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Hey there. I’m Michael – and my website about the design and user experience of libraries is changing. I write — I hope — uniquely insightful and strategic articles on the regular, co-host Metric (a podcast) with Amanda L. Goodman, curate the Web for Libraries newsletter, workshop and teach full-blown courses, and commit a ton of time to making useful, thoughtful, free content.

Over the last couple of years, LibUX has played a small role pushing the conversation forward. Now, I would really love your help to inch it a little further.

Why? Well, I think public and academic libraries are the bedrock of education and democratic participation, aspiring to bridge demographic gaps, defend privacy, enrich community, and preserve knowledge — the whole shebang. But libraries and other non-profits have strategic problems, which compound existing budget, time, and talent constraints.

I’m pretty sure that the open web and an organizational commitment to the user experience is key.

What’s more, it’s important that this expertise is accessible for free. Design-thinking is interdisciplinary, but the world I come from — libraries and higher-ed — is constrained by budget and bureaucracy. User centricity shakes this up, but often those on the ground floor who would champion it won’t have access to expensive conferences or courses – especially if they don’t align with the job description.

I want to do so much more

This last year, I started changing things up first by inviting expert guest writers to really positive response, and then — starting this month! —  by organizing free webinars. These writers and speakers are volunteers. LibUX doesn’t make any money, but I benefit from being associated with it. It made me realize that

  • there is so much expertise I lack, which folks like you have
  • the conversation is better with you in it
  • but librarianship’s culture of guest-writing or presenting for exposure just doesn’t sit right.

I want to help produce more excellent content than I am able to make on my own, but I want LibUX to inspire a higher standard by adhering to that same standard.

I need your help to pay writers, presenters, and pay for services like GoToWebinar that all go in to improving the quality, experience, and ethic of our content. I am at the limits of what I can afford out of pocket, but LibUX is aching to grow.

So, if you or your organization has found something I’ve made useful — like the core content matrixBlueprint for Trello — consider being a patreon! I put a lot of thought into the rewards.

They cover everything from, you know, little things like five times more content than I usually make ($1), giveaways, exclusive access to pilot projects ($5), the bomb webinar archive with high-quality transcripts we’re starting ($10), sponsorship if you’ve got something to promote, or even me — your pal Michael — on retainer.

Consider subscribing. Your support goes a long way.

Michael Schofield is a service and user-experience designer specializing in libraries and the higher-ed web. He is a co-founding partner of the Library User Experience Co., a developer at Springshare, librarian, and part of the leadership team for the Practical Service Design community.