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Investigating a better UC ebook reading experience: Phase 1 report

The UC Palace Project Team completed their phase 1 investigation of the Palace ebook reading platform in summer 2023 and submitted a report to the Direction and Oversight Committee (DOC) in fall 2023. DOC endorsed the report recommendations at their December 5, 2023 meeting.

The project team was charged in November 2022 to investigate the feasibility, risks, benefits and cost of implementing Palace for the UC Libraries and report their findings to DOC. In doing this work, the team leveraged the experience of the two academic institutions who have implemented Palace, Columbia and NYU. 

The team made the following recommendations:

  1. We recommend continuing to explore Palace by:
    • – Implementing a prototype version of Palace at a campus to allow for further testing
    • – Doing further usability, accessibility and backend testing and research not only of the Palace user interface, but also of UC ebook content within the Palace environment 
    • – Doing Palace demonstrations via Zoom for our campus colleagues to get their feedback on the system. 
  2. The University of California Libraries should continue its participation in the Palace community process. 
  3. We recommend more formal accessibility testing and research be conducted across the Palace reading environment.
  4. From a usability standpoint, we recommend that further research be done to determine the functionality required for a minimum viable product for academic users.
  5. Empower the UC Palace Project Team to proceed with a prototype.

Read about the team’s key findings and recommendations in the full UC Palace Project Team Phase 1 report on the UC Libraries website.

Looking ahead to the next phase, a campus will implement a prototype for testing purposes. Stay tuned!

Team members:

Lakshmi Arunachalam, Sr. Business Systems Analyst, Irvine (Technical Team)
Peter Brantley, Director, Online Strategy, Davis (Technical Team)
Dani Cook, Associate University Librarian, Learning and User Experience (DOC Liaison)
Judy Dobry, Discovery & Delivery Technical Team Manager, CDL (Chair)
Rachael Hu, User Experience Manager, CDL (Usability & Accessibility Team)
Chan Li, Assessment Program Librarian, Berkeley (Usability & Accessibility Team)
Lisa Ngo, Engineering Librarian, Berkeley (Usability & Accessibility Team)
Nga Ong, Collection Assessment Analyst, CDL (Content and Systemwide Licensing Team)
Lena Zentall, Discovery & Delivery Associate Director, CDL (Project Manager)

Read the UC Palace Project Team phase 1 charge

Read about the Palace Project  

Read the UC Palace User’s FAQ with instructions for downloading the app.

Read an earlier announcement of the team’s investigation 

The team will communicate news periodically to stakeholders. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns to the group’s listserv at