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Library Print Collections UX Study

In April 2017, the UX Team explored how library users engage with our print collection to help  the Collections & Content Team make decisions about the re-location of the collection after renovations.

Research Questions

  • How do users engage with the library’s print collection?


  • We conducted interviews and customer journey mapping with 15 undergraduate participants
  • We completed a document analysis of interviews conducted with 11​ ​faculty​ ​members​ in early 2016 for a previous UX study which explored their use of the library

What did we Learn?

  • Students find navigating and accessing the print collection to be time-consuming and frustrating
  • Students consider online resources to be more convenient than print material, and prefer an online option
  • There is a general sense that the print collection is “old” and irrelevant, especially for subjects where new information is critical to their work
  • Even if students prefer online resources, or more study space, they considered books a defining feature of the library and wouldn’t want to see them eliminated

Our Recommendations

  • Add subject specific language to the call number signs both in the stacks and in the stairwells
  • Make the ‘‘Where is it?’ function more specific; down to the individual shelving unit
  • Weed older and rarely used books to both change this perception and promote easier navigation of the collection
  • Improve visibility and clarity on the website about how borrowing from TUG and interlibrary loan work
  • Implement an online browsing feature
Year of Study: