The Chair of UX in Libraries, Andy Priestner, teaches as a freelance trainer and consultant in his own right and under the umbrella of ‘UX in Libraries’.

You can contact him directly to discuss  his current training offering and how it can be tailored to suit your needs, however the following information offers an accurate summation of the content at March 2023.

Description: An exploration of the internationally-recognised UX Research & Design Process and its application to academic or public libraries. Andy teaches a range of techniques intended to help attendees identify and actively respond to library user needs and behaviours in order to develop and deliver more relevant and user-centric library services.

Duration and number of participants:  a two- to five-day interactive and highly practical course for up to 20 participants

The UX Process: After an introduction to the value and purpose of UX, this course offers an exploration of UX over 4 key phases:

  1. Discover: researching user needs and behaviours
    • Techniques to include: observation and behavioural mapping; interviews; cognitive mapping; user-led library tours; photo interviews
    • Followed by practice of these techniques with real library users
  2. Define: theming and analysing user research data
    • Transcribing the user research data gathered and using affinity mapping to code it.
  3. Develop: generating ideas in response to key problems
    • Successful ideation techniques and divergent thinking approaches
  4. Deliver: creating and testing inexpensive prototypes
    • Turning the ideas generated into physical prototypes tested inside and outside the library with users (and non-users) and iterated in response (prototypes might be new space layouts, basic digital resources, promotional materials, alternative wayfinding)

2-day version: A fast-paced exploration of the UX Process moving from UX Research to Design as detailed above.

3-to 5-day version: The same UX Process above together with a selection of the following:

  • more UX design time: idea generation, prototyping and embedding UX
  • time for staff presentations of their prototyping adventures and learning to senior staff
  • a LEGO Serious Play evaluation workshop to explore what participants have learned
  • a session with senior managers on embedding UX and agile methodologies
  • an all-staff presentation

Library case studies from around the world: Andy illustrates each stage of the process with examples and case studies from libraries around the world to help participants to consider opportunities, threats and local relevance.

Practical and interactive: The course involves many interactive activities intended to engage and challenge participants, including: learning core UX techniques; coding and mapping data; practical ideation; and prototyping.

Different types of activity, personality and thinking: Training incorporate individual and group activities, underlining the importance of accepting contributions from extroverts and introverts alike, and demonstrating how good UX involves shifting between divergent and convergent thinking modes.

Learning objectives: After the workshop, attendees will have learned the purpose of UX work, an established UX process to follow and embed, and more specifically:

  • Essential approaches to UX Research
  • How to code and analyse data
  • Rules for successful idea generation
  • The importance of tangible and collaborative UX Design
  • The value of prototyping and learning from failure

About the trainer: Andy Priestner, a former librarian at both Oxford and Cambridge University, is an established UX consultant & trainer who regularly delivers UX training programmes and leads consultancies all over the world in order to recalibrate and re-focus library services around user needs and behaviours.

He created and chairs the international UX in Libraries conference and is the author of the critically acclaimed A Handbook of UX Research & Design in Libraries (which details the 4-phase UX Process around which the course is structured) which was published last year.

Recent clients include: Stockholm Public Libraries in Sweden, 4 universities in Australia (Monash, Murdoch, Adelaide, Flinders) and 6 universities in New Zealand (Auckland, Waikato, Massey, Victoria Wellington, Canterbury Christchurch, Otago), NHS, The Welsh Government, The House of Lords, Imperial College London, Wilkinson-Eyre library architects, The House of Commons, Exeter University, Ottawa’s Library of Parliament in Canada and the University of Leeds.

 Fee and expenses: Negotiable and dependent on participant numbers and course duration


  • ‘Engaging, innovative, inspiring.’
  • ‘A very useful and practical session that focused on real-world methodologies rather than the purely theoretical and conceptual. Andy is a great presenter – very professional and effective.’
  • ‘Really positive, worthwhile and usable. Inspired to try lots of techniques back at work. Thank you! One of the best training/workshops I have attended.’

UXLibs8 – 2024

Bookings are now open for the 8th annual international User Experience in Libraries (UX in Libraries or ‘UXLibs’ for short) conference, which will take place from Tuesday 11 June to Thursday 13 June 2024 in Cambridge, UK, at Anglia Ruskin University (see programme). The theme of the event will be ‘Curiosity and Empathy’. User Experience work is arguably centred in both and we look forward to exploring these interlinked themes together in Cambridge.

>>> BOOK YOUR PLACE (click here!)

The conference will incorporate keynotes and plenary talks from speakers from inside and outside libraries. There’s also the legendary team challenge, our interactive workshops presented by UX practitioners and, of course, social events allowing delegates to make connections and, just as importantly, to relax and have fun. Read on for more information about all aspects of the conference. We can’t wait to see you there! 

We are thrilled to announce this year’s speakers (full biographies to follow):


  • Elif Tinaztepe, Principal/Partner, Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects, Denmark: ‘Cultural Resonance: Embracing Generosity, Empathy and Curiosity in Design’
  • Cassini Nazir, Assistant Professor, College of Visual Arts & Design, University of North Texas, USA: ‘The Power Couple in Design: Curiosity and Empathy’


  • Loyce B. Witherspoon, User Researcher, Rightmove, UK: ‘UX, Empathy and Intersectionality’
  • Clodagh Reid, Assistant Lecturer in Technology Education, TUS, Ireland: ‘Problem Solving from a Spatial Visualisation Perspective’
  • Imran Afzal, Principal Designer, Co-op, UK: ‘Let’s Choose Empathy’

The cost of the 2024 conference is £495 (+VAT) which includes all the conference sessions, the Tuesday evening social event, lunches on Wednesday and Thursday, and the Wednesday evening Gala Dinner.  Accommodation is not included. There is an additional charge of £130 (+VAT) if you wish to attend the optional Tuesday morning pre-conference workshop which includes a buffet lunch. Please see our Cancellation Policy.

The event will begin with the bookable pre-conference workshop on the morning of Tuesday 11 June, while the conference officially opens at 1:30pm on the same day and runs for two-and-a-half days  >> Provisional Programme.

Information about the venues, suggested accommodation and travel options can be found on our Useful Information page.

The 2024 theme is ‘Curiosity and Empathy’. Conference content will seek to explore and respond to the following questions:

  • How might we engender more empathy for our users when conducting User Experience Research & Design techniques?
  • How might we become more curious about both our users, and the data we gather from them, with a view to increased understanding of their needs and behaviours, now and in the future?
  • How might we have more self-empathy, protecting ourselves from the emotional labour of researching and designing user experiences?
  • How might we decide when our research curiosity is too curious? Where are the ethical lines and boundaries?
  • How might we show more empathy for staff and colleagues when we/they are conducting UX work?
  • How might we select and conduct more empathic and curious UX techniques?

In addition to this specific focus, the conference will more generally offer advice and expertise on the work of UX Research & Design in a library context, that will be valuable to novices and experts alike.

The aim of our conference is to bring library staff together from academic, public and corporate libraries worldwide to share their stories and expertise in the field of User Experience (UX) Research and Design: researching and responding to the needs and behaviours of library users and testing and developing improved services in response. Whether you’re new to UX work or an experienced practitioner, we are confident that you will be inspired and energised by attending UX in Libraries.

And… also because we think UXLibs is different to most other library conferences. Specifically it is:

  • truly international: in 2023 delegates attended from 21 different countries as far afield as Canada, Qatar, Australia & New Zealand, so you will truly broaden your library horizons;
  • highly interactive: you will meet and work with many other delegates through individual, team and workshop activities;
  • intentionally friendly and informal: we believe attendees will learn and share more if they feel welcome and relaxed.

This year we are offering an optional pre-conference workshop entitled ‘The UX Toolkit: an Introduction to UX Research & Design’ at the same venue as the main conference on the morning of Tuesday 11 June (9.00am-12.00pm).

‘The UX Toolkit’: An interactive workshop in which Andy Priestner outlines a range of key UX research techniques that he has employed in libraries around the world in order to understand and improve user experience.  A hands-on, practical and fun session that will help attendees to understand the value of each method, together with examples of their use in real library settings.

Andy Priestner is a freelance consultant and trainer who previously worked in senior library roles at both Oxford and Cambridge University. He created and chairs UX in Libraries and is the author of ‘A Handbook of User Experience Research & Design in Libraries’.

There is an additional fee of £130 (+VAT) for this workshop for which a buffet lunch is included. Places are limited so are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

There will also be a range of practical, interactive workshops led by an impressive array of experts from inside and outside of libraries:

Rebecca Blakiston & Bob Liu, USA (below left) >> Anyone can design: bringing teams together with a design studio: participants will learn about the ‘design studio’ method, a lightweight session that can happen anytime and anywhere.

Anita Benko, UK (below right) >> Using games to enhance the UX process: participants will take part in a ‘Code Names’ game for the purpose of user data analysis, prompting deeper thinking about research findings and helping mitigate confirmation bias.

Carl Barrow, UK (below far right) >>  Lessons from a librarian turned paramedic: participants will consider supporting distressed students or ‘students in crisis’ and how to build easily navigable pathways to external services or how to incorporate support services as part of the library offering.

Danielle Daugherty & Heather Cribbs, USA (below left) >> Enhancing organizational empathy through continuous UX modelling: participants will learn how to create a customized UX Methods Matrix aligned with their organization’s UX Maturity Model to reinforce UX methodologies and gain a deeper understanding of how users interact with both physical and virtual library environments.

Joshua J. Herter, Canada (below right) >> More than footprints: empathy-rich behavioural mapping techniques: participants will scope, design and administer a mapping study – a group table-top simulation – calibrated to build empathy rather than solely report behaviour.

Marjanne Goossens, The Netherlands (below far right) >>  Body language as part of your UX toolkit to (positively) influence participants and quality of data: participants will explore how nonverbal cues can enhance curiosity and empathy and also yield more comprehensive, nuanced and actionable UX insights.

Every year we reach out to the UXLibs community to submit papers on UX-related topics. Those selected through a blind review process are presented at the conference. Our Call for Papers has now closed and successful applicants have now been notified.

Aside from our numerous speakers and workshops, our conference incorporates a challenge intended to inspire attendees to consider their work and knowledge from new angles by working with other delegates in teams.

A social programme will connect delegates and also offer the opportunity for some much-needed downtime, relaxation and entertainment. There will be a social event on the first night of the conference (Tuesday 11 June) at The Tivoli beside the river and Jesus Green, while the UXLibs Gala Dinner (Wednesday 12 June) will take place in the historic ballroom of the University Arms, Cambridge’s oldest hotel.

We will once again be awarding three sponsored places, two to staff from public libraries (or further education) and one to a BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) delegate. All the information is on our Sponsored Places page.

We are committed to ensuring that our speakers reflect our profession and therefore aim to deliver a programme of which no more than a third of our presenters (speakers, workshop leaders and delegate presenters) identify as male. We are also keen to amplify speakers of colour and minority voices.

We will be following a conference code of conduct to ensure that everyone attending UXLibs feels welcome, accepted and entirely safe throughout.

If you have any questions about the 2024 conference please email Marisa.

We’d love to see you at UXLibs8 in Cambridge!

(on behalf of The UX in Libraries Committee: Andy Priestner, Bryony Ramsden, Andrew Alexander, Julie Willems)


User Experience in Libraries: Yearbook 2023
Edited by Andy Priestner, 243pp. Published: 30 Jan 2023.
ISBN-13: 979–8374878417 (paperback)
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.com; Amazon.de and most other local Amazon sites. Price: £35 / $45 / €40 (plus VAT if applicable).
An ebook version (downloadable PDF for single user) is available from Payhip.com. Price: £30 (plus VAT if applicable). Institutional access option also available – email us for details.

The Yearbook of the long-awaited 2022 UXLibsVI conference! See the full contents pages here.

Back cover text:
User Experience in Libraries (popularly known as UXLibs) is a global community of practice committed to exploring, sharing and advocating for UX Research & Design methods in library and learning services in the academic and public sectors. Our long-awaited sixth annual conference took place at Northumbria University in Newcastle with delegates from all around the world. This yearbook serves as a conference proceedings ‘plus’, collating all the stories, processes and methods we shared at that event. Among this year’s contributors are: Andy Priestner, who argues that while culture might eat strategy for breakfast, UX can eat culture for dinner; Rebecca Blakiston, who shares her thoughts on how we might leverage organisational pain points and practice radical empathy; and Daniel Forsman, who calls for institutional alignment on the aspiration and value of UX work and a change in how senior staff operate.
If you are just starting out in user experience work, or already employing UX techniques and seeking to embed a user-centred process in your library, then this is the publication for you.

A Handbook of User Experience Research & Design in Libraries
by Andy Priestner, 572pp. Published: 1 Feb 2021.
Price: £70 (or equivalent price in local currency).
ISBN-13: 979–8596805925 (paperback)
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.com and other local Amazon sites.
Need multiple copies? Contact admin@uxlib.org for a quote.
An ebook version (downloadable PDF for single user) is available from Payhip.com. Price: £60 (plus VAT if applicable). Institutional access option also available from Payhip for a one-off payment of £180 (cost of 3 copies) – email us for further details if required.
The PDF is also available via ebook vendors Kortext (plus institutional access options) and Odilo (perpetual licence, pay-per-use or simultaneous access options).

Andy Priestner shares his expertise and adventures in User Experience Research & Design in this eminently readable and practical handbook intended for library staff at all levels. He demonstrates how UX methods and techniques uncover deeper and richer insights than traditional methods and have the potential to actively transform library services by placing users at the centre of all research and design endeavours. Divided into the 4 phases of the Design Council’s Double Diamond model, a wealth of UX research, ideation and design techniques are detailed, alongside numerous case studies from academic and public libraries around the world, chronicling fieldwork successes and failures. The issues facing those seeking to manage, embed and break down barriers to UX are also explored in depth, enhanced by the input of leading international library UX practitioners. This is the perfect toolkit for anyone interested in refocusing a library service around its users.

The ultimate UX textbook for all library staff. The only thing better is having Andy consult with you and your team!’ (Sadie-Jane Nunis – Head Librarian, Singapore Institute of Management; Vice-President, Library Association of Singapore)

Like getting an in-depth consultation with a seasoned UX practitioner. It’s easy to understand, fun to read, and packed with tips and examples to inspire you to put the book down, go learn about your users, and start making your library a better place.’ (Rebecca Blakiston – User Experience Librarian and Strategist, University of Arizona Libraries; Editor-in-chief, Weave: Journal of Library User Experience)

Priestner delivers a pitch perfect process – purposeful, pithy, perceptive, probing, piercing, pointed and positive. I would recommend it to all working in libraries and beyond.’ (Kaye Sullivan – Director, Excellence and Engagement, Monash University Library, Melbourne, Australia)

An easily navigated and well-structured journey through the UX Process. Read it and, better still, use it!’ (Linda Vidlund – Library Director, SLU, Sweden)

Download the promotional flyer
> Interview with Andy about writing the book

User Experience in Libraries: Yearbook 2019
Edited by Andy Priestner, 256pp. Published: 4 Feb 2020.
ISBN-13: 979–8609163653 (paperback)
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.com; Amazon.de. Price: £35 / $45 / €40 (plus VAT if applicable). Also available from other local Amazon sites.
An ebook version (downloadable PDF for single user) is available from Payhip.com. Price: £30 (plus VAT if applicable).
The book is also available as a PDF via ebook vendors Kortext (institutional access options also available) and Odilo (perpetual licence, pay-per-use or simultaneous access options).

The third UXLibs Yearbook! See the full contents pages here.

Back cover text:
User Experience in Libraries (popularly known as UXLibs) is a global community of practice committed to exploring, sharing and advocating for UX research and design methods in library and learning services in the academic and public sectors. Our fifth annual conference took place at Royal Holloway, University of London with delegates from all around the world. Once again, this yearbook serves as a conference proceedings plus, bursting at the seams with stories about employing user experience methodologies to research and design more user-centred services. There are contributions from Anneli Friberg who explores the relationship between leadership and UX, Andy Priestner with a hard-hitting take on the institutional barriers to conducting UX design, Victor Alfson exploring the untapped value of using virtual reality as a research tool, and Helen Murphy forging links between UX and information literacy. Never before has our yearbook been more diverse in content and approach.
If you are actively employing user experience techniques, seeking to embed UX as a strategic priority at your institution, or new to the whole idea of focusing on your users when developing and designing library services, this volume is full of approaches and insights to help you on your journey.

User Experience in Libraries: Yearbook 2018
Edited by Andy Priestner, 288pp. Published: 14 Dec 2018.
ISBN-13: 978–1790914746 (paperback)
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.com; Amazon.de. Price: £35 / $45 / €40 (plus VAT if applicable). Also available from other local Amazon sites.
An ebook version (downloadable PDF for single user) is available from Payhip.com. Price: £30 (plus VAT if applicable).
The book is available as a PDF via ebook vendors Kortext (institutional access options also available) and Odilo (perpetual licence, pay-per-use or simultaneous access options).

The return of the UXLibs Yearbook! See the full contents pages here.

Back cover text:
UX in Libraries (UXLibs) is a global community of practice committed to exploring, sharing and advocating for UX research and design methods in library and learning services in the academic and public sectors. 2018 saw our fourth annual international conference, held in Sheffield, which once again brought together delegates from all over the world and this year focused on inclusivity. This volume collects together contributions from our conference speakers including Sara Lerén, Christian Lauersen, Janine Bradbury and Kit Heyam, all of whom wowed attendees with their insights and perspectives. Fascinating workshop content, delegate papers and material presented under our research in progress banner (‘UXLabs’) are also collected here.
If you are already applying user experience research and design or are just dipping your toe in the water, and want to find out what all the fuss is about, this second UXLibs Yearbook is the resource for you.

User Experience in Libraries: Yearbook 2017
Edited by Andy Priestner, 220pp. Published: 12 Dec 2017.
ISBN-13: 978–1981635573, ISBN-10: 1981635572 (paperback)
Print:  Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.com; Amazon.de. Price: £30 / $40 / €35 (plus VAT).  Other online retailers to follow.
An ebook version (downloadable PDF for single user) is available from Payhip.com. Price: £21 (plus VAT if applicable)
The PDF is also available via ebook vendors Kortext (institutional access options also available) and Odilo (perpetual licence, pay-per-use or simultaneous access options).

This exciting new tome collects together all the many presentations from the 2017 UX in Libraries conference in Glasgow and offers a fascinating, informative and truly international collection of stories, case studies, insights and reflections on the practice of UX in both academic and public libraries. If you are already conducting user experience research or are just starting on that journey the comprehensive UXLibs Yearbook should prove to be an invaluable companion to your endeavours.

Yearbook editor Andy Priestner reflects upon and reviews the content and idea of the volume on his blog.

 Table of Contents:
  1. Approaching maturity? UX adoption in libraries – Andy Priestner
  2. Ethical UX – Matthew Reidsma
  3. How white is your UX practice?: inclusion and diversity in critical UX research – Karine Larose and Simon Barron
  4. Maximising impact: scaling-up UX activities (and how to manage all that data!) – Vanya Gallimore 
  5. Space use data: success, failure, and defining impact – Kristin Meyer and Shelley Gullikson
  6. Impact in the Institute: conducting UX research in the Institute of Historical Research Library – Siobhan Morris
  7. Public library user – between personal development and sense of community – Rafał Rukat
  8. UX as part of the process: rebooting the Charles Booth online archive – Eva Jirjahlke
  9. The beginning of a beautiful friendship? Student engagement and UX at the University of Essex – Emma Wisher
  10. UXLibs, politics and the simple repeatable message – Andy Priestner
  11. No fear social responsibility and community archiving – Meredith Evans
  12. Unmasking the authentic user experience: How video evidence can make the case for improving virtual space – Amy Kimura and Heather Dalal
  13. Learning UX in user-centered reading groups – John Jung and Kathy Zadrozny
  14. User eXperience… our experience at Maynooth University Library – Lorna Dodd
  15. Shifting focus: UX to foster interdisciplinary scholarly community – Lauren Ray and Madeline Mundt
  16. UX research with distance learners – Keren Stiles
  17. Basing arguments on evidence: the unexpected outcome of a cultural probe – Åsa Forsberg
  18. UX your desk! – Carl Barrow
  19. Just getting started: impacting organizational culture with UX – Michelle Boisvenue-Fox
  20. Think less, do more: how ‘design doing’ can impact organizational structure and help create a user-centered culture – Yael Schwartz and Andrea Davis
  21. The University of Lanarkshire: Revealed – Ned Potter
  22. My experience of UXLibs and the Team Challenge – Gillian Siddall
  23. Location, Location, Emotion – Janet Corcoran
  24. Tales of the unexpected: UX and its wider impact – Kirstie Preest and Samantha Percival
  25. UX research at the University of Huddersfield – Alison Sharman
  26. How do you library? – Matt Borg
  27. Experience mapping (or the experience of delivering workshops at UXLibs3) – Anneli Friberg and Anna Kågedal
  28. Co-design – Vernon Fowler
  29. UX adoption and implementation: a summary of UX progress and projects from around the world
Back cover text:
‘UX research offers unparalleled access to the world of our users and is fast becoming a core activity of today’s libraries. UX in Libraries is a global community of practice committed to exploring, sharing, and advocating for, UX research methods in library and learning services. Each year since 2015 an annual international conference has taken place in the UK. Last year’s third iteration took place in Glasgow. This volume collects together the proceedings of that conference, incorporating the keynotes, workshops, the team challenge and the many papers presented by delegates working in both academic and public libraries, together with images from the event.’

UX-RoutledgeUser Experience in Libraries (Published by Routledge, 2016)

Edited by Andy Priestner and Matt Borg (203 pages)
ISBN: 9781472484727 (paperback), 9781472451002 (hardback)
Purchase from Routledge / Purchase from Amazon
Some chapters are available online as free ebooks

Published in 2016 this book brings together current thinking and expertise on User Experience research in libraries. It sets out a broader definition of UX that moves beyond digital and also explores use of library spaces and services. In this groundbreaking book, 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.

‘User Experience in Libraries is an engaging combination of library UX theory and practice. Both those new to the subject and those with more experience will learn from it’ Aaron Schmidt, Principal, Influx 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 – 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 Alan Gilbert Learning Commons – Rosie Jones and Nicola Grayson
  12. Case Study: UX and a Small Academic Library – Margaret (Meg) 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 (Libby) Tilley
  17. UX in Libraries: Leaping the Chasm – Andy Priestner and Matt Borg