Love Letters to Academic Libraries

Update, July 5, 2020: I am no longer recruiting participants for this project.

One of my sabbatical projects is to do a meta-analysis of love letters that users have written to academic libraries.

One of the most fun user research techniques is asking people to write love letters or break-up letters. The heightened language of the letters helps you get rich detail about exactly what users like or don’t like and why. People tend to be much more expansive in this kind of letter than they are, for example, when filling in a survey.

While break-up letters often provide more actionable results, I want to look at love letters for a couple of reasons. I’m hoping that love letters will provide a big picture view of what users generally value in academic libraries. I’d like to then look at a variety of academic library strategic plans to see if what our users value matches up with what our libraries value (or seem to value). Also, I thought that being immersed in the positivity of love letters would be a really nice way to spend my time. I get to decide what I do, so why not choose love?

How can you help?
The most important part is to somehow send your letters to me! If the letters have been transcribed, I’m happy to receive the text only. Otherwise, scans—or even pictures—of the letters would be great.

When is all this happening?
I’d love to start receiving letters any time! When I feel like I have enough, I’ll add a notice to this page to say that I don’t need any more.

Would you like to help?
If you’re interested in participating or have any questions, please get in touch with me by email ( or via Twitter (@shelley_gee) and we’ll figure out the best way to get your letters to me.