UX in the Library

Understanding and improving- The purpose of UX

The library have finally started working with UX. What does that mean you might
wonder? well UX stands for User Experience and is a collection of different methods and techniques based on trying to understand the users and discovering various obstacles that they encounter when they are in the library and make sure to improve their experience.

Some examples of different UX methods are:

User journey map, which consists of a map that describes the user’s journey from start to finish and where you can see what obstacles the user encounters and how to remove them.

Love/Breakup Letter is another example where you ask the user to write a letter to the Library and declare their love and what they like most about the Library. Or maybe the user wants to break up with the library and writes down why and how come it is not working.

Touchstone-Tours means asking the user to show how they use the library. You follow the user for an hour or two. That way you can get a better understanding of the user’s needs.

Wall of reflections/graffiti WALL- you set a withboard in the Library entrance where users can write down their thoughts, ideas and questions to the library. Like a wish Box. At the end of the day you take a photo of the board, write down the questions that have come up on the board and answers that the user has received from the library and hang it in a folder next to the board. Then you can erase the board and restart again the next day.

Guerilla testing– you goe out among people and asks quick questions. A simple method to perform where you can quickly get an overview of what the user needs/wants.

As I mentioned at the beginning, we at the library have started working according to the UX model and some methods that we have used are:

Writing diary-During a period of time we kept a diary when we worked in the information point. In this way we could see what kind of questions we got, how often we said NO and how often we we made exceptions. This method hans helped us to understand what exceptions our users has of our service.

Quality walks-means that you “put on someone else’s glasses” and pretend to be that person from a given question. For example, if I have a severe loss of vision, can I still use the library’s website? And so on.

Guerilla-testing– for not so long ago, we couldn´t decide on how a certain information should be written in Primo in order for the user to understand what we mean. so we went directly to the students and ask them. We had four different proposals and it was one of those who won superior.

So if you see us walk around in the library and ask questions, you know what we are doing and what method we are using.

Here you can read more about UX in the Library

Text: Tandis Talay
Picture: Mostphotos

Comfort Rules

Since the library is a workplace for many students and for us to have a pleasant
working environmentwe have some comfort rules that we hope everyone will follow.

When it comes to level of noises and if you get to talk in the Library or not, it is perfectly OK to talk and have discussions in the lounge, since we are not a silent library, but you should have a low noise level. If you want a little more heated discussions, we have group rooms that you can book and for those who want absolute silence when they study, we have quiet study room where you are not allowed to talk at all.

Although it is allowed to talk on cellphones in most places around the library, it is cellphone free zone in the area around the information point. It is good to think about the sound level when you talk on the phone when it is easy to talk loudly without you know it yourself.

When it comes to food and drink, you get to eat fruit, sweets and some sandwiches in the library. You should not eat messy sandwiches like tuna sandwiches or hot food but cheese and ham sandwiches is ok.

Taking a break from studying and going away to eat can be a good way to clear your thoughts, regain focus and get new energy. There is a lunch lounge just outside the library with microwave ovens, two fridges and a coffee machine. All students have access to the lounge.

You can have drinks with a lid on the library. You are not allowed to take in soft drinks or energy drinks into the library when it can be really messy if you would accidentally pour out a bit.

Text: Tandis Talay
Picture: Mostphotos

My Library

Do you wonder where you can see which books you have borrowed and when your last return date is? Or do you want to see if you have any late fees or do you want to know which books have reserverd?

On the Libraries webpage you have a quick link called my library. Here you have all the information about your loans collected. If you are a student or an employee here at the University of Borås, select Users at the University and log in with your regular user account.

Once you’re logged in, you have an overview image. Here you can see directly your loans and orders of books, as well as a summary of your possible late fees.

Under The Loans tab you can see all your loans. If you wonder why you don’t find a renew button here, is because we have automatic loans.  So you don’t have to worry about your loans for as long as no one has reserved the book, it will be automatically renewed up to 4 months. If the book you have borrowed is a interlibrary loan, and you want to renew it, you must contact ill@hb.se to renew the loan.

Course books have a 7-day loan period and all other books have a 21-day loan period. We have a late charge of 10kr per day per book. You will receive reminders via email when a book has to be returned, therefore it is important that you know which email is registered on you. This is shown in the overview image under the Personal Information tab.

Here you can read more about our loan rules.

Text: Tandis Talay
Picture: Katharina Nordling


Hi Signe Wulund!

In a series of portraits we are going to introduce the staff at the Library to all our readers and customers. Who are the people working at the library? And what are they doing there? Read our portraits and get to know your librarians! We asked Lena a few questions.


What are your main duties?

Since about 6 weeks ago I work with research support in the Digital Services function. This means that I (when I get a bit more experience) will be the person to help and inform researchers, PhD students and administrators about issues regarding for example the publication database DiVA, Open Access and research data management. I’ll naturally also be available at the InformationPoint and do a lot of other things behind the scenes – it’s going to be exciting to see exactly what my roles develops into eventually.

What where you doing before you started working here?

That’s a good question. I’ve done a lot of random stuff! The last five years I’ve been living in Cambridge where I had a research support role at the University. Before that I was a children’s librarian at the fantastic public library in Nynäshamn south of Stockholm. I arrived there from Japan, where I among other experiences managed to study Japanese and teach Naval English at a coast guard headquarter. I did my Masters in Library and Information Science at Uppsala University, and they had an exchange program through which I ended up in Japan the first time.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

Right now I’m furnishing a brand new rental apartment, and trying to get to know Borås. I’m completely new here, and I came from England with two suitcases and nothing else. We have boxes of books (and other stuff too) coming eventually, but as we had rented a furnished place in Cambridge there’s a lot of IKEA and running around Knalleland going on right now. I really miss hanging out in the couch with my wife and our two cats, but fortunately they are also moving here to Borås from England in the beginning of December. And I look forward to getting back out in the Swedish nature!

What made you apply to the library at the University of Borås?

I had set up a notification for jobs in Sweden with keywords like “open access”, and when I saw that the University of Borås was looking for a digital services librarian it felt like an amazing chance. After all, this is the heart of Swedish library studies, and I couldn’t imagine a better combination than a work place where I could use the specialist knowledge I’d gained at the University of Cambridge and at the same time learn a lot of new things in the field. And that proved true the very first day, when I got to listen in on a lecture to Library and Information Science students some of my colleagues gave.

Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to work with researchers and publications?

Not at all – this has really happened by pure chance! I started as a temp in Cambridge, and pretty early I ended up in various administrative departments where I helped out with exactly research support and publications. I quickly became involved in questions regarding the open access of publication and research data, and that’s how I ended up here. I feel that it’s a very exciting area that is also developing extremely rapidly, at the same time as it’s important for libraries and higher education institutions to keep up and communicate everything it means to those who are directly affected by the relevant requirements and policies.

Do you have any book tips you want to share?

I like everything from NK Jemisin, but the just-completed broken Earth trilogy is probably the best she’s written so far. It is crude and majestic fantasy in the borderland to SF where she confronts many difficult questions. No wonder that the first two parts won each Hugo. Yoon Ha Lee has so far two books out in the series Machineries of the Empire, where the first part was so good that I read it again after six months just to get to experience it again. He writes SF that feels like watching a colourful animated film. Ada Palmer won the John W. Campbell Award in the category of Best newcomer with her future vision Too like the lightning, which I can really understand-. It also doesn’t resemble anything I’ve read before. I’m now waiting tense for her The will to Battle that’s coming out in December.

Text: Tandis Talay and Signe Wulund
Picture: Tandis Talay

Do you have the right e-mail registered?

Given that you get late fees on books you return too late, it seems like a good idea to keep track of what email address the library is using to send out reminders – here’s how you find out what address the library has registered for you.

When you have borrowed a book at the library, it is always your responsibility to keep track of what you borrowed and when it has to be returned. If a book is returned late, you will get a fee. To help you keep track of all different dates of return, the library has the service to send out reminder by email just before it is time to return a book. In order for you to receive the emails the library sends, and thus remind you that it is time to return the book, it is important that you have the correct e-mail address registered with the library. With the correct e-mail address we mean an email address that you check daily.

It is easy to check which email address is registered for you at the library. Log in to My Library, under the PERSONAL DATA tab you will see your e-mail address.

If you want to change email, you do it using Ladok under My Pages. Do you think it’s difficult? Come to the library and we will guide when you’re doing it.

Text: Tandis Talay
Picture: Mostphotos

Open Access

This week there will be a lot of focus on the 10th International Open Access week. This years theme is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly outputs openly available.

What is Open Access?

According to Wikipedia it refers to online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access. Mainly it is a matter of scientific articles and theses but books, research data and meta data can also be included.

To have free access to scientific information means that the author gives everyone the right to read, download, copy and distribute the work in digital form. It has been proved that if you publish your work with Open Access, it will spread faster and is cited more often.

The main methods of Open Access are:

  • Green Open Access or self-archiving as it is sometimes called. It means that the researcher, as soon as the publisher allows can make a refereed and published publication freely available in full text on the Internet.
  • Gold Open Access means that the researcher publishes her/himself on an Open Access publisher. The article or the thesis will then be immediately open and available on the Internet. Sometimes it happens that the publisher charges a fee for this.
  • Hybird Open Access means that articles will be freely available immediately upon publication. The author hase to pay a fee for this.

Text and picture: Tandis Talay