Last Friday I had the pleasure to give a talk concerning the following four facets of user experience in libraries:
1. access, orientation, and navigation
2. environment behaviour settings
3. appropriating spaces
4. place identity
To those who are familiar with my work the items 1, 3 and 4 are probably well known. The item 2 “environment behaviour setting” is in fact not new in the context of my empirical library research. But: Now I focus on it in a different way. This I would like to outline in the following.
Some weeks ago I had the pleasure participating in the UXLibs II Conference in Manchester. During this conference I became aware that only a part of my theoretical framework which my library research is based on is available in English. Today I want to change this to the better and provide the most important parts of the framework as a short version here in my blog. 
Paper accepted for the conference „UX in Libraries II“, 2016 in Manchester!!!
“‘What does it mean by speak, friend, and enter?’ asked Merry. ‘That is plain enough’, said Gimli. ‘If you are a friend speak the password, and the doors will open, and you can enter.’”
Library spaces can work as gated communities and labyrinths. They can hinder users in navigating through the information architecture built of rooms, shelves and books. The spaces even work as access deniers: If a user or visitor hasn’t enough library experience, he/she will get lost within the library building. Even PhD students and fellows mention that they avoid going into some libraries because they feel getting lost. But for those who succeed, library spaces often are symbolic spaces. People appropriate spaces, that means they understand and modify the social and material environment by for instance choosing a favourite (work)place, (re-)arranging the furniture, and switching on/off the light. They develop a feeling of belonging and ownership over ‘their spaces’ – so a desk and a chair can become a professional workplace for them. To support this a library has to provide what I like to call “human centred spaces”: Weiterlesen “Speak, friend, and enter” – Labyrinths, symbolic spaces, and gated communities in university libraries
Since nearly a month, I am participating in my first MOOC – “Open Networked Learning”. First of all: I’ve heard about the drop out statistics of MOOCs. Thousands of people start participating in a MOOC and after a few weeks they drop out and never finish. By knowing this I decided not to join one of the working groups but take part more as a “lurking student”.
Here are my first impressions:
Surprising: We are just 88 participants, but the group is quite international! Up till now I have been thinking that “massive” means thousands of participants!
Five years ago, in July 2010, I had my first talk about UX in Libraries at the ETH Zürich. It had the title “User Experience Design für öffentliche Bibliotheken: Von der Buchleihzentrale zum Zentrum der Urbanität“ (UX design for public libraries: from a book loaning office to the centre of urbanity). After this first talk lots of presentations followed, like the one concerning information architecture in libraries and how it supports orientation and navigation of the people in the library (03/2011 in Darmstadt, Germany) or the one in Oslo, Norway (08/2011): „Renaissance of the Library: Catalyser for Participation in Cultural Life and Centre of Urbanity“. Now, some years later, I recognise that the topic UX isn’t unknown in the library community any more. Weiterlesen UX in Libraries
In April the special issue „Spatial Methods“ of the journal „Historical Social Research/Historische Sozialforschung“ was published. I’m very proud to present my article concerning the examination of space perceptions in libraries and homes for the elderly in this issue:
Examining Space Perceptions. Combining Visual and Verbal Data with Reactive and Non-Reactive Methods in Studies of the Elderly and Library Users. In: Historical Social Research, Special Issue “Spatial Methods”, Vol. 39 (2014) No. 2. Pp. 181-202.
Some of the blog readers hope to see amazing & fascinating library pictures. And I took just a few like this one of Lincoln College Library in Oxford. But now I found the website of a photographer and that website meets this expectation: http://www.templesofknowledge.com/libraries.html
While looking at these pictures I ask myself again: What makes the people feel like being in a temple or church when they’re entering a library?
Enjoy these incredible beautiful library pictures!
Sometimes thinks take other ways than expected. In spring I applied for the Nordic Sociological Association (NSA) Conference in Oslo. And my paper concerning the “Renaissance of the Library” was accepted for the poster presentation – I thought. But some weeks ago Prof. Ragnvald Kalleberg contacted me: I should be one of the presenters in his session “Sociology of Science” (this Friday afternoon). I was quite surprised!
Now my preparation for this presentation is finished. I was pleased to write a paper concerning my presentation topic that you can find here.
Another task during the session will be, that I will commentate Ragnvald Kallebergs presentation “Academics communicating with citizens in publics”. I am looking forward to do so, because this is a really interesting topic that is connected with my work in a theoretical and a practical way (some of you may think about“Space-Expedition: Konstanz”).