User Experience Librarians: User Advocates, User Researchers, Usability Evaluators, or All of the Above?

User Experience (UX) is gaining momentum as a critical success factor across all industries and sectors, including libraries. While usability studies of library websites and related digital interfaces are commonplace, UX is becoming an increasingly popular topic of discussion in the community and is emerging as a new specialization for library professionals. To better understand this phenomenon, this paper reports the results of a qualitative study involving interviews with 16 librarians who have “User Experience” in their official job titles. The results show that UX Librarians share a user-centered mindset and many common responsibilities, including user research, usability testing, and space/service assessments, but each individual UX Librarian is also somewhat unique in how they approach and describe their work. As a whole, the research sheds light on an emerging library specialization and provides a valuable snapshot of the current state of UX Librarianship.

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Full paper presented at the 2015 ASIS&T Annual Meeting.

User Experience Librarians: User Advocates, User Researchers, Usability Evaluators, or All of the Above?