This paper proposes a model for categorizing library services and resources by their importance to users based on the service’s fundamentality to the other resources and services in the library’s offerings, the degree to which the service affects users, and the scope of users that access the service. Adapted from Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation, we substitute individual human motivations for a community’s motivations for using the library. Maslow’s five tiers—physiological needs, safety needs, love and belongingness needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization—are changed to library-specific tiers: Library as Minimum Viable Product, Library as Convenience, Library as Connector, Library as Incubator, and Community as Library. The Hierarchy of Library User Needs is a theoretical tool for service prioritization with the potential to facilitate discussions between users and libraries. Libraries may wish to (re)evaluate the alignment between the resources they devote to their services and the items that are most likely to be used and appreciated by their users.
Ensuring the accessibility of web content is key to ensuring that users with disabilities have equal access to online information and services. However, as a review of the literature demonstrates, even in the face of legal requirements, accessibility problems persist across the web, including in the online content created and shared by libraries. This article examines the new success criteria in the recently released WCAG 2.1, considers the opportunity they present for libraries to improve the user experience for users with a broad range of disabilities, and proposes steps to improve compliance with WCAG and online accessibility more broadly.
From fall 2016 to fall 2018, small-scale UX studies were conducted regularly at Penn State University’s main library entrance. More than 200 participants spent 5 to 10 minutes participating in these UX studies in exchange for a cup of coffee and a snack. Unlike the traditional usability testing setup, this pop-up stand, called the UX Café, aimed to establish a cost-effective, agile, and sustainable UX study venue in the library. The article provides the idea and rationale behind the UX Café, details the processes, and discusses the results and impacts.
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