Implications of COVID-19 (coronavirus)

9 March 2020

We have no current plans to cancel the UXLibsVI conference due to COVID-19. However, we are of course monitoring the situation very closely. Official advice regarding events like ours (200 international delegates) may change. Also, institutions and/or countries may take decisions that will have an impact on whether we can hold this year’s event. At the moment, we are still taking bookings and preparing for the event as normal, but if this situation changes we will contact all registered delegates immediately and post an update here and via the mailing list.

As published on our website, the cancellation deadline for a full refund is 11th May 2020, but if the conference is cancelled or a later cancellation date is necessary due to travel restrictions or underlying health issues you will be entitled to a refund given the exceptional circumstances.

If you have any questions please email us.

Andy Priestner
Chair, UX in Libraries

UXLibsVI – Useful Information


Conference venue: Northumbria University City Campus East 1 (CCE1): Business and Law School Faculty Building – City Campus East, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 8ST. Tel: +44 (0)191 232 6002

Social evening (optional) venue: Pitcher & Piano Newcastle – 108 The Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 3DX. Tel: +44 (0)191 232 4110

Gala dinner venue: The Biscuit Factory – 16 Stoddart Street, Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE2 1AN. Tel: +44 (0)191 261 1103


Below you’ll find a map showing the locations of the conference, social evening and gala dinner venues, as well as many of the hotels within walking distance – click on the icons to see further information, or see the text below the map.

A.  93a Grey Street Apartments
One bed apartment from £220 for 2 nights (6/7 June)
City Centre. 13 min walk from conference venue. Score of 9.3 on

B.  Maldron Hotel
From £169.10 for 2 nights (6/7 June) (extra for breakfast)
City Centre. 17 min walk from conference venue. Score of 9.1 on

C.  Dream Apartments City Centre
Two bed apartment from £258 for 2 nights (6/7 June)
City Centre. 16 min walk from conference venue.

D.  Hampton by Hilton Newcastle
Queen/twin room from £192 for 2 nights (6/7 June) (incl. breakfast)
City Centre. 17 min walk from conference venue. Score of 8.6 on

E.  Grey Street Hotel
Twin room from £144.50 for 2 nights (6/7 June) (extra for breakfast)
City Centre. 12 min walk from conference venue. Score of 8.6 on

F.  Sleeperz Hotel
Double room from £106 for 2 nights (6/7 June) (extra for breakfast)
City Centre. 17 min walk from conference venue. Score of 8.4 on

G.  Vermont Hotel
Double room from £178.40 for 2 nights (6/7 June) (incl. breakfast)
City Centre. 15 min walk from conference venue. Score of 8.4 on

H.  Motel One
Double room from £138 for 2 nights (6/7 June) (£9.50 extra for breakfast)
City Centre. 14 min walk from conference venue. Score of 9.0 on

I.  Premier Inn Quayside
Double room from £74 for 2 nights (6/7 June) (Breakfast extra)
Quayside. 13 min walk from conference venue.

J.  Travelodge Newcastle Central
Double room from £82.50 for 2 nights (6/7 June) (incl. breakfast)
Quayside. 8 min walk from conference venue.

K.  Dream Apartments Quayside
One bed apartment from £220 for 2 nights (6/7 June)
Quayside. 9 min walk from conference venue. Score of 7.8 on

L.  Staybridge Suites
One bed apartment from £207 for 2 nights (6/7 June)
Quayside. 8 min walk from conference venue. Score of 9.3 on

N.B. When booking check a site such as to see if any special rates are available.


By air:
There are regular direct flights to Newcastle Airport from Paris, Amsterdam and London Heathrow. The Airport is 8 miles north west of the City Centre.

Take the Metro between the Airport and the City:
The Metro rail system is the easiest and cheapest way to get between the Airport and Newcastle City Centre: There are trains every 12-15 minutes from approximately 5.38am (Sundays 6.26am) to 00.06am. The journey to the Metro stations in the City Centre (Haymarket, Monument or Central Station) take around 20 minutes and one-way fares are around £3.70 only. Manors is the closest station to the conference venue – 4 minutes’ walk, while Monument is the closest to the centre. The Metro is super easy to use and has great UX – Andy swears by it and used to go to school via it when it was brand new in the late 70s!

Take a taxi between the Airport and the City:
The alternative is to take a taxi which will cost around £25. The dedicated Airport on-site taxi service is Arrow Cars: tel: +44 (0)191 2449966, email:

By train:
Newcastle Central Station is 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from the City Centre and 20 minutes’ walk from the conference venue. There are direct trains to Newcastle from most major UK cities: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

By car:
The A1(M) connects Newcastle and the North East of England with the rest of the UK. If you require a car park space in Newcastle visit:

Travel during coronavirus:
If you are travelling to UXLibs from outside the UK, you can check on the current Covid travel restrictions here.


The event will start on the afternoon of Monday 6 June with the optional pre-conference workshops followed by a social evening. The conference will finish on Wednesday 8 June at approximately 4.30pm.

If you have any questions about any of the above please contact Marisa who will be happy to help.

UXLibsV presentations

Links to many of the presentations from UXLibsV can be found below – more will be added as they come in.

Main presentations:

Barriers to UX Design (Opening Address) – Andy Priestner

Leadership is Key: My UX Journey (Keynote 1) – Anneli Friberg

Working in Difficult Environments: Lessons from the World of Civic Design (Keynote 2) – Suzanne Chapman

Delegate presentations:



See also our Past Conferences page for links to blogposts reviewing UXLibsV and all the previous conferences.

UXLibsV – Sponsors

A huge thank you to this year’s corporate sponsors without whom UXLibsV could not take place. Please click on the logos below to visit their websites.

Our sponsors are: SILVER – ProQuest, EBSCO, IS Oxford; BRONZE – OpenAthens.



ProQuest. (PRNewsFoto/ProQuest)

ProQuest is a key partner for content holders of all types, preserving and enabling access to their rich and varied information. Committed to empowering researchers and librarians around the world, the company’s portfolio of assets – including content, technologies and deep expertise – drives better research outcomes for users and greater efficiency for the libraries and organizations that serve them.


EBSCO has partnered with libraries for more than 70 years by providing quality research content, powerful search technologies and intuitive delivery platforms. We innovate through research and relationships, and we learn from customers and their users. Because our goals are those of our customers, we enable the greatest value in our services. We offer technologies that make workflows easier for all.


IS Oxford is an Employee Owned Trust that develops and supports the Heritage Library Management System, here in the UK. 2019 marks our twenty fifth year, which we decided to designate as a ‘Year of Learning’. So, we attend this conference not with our sales hats on, but as colleagues, eager to learn more about the changing information landscape.



OpenAthens is the gateway between the online world of subscription-based content and those who want to access it via their organization. It is the dashboard that makes librarians’ lives less complex. It is the portal that extends the audience of publishers. It is robust, reliable and ever-evolving.

UXLibsV – 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 in February 2019. Find out who they are and what they will be presenting on below…

Left to right: Kitte Dahrén (Sweden), Kineret Ben-Knaan (USA), Andrew Darby (USA), Nathalie Clot (France).

KITTE DAHRÉN (co-author: Ingela Wahlgren)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), SWEDEN
Paper: The UX Button: an exploratory approach to UX embedding
Abstract: At the SLU University Library we have a strategic goal stating that the library should “work strategically with user centered methods in order to create relevant, seamless and cohesive user services”. To deliver on this goal we launched a prototype UX support service called the UX Button in December 2018. The support is scalable and we expect it to change with the needs of our organisation. We hope to inspire you to experiment with how to embed UX in your own institution and how to design and communicate UX methodology support in a simple and concrete way.

University of Miami, USA
Paper: Assessing UX Work Over Time: A Data Management Approach
Abstract: This presentation outlines planning and strategy for managing user experience data across the duration of a complex website redesign process. We discuss the use of a master spreadsheet to collect and visualize this data, and how this tool helped inform our post-assessment approach.

University of Angers, FRANCE
Paper: An accidental UX project: the case of toilet management in a French academic library
Abstract: This is the story of how, by observing, interviewing, surveying and using, we improved the user experience of the toilets in an academic library in France between 2010 and 2019. Through exploration of a seemingly trivial problem, using simple UX methods with valuable results, the toilet case study helped us to learn how to articulate and conduct UX methods and to iterate upon their design until we arrived at the best experience for our users.

Left to right: Claire Chickly (France), Pauline Moirez (France), Nadia Marks (UK), Carl Barrow (UK).

French National Library, FRANCE
Paper: How did UX help us switch from an institutional idea of project incubator to a meaningful innovation squad?
Abstract: In 2017, our library created a project incubator to foster “innovative projects” internally, but without knowing what these projects would be and who would carry them out… We saw that the only way to come up with a proposition of real value was to involve project managers of the library. We organized workshops with different profiles and asked them to tell us stories of what problems they faced daily and did not manage to overcome alone.
We then used this material to design a first package of services for a “pilot season” in 2018 that was quite different from what we had previously imagined…

London School of Economics (LSE), UK
Paper: Untangling the legacy: the user experience of archival research
Abstract: In 2018 LSE Library embarked on a project to merge two archive catalogues. Knowing that staff found the catalogues difficult to use, the project provided the opportunity to find out why. This presentation details the process we followed to design improvements to our archives catalogue. At the start we knew very little about how users experienced the catalogue and so we utilised interviews, focus groups, co-design, and usability testing to develop our understanding. Ultimately, we made the catalogue more user focused, while improving the training and advice we provide and developing a wish list for future developments.

University of Hull, UK
Paper: Culture eats the design process for breakfast
Abstract: Institutional culture can have a huge impact on the design process. For some it means that important insights are never acted upon, for others it means they don’t try new things for fear of failure. This session will consider the impact, its effect on embedding UX research and moving into that important prototyping phase, where things are not perfect and have a higher risk of failure. By referencing some important UX research in Hull around trust in the workplace, it will demonstrate how cultural changes are helping us to feel empowered, be brave, and more importantly, move into that prototyping phase.

Left to right: Tim Graves (UK), Riitta Peltonen (Finland), Kiti Vilkki-Eriksson (Finland), Keren Stiles (UK).

University of Sussex, UK
Paper: Passionate about Floorplans
Abstract: As an in-house passion project, the University of Sussex Library chose to develop its own interactive floorplans. These were designed to guide people to the right shelves: smartphone in hand. The design process took its principal inspiration from the London Tube map and the navigation screens in shopping malls, and involved a series of rapid prototypes tested iteratively with students. The Sussex floorplans offer no functionality that cannot be bought from third party suppliers for a few thousand pounds. However, this end product was completed at zero cost, and is a direct fruit of feedback from the library’s own students.

National Library of Finland, FINLAND
Paper: User research affecting strategic decision-making and service design: Case Finland’s national bibliography and discography
Abstract: National Library of Finland is renewing primary customer interfaces of national bibliography service Fennica and discography service Viola. This project is a textbook example, how to use Double Diamond service design process and include user research and participatory design already into the early phases of the project and strategic decision-making. The research brought into discussions the needs of the users beneath the current solutions. UI improvements were just one aspect it affected. It also initiated two use cases that would benefit from automation and for which National Library of Finland already has suitable APIs to offer.

The Open University, UK
Paper: Completely Shelfless: reinventing a physical library for an online community
Abstract: The Open University library’s user experience work has tended to focus on our taught students, who as distance learners typically use our online library. Last year we learned the importance of conducting UX studies with all parts of our user community, and found ways to hear from non-users. Examining the needs of university staff and postgraduate research students using mixed UX methods empowered us to improve our library building strategy to the benefit of our campus based community.

Left to right: Stefan Fleig (Sweden), Hannah Fogg (UK), Lorraine Noel (UK), Debbie Phillips (UK).

STEFAN FLEIG (co-author: Lina Karlsson)
Umeå University, SWEDEN
Paper: Active sitting – give the users a more mobile library experience
Abstract: This presentation is about how the Umeå University Library used UX techniques and an agile way of working to develop better and more ergonomic working conditions for their students. Different UX techniques were used in the process of gaining a deeper understanding of the user’s needs. One central theme that emerged during the ideation process was the need of a better ergonomic and more varied study environment. Inspired by modern offices, a concept focusing on active sitting was developed. It was first tested small scale, and by using UX as a tool for evaluation improvements were made along the way.

Anglia Ruskin University / University of Huddersfield, UK
Paper: Tales of the UneXpected: Two case studies on how whole teams of frontline staff have employed UX techniques to influence service development and enhance service delivery
Abstract: At both Anglia Ruskin and Huddersfield we’ve mainstreamed UX research into the roles of frontline staff. Our teams have worked in small groups to design, execute and report on modest but meaningful projects. In many cases these have resulted in changes and enhancements to our services and facilities. We’ll consider how this approach is working, and how staff feel about it – empowered or put-upon? As managers, are we making real changes as a result of their efforts? We’ll look at some of the projects and methodologies, the service enhancements that resulted, and the changed roles and perceptions of frontline staff.

DEBBIE PHILLIPS (co-author: Emilia Brzozowska-Szczecina)
Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Paper: Love at first sight: consolidating first impressions
Abstract: In Welcome Week of September 2018 we conducted a cultural probe with new students at Royal Holloway, a joint project between the Library and the Campus Life team (a first for us). Turns out, they love the library building but don’t always attend induction sessions – how do we capitalise on this to make them love us forever? This session outlines proposed changes to the Library’s approach to induction for next year, based on the students’ reports of their first impressions of the Library, and their experience of their first two weeks here.

Left to right: Claire Browne (UK), Maria O’Hara (UK).

University of Birmingham, UK
Paper: Internships and ethnography: students researching students 
Abstract: What are the benefits of allowing students to lead your UX research, and how can they contribute to your understanding of the lived experience of your users? Over the summer vacation, we were joined for 12 weeks by a 2nd year undergraduate student, who led a cultural probe into the post-graduate experience at Birmingham. The project also investigated and analysed various UX techniques. In this presentation I’ll discuss the benefits (and negatives) of having an intern within the Library team, some of the findings and insights from the cultural probe, our thoughts on the various techniques used, and of course what has happened with the findings since the project ended.

King’s College London, UK
Paper: Peers of the Realm: embracing students as UX researchers at King’s College Libraries
Abstract: This year at King’s we decided to do things differently, we’ve decided to see what happens when we let students do the research. Armed with training and guidance, we’re sending 10 students out to try some UX on their peers. Come and hear the inside scoop on our experience, what was it like to guide students through their first experience of UX? Will their findings and insights differ from those of staff? What will we learn and what will we do differently next time? Watch this space to find out.

University of Worcester, UK
Paper: Think like a designer, query like an analyst, test like a user
Abstract: In 2015, the University of Worcester overhauled its library website, and along the way examined everything from the department’s name to its vision. The project was a success, with page views up 265% and a 6% increase in library student satisfaction. This session revisits our methods, grouped into three mindsets.
–  Think like a designer: be brutal with your brief and focus on visuals.
–  Query like an analyst: interrogate data and adapt your message to convince stakeholders.
–  Test like a user: assume nothing and be ruthless.
By applying these mindsets, we resolved the majority of issues prior to testing.

University of Houston, USA
Paper: Reports are boring and you know it
Abstract: Giving busy people a report is a great way to get ignored. Yet, this is what many of us do to communicate our research findings and testing results. Moving research data into design means you have to communicate what you found effectively. Otherwise, your data will be unused and UX runs risk of being undervalued. In this session, I will explain why just writing a report is not likely to be successful, cover ideas on other methods of approach, and discuss the importance of taking time for critical reflection on your communication strategies.


UXLibsV – Useful Information


This year the conference, pre-conference workshop, social evening and gala dinner are all taking place at the same venue: Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX. Tel: +44 (0) 1784 434455.


The Royal Holloway Egham campus is only a 15-minute drive from London Heathrow airport, and easily accessible from central London by train (35-40 minutes from London Waterloo to Egham). Further information on the various travel options are given on the venue’s ‘Getting Here’ page.


Two nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation (in individual en-suite double bedrooms at Royal Holloway) is included in the conference package cost – check in is from 16:00 on Monday 17 June (check out on 19 June). Further details on where to check in will be provided in the joining instructions sent out a week before the conference.

For those wishing to stay an extra night after the conference, it is possible to book the same room for the night of 19 June at an additional cost of £78.50 (room-only rate) – please email to request this.

Unfortunately the same rooms are not also available to book for the 16 June, although there is limited availability in the Hub Guesthouse on the Royal Holloway campus, at a cost of £85 for a double room (room-only rate) – please email to enquire about availability.


The event will start on the afternoon of Monday 17 June with an optional pre-conference workshop followed by delegate registration from 6pm and an evening meal and pub quiz. The conference will finish on Wednesday 19 June at approximately 5pm.

View the draft programme.

If you have any questions about any of the above please contact Marisa who will be happy to help.

UXLibsVI Cancellation Policy

In the unfortunate event that you can no longer attend the conference and need to cancel your place, please be aware of the following important dates:

  • If we receive your cancellation by Monday 9 May 2022, you will receive a full refund.*
  • If you cancel from 10-23 May 2022, you will receive a 50% refund.
  • If you cancel from Tuesday 24 May 2022 (inclusive) onwards you will not receive a refund.
  • If you do not contact us to cancel your place before 24 May 2022 then the invoice will stand in full.

* We regret that any bank/payment charges incurred by UX in Libraries cannot be refunded.

If you are cancelling under exceptional circumstances you may be entitled to a full refund – please contact us to discuss.

NOTE: In most cases it will be possible for you to simply send a replacement delegate if you yourself cannot attend – please let us know as soon as possible if this is the case.

UXLibsIV – Lanarkshire Interviews

The following interviews with Oliver Coates and Philippa Briant (librarians at the University of Lanarkshire engaged in UX research) are intended for those delegates at UXLibsIV who feel that they do not have sufficient experience of UX research to draw a cognitive map or be interviewed about UX.



Click on the above links to listen or download them

Make notes about their experiences, reflecting on the barriers and problems they face. These should be fed into your team’s collation of experiences.

Many thanks to Philippa and Oliver for being such willing interviewees!

UXLibsIV – Cancellation policy

In the unfortunate event that you can no longer attend the conference and need to cancel your place, please be aware of the following important dates:

  • If we receive your cancellation by Monday 7 May 2018, you will receive a full refund.*
  • If you cancel from 8-22 May 2018, you will receive a 50% refund.
  • If you cancel from Wednesday 23 May 2018 (inclusive) onwards you will not receive a refund.

* We regret that any bank/payment charges incurred by UX in Libraries cannot be refunded.

If you are cancelling under exceptional circumstances you may be entitled to a full refund – please contact us to discuss.

NOTE: In most cases it will be possible for you to simply send a replacement delegate if you yourself cannot attend – please let us know as soon as possible if this is the case.