User Experience in Libraries 8: ‘Curiosity & Empathy’ Call for Papers

The 2024 UX in Libraries conference will take place at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (UK) from 11 to 13 June. Once again, we will be sharing user experience techniques, initiatives and stories, hearing from experts from both inside and outside of libraries, and engaging in interactive workshops and challenges.
As ever, a significant and popular element of the event will be the papers presented by attendees. These papers are selected through a blind peer review process with the UX in Libraries committee (this year: Andy Priestner, Bryony Ramsden, Andrew Alexander, Julie Willems) reading, reviewing and scoring the papers in anonymised form.
This year we will chiefly be exploring user experience through the themes of curiosity and empathy, with presentations that respond to questions such as the following:

  • How might we engender more empathy for our users when conducting User Experience Research & Design techniques?
  • How might we become more curious about both our users, and the data we gather from them, with a view to increased understanding of their needs and behaviours, now and in the future?
  • How might we have more self-empathy, protecting ourselves from the emotional labour of researching and designing user experiences?
  • How might we decide when our research curiosity is too curious? Where are the ethical lines and boundaries?
  • How might we show more empathy for staff and colleagues when we/they are conducting UX work?
  • How might we select and conduct more empathic and curious UX techniques?

Your presentation does not need to respond directly to the above questions, but should ideally relate to the themes of empathy and curiosity in some way. However, we will also consider papers that are not on theme.

The UX in Libraries definition of UX work embraces both physical and digital, in fact all aspects of library services. We see UX as about engaging with users more deeply and meaningfully than is possible through transactional surveys (i.e. questionnaires) or simply by gathering statistical data. If your paper is only about these data collection methods it is unlikely to get through. We also encourage that UX design (the prototyping and iteration of new spaces and services with users) takes place as a result of UX research, so papers which additionally demonstrate this process will also score more highly.

Papers should be submitted by the deadline of 2 February 2024. For full details of the paper submission process and the scoring criteria, please visit: