Below is an overview of the research. In addition you may be interested in learning about the researchers or the references that support this research.


Exploring participation by staff and members in the development of e-Services in a public library


  • To involve library staff and members in envisioning and designing e-Services for a public library
  • To use our shared experience of the Your Account project, to explore issues of participation – what makes it work and what doesn’t, why do we care or not?


The research is intended to have benefits to the co-researchers, the participating organizations as well as selected professional and scholarly communities. The participants will have a mutual-learning experience that will enhance their research and design skills. By extension, the co-researchers will enhance the ability of their organization to conduct community engagement. The individuals and organizations involved will also be invited to contribute to selected professional and scholarly communities through conferences and papers.

The research will contribute insights regarding

  • The subject of the project, i.e. public library e-Services and member accounts
  • The value of community engagement in strategy and design
  • Practitioner research by public library staff and user experience designers
  • Designing or adapting community engagement techniques for online use


  • Participate in online discussion topics
  • Receive reminders of current open topics, from time-to-time
  • Participate in in-person workshops, one in late October 2013 and one in January 2014
  • Review the research findings and contribute to the analysis
  • If you are interested, present the findings through conferences and articles in your profession (librarianship and/or HCI)


  • Investigation: originally Sep to Dec 2013, extended to Feb 2015
  • Analysis and Writing: June 2014 to June 2016 (anticipated)


The overarching methodology for this study is Participatory Action Research (PAR). In PAR, the researcher is positioned as one of the participants and the research has multiple aims: mutual education of the participants, joint action to address the focus issue and knowledge generation based on iterative reflection by the participants.

PAR is an approach that generally uses multiple research methods, often a mix of qualitative and quantitative. PAR is the root of many other participatory research and practices, including Participatory Design (PD). In this research, we will draw on the values and techniques pioneered and refined within the PD community of researchers and practitioners.