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Beyond Surveys and Purposeful Planning: Beyond Surveys

Moving beyond surveys and planning purposefully will help you create library programs and services that really meet the needs of your community. But how do we know what they really need and where do we start?


Here you will find resources and tools that will give you an overview of user experience (UX) and strategies to better understand your community. This guide was first created in April 2016 and updated in 2022.

UX Journals, Magazines, & Articles

From the MLS Professional Collection

Consent Forms

While consent forms are not always necessary for observational research, it is important to consider their use for more formal studies, or if there is any concern about participant privacy or impact.

Read more about ethics in User Experience research from UXPA and UX Booth.

Beyond Surveys Workshop

Download a PDF version of the Beyond Surveys workshop.

"Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win."

UX Toolkits

There are many great UX/Design Theory toolkit out there for you to use. Here are a few:

Voices of UX

One of the best ways to learn more about UX in libraries is to follow what people are doing in the field. Here are some of the librarians, researchers, anthropologists, and writers who have shaped our understanding of UX.

Designing Better Surveys

Sometimes surveys really are the way to get the data you want about your community. When that is the case, be sure that your survey design is solid. Here are some resources to help you create effective surveys.


Here you will find descriptions for the exercises discussed in the workshop.

UXLibs on Twitter

Other Ways to Understand Your Community