IL2006: Public Library Personas

Stephen Abram

– it’s not about the library

it’s about:

* learning

* research

* community and neighborhoods

* workplace

* entertainment and culture

Personas – powerful technology. Takes personal stories, runs them through a software, and creates a model. You can find people’s behaviors in their stories.

Millenials VERY different from Boomers. Brains are very different, too. Format agnostic, civic minded, gamers, etc.

Eye-tracking software for study of children – move in a circle and then in the center, as opposed to boomers, who read in an “F” pattern. Under grade four, do a lot of staring primarily at the top of the page. Everything “below the fold” is wasted on children.

Information engagement – live, teach, argue/defend, act on/discuss, read.

Personality effects searching style. Extraverted people prefer informal information retrieval as well as preference for thought provoking documents which confirmed previous ideas. Openness to experience was related to broad information seeking, incidental information acquisition. Competitiveness was related to lack of time being a barrier to information retrieval. Low levels of agreeableness forms a base for skeptical and critical thinking.

Personas are hypothetical representations of a natural grouping of users that drive decision making for development projects

They are not real people but represent real people

They are defined by their goals

They focus on what is valuable to the user and subsequently on how he or she behaves.

SirsiDynix approach – narrative capture and identification of characters, issues, and problems, behaviors and actions; narrative pattern review of contact, service and product needs; identification of propriety requirements for specific market identities, i.e., persona.

Themes: interaction, technology, efficiency, money. Values: community, learning, quality, efficiency, money/risk. Interaction by far the strongest theme.

Two very distinct groups of people: people who want help and those who don’t. The groups don’t tend to overlap.

SD personas:

Discovery Dan

Haley high school


Mommy Marcie

Rick researcher

Senior Sally

Tasha learner

Stephen engaging and entertaining, as usual, all the while imparting very interesting and thought-provoking information.


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