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Technological Solutions to Protect Patron Privacy

About This Training

Staff will work as a group to brainstorm ways to address patron privacy issues through library technology, using a sticky noting* activity.

Learning Objective

  • Library staff will discuss and build an action plan on how to best help patrons with their needs.
  • Library staff will identify different types of resources available to patrons.

This Training is Appropriate For

Group, Onboarding, Continuing

Time Needed for Training

More than 30 minutes.

Materials Needed

Training Outline

  1. Distribute sticky notes and preferred writing utensils to each member of the team. Make sure everyone has at least 5-10 sticky notes.
  2. Introduce the concept of personas using the “What is a Persona?” information sheet. Explain the persona being used in this activity (Anthony). Give staff time to read through the persona and the script provided. [Note to facilitator: The sticky noting activity outlined here uses the Anthony persona. The questions used for this activity are specific to his persona and script. If another persona and script are used, the brainstorming questions provided below should be customized for that persona and script.]
    1. [OPTIONAL, adds 5-10 minutes] Ask for volunteers to read (role play) the script to the rest of the group. 
  3. Ask staff to think about the following question: What can we do as a branch with our technologies to help Anthony achieve his objectives? 
  4. Team members will brainstorm solutions for this question.
  5. Have staff write their answers on sticky notes. Staff can write more than one answer, but they will need to write one idea per sticky note. Examples could include: 
    1. Set up privacy configurations on the public computers.
    2. Make DuckDuckGo the default browser on public computers.
  6. As notes are written, one facilitator should collect them. 
  7. Another facilitator arranges the sticky notes on a large vertical surface, grouping notes with similar ideas.  This allows patterns to emerge – and emphasizes areas for future work.
  8. Draw large circles around each grouped cluster/theme of sticky notes and label the themes/categories.
  9. Once everyone is finished brainstorming, give a brief description to the entire team of the “Big Idea” themes you see emerging in the sticky notes (see this Example of Building Big Idea themes). At this time, team members can clarify their ideas and shift categories/clusters.
  10. Ask the next question: What resources could we provide Anthony to help him make an informed decision? Examples could include: 
    1. Identifying reliable sources to use, such as Consumer Reports or Kelley Blue Book
  11. Repeat the process of collecting and organizing the sticky notes for the second question. 
  12. Give a brief description of the “Big Idea” themes you see emerging in the sticky notes. Ask staff if they have any questions or if they disagree with anything that has been said. 
    1. [OPTIONAL, adds 10-20 minutes] Introduce the other personas and their needs. Lead a discussion on the question: What different resources would be needed for these patrons?

*Sticky noting activities work best when there are two facilitators; one person walks around the room to collect notes while a second person organizes the notes into themes/categories.

Note: This activity was adapted from an activity designed by Dr. Beth Bonsignore, Director of the UMD KidsTeam.

Selected References: 

Fails, J.A., Druin, A., Guha, M. L., Chipman, G., Simms, S., Churaman, W. (2005). Child’s Play: A Comparison of Desktop and Physical Interactive Environments.  In Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference (pp. 48-55) New York: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/1109540.1109547

Knudtzon, K., Druin, A., Kaplan, N., Summers, K., Chisik, Y., Kulkarni, R., et al. (2003). Starting an intergenerational technology design team: A case study. In Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference (pp. 51-58). New York: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/953536.953545