anna-Lena Kleinert (UK), Eve Jamieson (UK), Nia Ellis (UK), Jim Foster (UK), Emelie Uggla Waldenström (Sweden), Johanna Palm (Sweden). 

King’s College London, UK
Paper: The long and winding road? Inclusion in UX data and recruitment
Abstract: Do our UX and co-creation projects include a diverse range of voices? Perhaps not, as anecdotal data suggested to library staff at King’s College London. We realised we had no evidence either way, no means of putting the results of our qualitative research into demographic context. How can we develop services, collections and spaces that meet the needs of our users when we’re potentially only listening to a privileged few? We’d like to share our journey so far towards addressing this crucial insight gap, and how collaborating with colleagues and students across King’s has helped us overcome obstacles along the way.

Aberystwyth University, UK
Paper: Embedding collaboration into improving the student library experience
Abstract: During 2022-2023, Information Services at Aberystwyth University are trialling a new approach to improving the user experience in all aspects of our services, by embedding collaboration and a ‘students as partners’ approach to our work. Jim Foster, an Information Studies student, and Nia Ellis, a member of the library staff, will discuss their experience of working together and the benefits of a collaborative approach. They will also be discussing how having a structure of 3 sample weeks a year provides the impetus for planning more focussed UX activities and has raised the profile of UX work within the department.

Linnaeus University, Sweden
Paper: Friends with benefits – creating strategic alliances and pushing collaborative boundaries at Linnaeus University
Abstract: A new library with unconventional workflows around the information desk brought the need for a tool to explore this new approach. By requiring all staff to log all library-related queries, regardless of the medium, it was possible to identify areas that required UX research. This long-term collection of user-related data, in combination with UX tools, enabled the creation of new workflows, better guidance, and ultimately student autonomy.
Additionally, the UX team posted a contact ad on the intranet and allied with staff from other departments jointly exploring wayfinding, enhancing the library website, and establishing collaborative structures for UX learning.

Left to right: Joshua Herter (Canada), Hannah Jones (USA), Michael Aguilar (USA), Sharesly Rodriguez (USA), Jelena Rajic (Serbia).

University of Winnipeg, Canada
Paper: We’re the problem: mapping our way out of printing purgatory
Abstract: This is the tale of how an unrelated behavioural mapping exercise revealed some uncomfortable truths about our library’s role in the student experience, and the journey we’ve embarked upon since; how we doubled down to discover the many ways our service design exacerbated student printing troubles, and the iterative UX methodology we’ve used to build empathy, reimagine service points, and chart a course out of this mess.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA
Paper: When you wish upon a stall: toilet facilities as a factor in library satisfaction among trans and gender nonconforming users
Abstract: When basic bodily functions aren’t being accommodated, it’s impossible to feel fully welcome in a facility. The availability and accessibility of bathrooms is particularly important for trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) users, many of whom face discrimination and prejudice as they meet their most basic human needs. By directly involving TGNC users in identifying areas for improvement, we can make the library a more accessible, inclusive, and welcoming space. This presentation will cover methods for conducting a UX project focused on bathroom satisfaction, information on specific needs identified by users, recommendations for advancing inclusive facilities, and consideration for potential pushback.

San José State University, USA
Paper: Supporting critical UX at a large diverse university
Abstract: This session will provide attendees with information and tools related to the creation and maintenance of library-wide systems to support user advocacy.
Drawing from design justice and critical information science, it will specifically discuss the creation of two initiatives designed to support user advocacy at the San José State University Library (SJSU) in California. The presentation will additionally provide fellow library workers and UX professionals with insights into how these initiatives have been used at SJSU to learn directly from users and embed their voices in decision-making processes, thus challenging historical top-down approaches.

Jagodina Public Library, Serbia
Paper: The experience of non-users and ex-users of the Jagodina Public Library – sparking interest in the Library
Abstract: The Jagodina Public Library reached out to its ex-users and non-users and carried out user interviews for UX research.  The majority of the respondents (66%) were non-users, while 34% were ex-users.  Also, the majority of the respondents were between the age of 18-30 (41%) while there were 35% over 60.  After conducting the UX research, the Library established a partnership with a private non-formal learning institution and started a pilot project “Free online courses” to encourage the younger population to join the Library. There were 90% more enrolled members in December 2022 than at the same period in the previous year.

Left to right: Astrid Sømhovd (Norway), Nicholas Heavey (UK), SuHui Ho (USA), Kelly Henderson (USA).

University of Bergen, Norway
Paper: Inclusive library design – how can we do better?
Abstract: Reviewing two renovation projects at the University Library, U. of Bergen, I became curious about policies and practices concerning inclusivity and accessibility in the university’s learning environments. After learning about formal policies and regulations I realised that inclusivity becomes a financial (and) priority issue for many renovation projects. I’m gathering information broadly from my own organisation’s work with inclusivity and accessibility, and from advocacy groups, with the aim to sketch out a framework for low-tech and low-cost approaches to inclusive design and development of the libraries’ learning environments. The libraries are popular with the students, and I believe inclusivity is an obvious part of our responsibility to our users.

University of Sussex, UK
Paper: Co-designing and re-imagining library services: a librarian’s tale
Abstract: This presentation will share experiences working with the student connector programme to develop library services. Project one asked students to look at library spaces: focussing on three user journeys and developing these into service blueprints with staff at our annual conference. Project two focussed on the library induction: students reflected on their own experiences of starting university and conducted surveys of their peers and created an online induction. Project three looked at improving our digital skills support by working alongside students to develop student-centred content.  Delegates will gain insights in running collaborative projects with students to develop library services.

University of California, San Diego, USA
Paper: Collaborating with a team of student volunteers on UX projects: how to shoot two birds with one stone
Abstract: Working with students on UX projects shoots two birds with one stone: we tapped into their creativity and energy while at the same time their perspectives as users.  UC San Diego has a rich design community with many students eager to gain experience in real-world UX design work. I will discuss our experience recruiting, mentoring, and collaborating with UX student volunteers on a 6-month library web project, which included vigorous user research, comparative studies, user flow analysis, co-design, prototyping and presentation to stakeholders. As UX matures, many university classes in human-computer interaction, design, computer science, and business contain UX components. You will be surprised to find many volunteers who are interested in gaining real-world UX experience.

DC Grassroots Readers, Washington DC, USA
Paper: Sharing the love of reading from park bench to park bench: the story of an external collaboration focused on enabling readers to connect in public spaces
Abstract: DC Grassroots Readers is a new initiative based in Washington DC that was developed through a collaboration between a local resident and the local library. The initiative helps encourage people who enjoy reading in public green spaces to connect about their shared love of reading. 
This collaboration involved engaging in community and library events for outreach and included user testing of the flier and bookmark. Drawing on inspiration from the placemaking movement, this initiative extends the reach and scope of how the library can connect with the public and play an important role in supporting community building in public spaces.