Publications released: User experience in public libraries

Publications released: User experience in public libraries

CNSC codirector, Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol, coauthors two recently published papers on the relevance of user-centered public services, more concretely, public libraries. In spite of the centrality of actual users in this kind of research, Mireia and her colleagues pay more attention to non-users of public libraries. Based on a mixed method strategy via a representative survey of the 15 years old or over resident population in Catalonia and three focus groups, the authors distinguish and analyze three profiles: users, non-users, and ex-users. Check out the abstracts below and access the papers in the links section.

The public library seen by non-users

Abstract: The user experience framework (UX) serves to analyze the characteristics, preferences and perceptions of non-users of the public library to inform the (re)design of services. Empirical data come from a representative survey of the Catalan population aged 15 and over. In general terms, libraries and librarians benefit from a positive image, although one third of non-users would have no motivation for visiting a public library (again). Most are ex-users (81%) who had visited a public library but not in the last year. Individuals seem to stop using the public library when they end their educational period, with disengagement affecting more men than women. Never-users (19%) stand out among older individuals and lower educational levels. Results support the idea that different strategies must target ex-users and non-users to attract them (back) to the library as both their profiles and opinions on the public library are different.


Marc, Maria y David: el diseño de experiencia de usuario (UX) aplicado a la biblioteca pública [Marc, Maria and David: The design of user experience (UX) applied to the public library]

Abstract: Objectives: Adopting the principles of user experience design (UX), we created three user personas to help design digital and on-site products and services and use in Catalan public library planning to promote patron loyalty and attract new users. Methodology: A representative survey of the Catalan community (1,205 answers) and a bivariate analysis identified the three targets which, thanks to the focus groups and content analysis, could be used to create the three user personas. The user persona technique employs real data to identify possible users, helps generate empathy between library staff and patrons and ensures that service and product design is person-centred. Results: The three user personas are accompanied by evidence-based descriptions and scenarios which should help to design user experiences. They are: Marc (user), a student who wants to co-design the library and asks for patron-organized face-to-face social activities; Maria (non-user), a retiree who needs human warmth and whose profile reflects the need for closer collaboration between social services and libraries; and David (ex-user), a working man of over thirty years old who believes that he does not need the library, even though he is unaware of most of the services it currently offers him.



Image by Wojtek Gurak under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license.