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.’