User Experience Librarian


User Experience Librarian, or UX Librarian, is a site designed and developed for those working in the field looking for UX resources and a guide to implementing a UX program at their library.

What is a User Experience Librarian?

The term User Experience or UX is not a new one. Companies have been studying the users' experience with their products and satisfaction level for decades. In the field of librarianship, the term "user experience" has become the new focus, and thus a new type of librarian is emerging from this: the User Experience Librarian.

To be honest, I think I've been observing our users' experiences since I began working in academic libraries, 13 years ago - there simply wasn't a "name" for what I was doing at the time. But with a background in Anthropology, I find that studying people and how they interact with what we provide to be fascinating, and improving our services and service points for them is truly rewarding. As a User Experience Librarian my job is to study our users within our space, analyze the data we collect about their satisfaction levels and develop ways to improve their experience with the library, whether they are in the physical building, or accessing our services remotely.

Libraries of the 21st Century

Academic libraries of the 21st century are no longer the staid book repositories that they were when many of us were growing up, where librarians shushed patrons and silence echoed within the stacks. As well as the traditional research which occurs there, libraries are evolving into social gathering locations and include programs and events that were not available in the past. Libraries are expanding to offer room to complementary facilities to improve and assist in student and faculty research success. Increasingly our users are finding us through our websites, and we must be cognizant that we provide easy-to-use, understandable pages for them to navigate.

Additionally, I believe User Experience goes beyond our physical and virtual presence. Outreach is also a component of addressing the user's experience. Some outreach services such as offering therapy dogs during high-stress times, infographics to explain library services, social media outreach, special events and programs, as well as extended hours. These are all examples of how we are attempting to reach those who may not want to come to the library for research purposes, but once they enter our buildings for an outreach event, it allows them to see the library as more than a study area - it is a place where ideas are shaped and shared.

For me, being a UX Librarian is the perfect fit. It allows me to continue to improve what we offer our scholars as well as make the library a vibrant, exciting place to come to, for numerous events and adventures. It allows me to go to work every day, wondering how we can get better and this thrills me.

I'm a User baby!