The UX in Libraries Yearbook

I have written and edited quite a number of books over the years but I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud of a title than I am of the new ‘UX in Libraries Yearbook 2017’. This book is essentially ‘the third UX in Libraries conference made print’, capturing the high quality presentations, stories and insights shared at that memorable event in one comprehensive and engaging volume.

Ever since the first UXLibs in Cambridge in 2015, I’d pondered how the event could not only be recorded for posterity but also shared with a much wider audience. And I think with this new Yearbook we may just have cracked it.

The book is more accessible and practical than most academic texts, chiefly because its 30+ contributors have written up their engaging presentations rather than writing from scratch what can often turn out to be dry academic book chapters. An academic approach has its place in librarianship but I’m not sure its the best bedfellow for the agile world of UX research, which is about just doing it, trying stuff out quickly and accelerating your learning as a result.

For those new to UX, the Yearbook will certainly help accelerate their learning with heaps of case studies, sharing of techniques and findings, and practical advice.

Another huge plus is the international content with contributions far beyond UXLibs’ UK origins, with representation from Australia, Sweden, Poland, the United States, Canada and Ireland. It’s the same melting pot of cultures and learning as the conference itself and much stronger for it.

To pick out a few highlights… there are write-ups by Meredith Evans (above) and Matthew Reidsma of their wondrous keynotes, the team challenge is explored by Ned Potter, while Simon Barron and Karine Larose ask us to question how white our UX practice is? Elsewhere, Vanya Gallimore lifts the lid on the immense UX research project conducted at the University of York employing cognitive maps and interviews, Kristin Meyer and Shelley Gullikson share contrasting experience of UX support at their home institutions, and Emma Wisher (who won the best presentation award at the conference) details UX findings from the University of Essex. Public library UX experience is well represented with contributions from the US (Yael Schwartz and Andrea Davis, and Michelle Boisvenue-Fox) and Poland (Rafal Rukat). The conference workshops are also detailed (Anneli Friberg, Anna Kagedal, Matt Borg, Vernon Fowler) and there are naturally a few pieces from yours truly, including my conference opening address which explores UX adoption and maturity. I would love to name everyone else in the book but I think you probably already get the idea that it is cram full of great content by awesome contributors.

I must briefly mention the Yearbook’s generous number of wonderful black-and-white conference photographs taken by David Scott. David has captured many fantastic and fun moments that sum up the look and feel of UXLibs perfectly.

As this tome has very definitely been titled a yearbook, yes we are bravely stating that we’d love to put out a volume every year, but inevitably this depends on sales. It’s taken many months of preparation and time is money. So in closing I’d like to ask you to please purchase a copy of this book for your library so that this becomes just the first in a series of volumes that might serve as invaluable companions for anyone embarking on UX endeavours.

Purchasing details and a full table of contents are available on the UX in Libraries website.

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