UXLibs7 – 2023

The 7th annual international User Experience in Libraries (UX in Libraries or ‘UXLibs’ for short) conference: ‘Connections & Collaborations’, will take place on 6 to 8 June 2023 in Brighton at the University of Sussex. This year the conference begins with a pre-conference workshop on the morning of Tuesday 6 June, while the conference officially opens at 1:30pm on the same day and runs for two-and-a-half days. Download the Provisional Programme and read on below for more information on this year’s theme and our keynote and plenary speakers.


The cost of the 2023 conference is £450 (+VAT) which includes all conference sessions, the Tuesday evening social dinner, lunches on Wednesday and Thursday, and the Wednesday evening Gala Dinner.  Accommodation is not included. There is an additional charge of £125 (+VAT) if you wish to attend the optional pre-conference workshop including buffet lunch. Please see our Cancellation Policy.

Information about the venues, suggested accommodation and travel options are collected on our Useful Information page.

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.  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 2022 delegates attended from 18 different countries as far afield as Croatia, Canada, Mexico & South Africa, 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.

The 2023 theme is ‘Connections & Collaborations’. We will be encouraging attendees to think about how they connect and collaborate with others both inside and outside of libraries when engaged in UX work:

  • How might we collaborate with specific user groups to co-create more relevant and inclusive library services?
  • How might we forge connections with external groups or individuals in order to improve both our processes and results?
  • How might we persuade senior managers and stakeholders of the value of UX work?

We are thrilled to announce this year’s keynote and plenary speakers:

  • Marie Østergård, Library Director of Aarhus Public Libraries >> Keynote Title: ‘The Library as Democratic Infrastructure’ >> Marie oversees the highly-acclaimed user-centred Dokk1 library and has focused on user-involvement, partnerships, design thinking and rethinking of library space throughout her career. >> Full biography
  • Dr Arun Verma >> Keynote Title: ‘Be Your Most Disruptive Self –  Collective Action in Experience and Design’  >> Arun is a leading figure in implementing and integrating intersectionality in systems, policy and programmes internationally, whose edited collection ‘Anti-racism in higher education: An action guide for change’ is already influencing the debate and accelerating action for inclusion in higher education. >> Full biography
  • Emma Thompson >>  Plenary Title: ‘Design, Align, Combine: Getting Buy-in for Your Great Ideas’ >> Emma is Head of Academic Engagement and Teaching Services at Manchester Metropolitan University Library and Cultural Services. She is currently working on a strategic project to transform the university library for the 2030s and beyond, where UX is at the heart of the programme. >> Full biography
  • Victoria Olaniyan >> Plenary Title: Inclusion through Participation: Exploring the barriers to real inclusion for underserved communities in UX research >> Victoria is a Senior User Researcher at Methods, a UK-based transformation partner for public services, who deliver end-to-end business and technical solutions that are people-centred, safe, and designed for the future. >> Full biography
  • Shelley Gullikson >> Plenary Title: More Than Just Working Together: Reflections on UX Work and Collaboration’ >> Shelley is Web & UX Librarian at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada who has been thinking about what does and doesn’t work for users ever since her first usability tests for a Human Computer Interaction course back in 1998. >> Full biography

This year we are offering an optional pre-conference workshop entitled ‘The UX Toolkit’ at the same venue as the main conference on the morning of Tuesday 6 June (9.00am-12.30pm).

‘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. N.B. This is essentially an introduction to UX work for beginners or those who need a refresher.

Andy Priestner is a freelance trainer and consultant 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’. >> Full biography

There is an additional fee of £125 (+VAT) for this workshop for which a buffet lunch is included. Places are limited so are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

One of the most popular elements of UXLibs are the practical interactive workshops which take place on Day 3. This year we have attracted a talented range of workshop leaders who will help us to explore a compelling array of topics relevant to User Experience work…

  • Jane Burns >> Workshop Title: ‘Punching Up: Engaging with Senior Decision Makers with Developed Negotiation and Persuasion Skills’ >> Jane is an experienced University Lecturer and CPD facilitator and Director of Education & Public Engagement at TUS, Ireland.
  • Ned Potter >> Workshop Title: ‘Communicating the Benefits of UX to Everyone Who Needs to Hear It’ >> Ned is an Academic Liaison Librarian at the University of York and freelance trainer in communications.
  • Sarah Halliday and Pete Hanna >> Workshop Title:  ‘Taking UX Beyond the Library (aka Timetabling was Never on my Bucket List)’ >> Sarah is an Information Manager with the Contents and Collections Team at the University of Hertfordshire, while Pete is User Experience Manager at the University of Hertfordshire.
  • Larissa Tjisterman >> Workshop Title: ‘Storytelling with Data’ >> Larissa is Project Leader in Client Services at the University of Amsterdam.
  • Sebastian May >> Workshop Title: ‘Exploring Student Experience through Creativity’ >> Sebastian works as Student Experience Lead at the University of the Arts London.
  • Victor Alfson >> Workshop Title: ‘UX research in the Metaverse?’ >> Victor is an experienced UX librarian and programming coordinator at Stockholm Public Library and occasionally also facilitates UX research outside of his organisation.

Details of this year’s paper presentations from delegates engaged in UX work in libraries can be found on our UXLibs7 Paper Presenters page.

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.

On the first night of the conference (Tuesday 6 June) we will be going to Horatio’s Bar on Brighton Palace Pier to socialise and eat a traditional fish and chip supper (vegetarian and vegan options also available). This year’s Gala Dinner (Wednesday 7 June) will take place in the Paganini Ballroom (the oldest meeting room in Brighton dating back to 17th Century) at The Old Ship Hotel. After dinner we will be entertained by a live band and there will be much dancing and merriment!

We are once again 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 speakers 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 booking a place at this year’s conference please email Marisa.

We’d love to see you in Brighton!

Andy, Bryony, Andrew
The UX in Libraries Committee