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How to Create Your Own Personas

About This Training

Staff will draw on their experiences handling patron privacy concerns to develop customized personas and scripts for use in their training activities.

Learning Objective

  • Library staff will research patron privacy concerns in their own library and use this to create personas that represent their library community.

This Training is Appropriate For

Group, Continuing

Time Needed for Training

Session 1: 1 hour
Session 2: 1 hour
Session 3: 1 hour [Optional]

Workshop Outline

Session 1: Introduction to Creating Personas

Note: Before planning this workshop, facilitators should decide what type of information gathering activity they want staff to engage in. They can choose to have staff document patron interactions for a decided period of time on the data collection worksheet and use this to craft personas. Alternatively, facilitators can decide to draw on past experiences staff recall having with patrons to craft personas. 

  1. Introduce the concept of personas using the “What is a Persona?” information sheet.
  2. Provide staff with a persona handout and its matching script to read.
  3. Discuss the utility in creating personas and scripts that are specific to your library community. Distribute “How to Create Your Own Persona” information sheet.
  4. Review the information gathering and analysis section with staff and specify which method staff will use (options 1-4).
  5. Instruct staff to bring back their “Data Collection” worksheets or notes on patron interactions to the next workshop session.

Session 2: Sharing Information Gathered and Developing Persona Descriptions

  1. Take some time to have staff share about their patron interactions. 
  2. Discuss patterns and reoccurring situations and patron traits.
  3. Categorize the patron traits into 5-6 patron personas.
  4. Divide staff into groups. Assign each group a persona and a situation that matches their persona. Give groups the blank Persona Template.
  5. Have each group develop their persona using the Persona Template and the “Developing the Persona Descriptions” section of the “How to Create Your Own Persona” information sheet.
  6. Once the persona is complete, the group should use their persona’s privacy issue to craft a scripted scenario using the “Scripting and Creating Scenarios” section of the “How to Create Your Own Persona” information sheet.

Session 3: Achieving Consensus*

  1. A third session can be convened to allow for groups to share their personas and scripted scenarios. Groups can give feedback to help refine each other’s personas and scripts. 
  2. Other staff who were not involved with the creation of the personas and scripted scenarios should also have the opportunity to give feedback on these materials before they are finalized and used for library training activities.

*The tasks associated with session 3 do not have to be completed as a synchronous session. The solicitation of feedback can be completed in other forms. However, it is important to solicit feedback in some fashion in order to ensure consensus before finalizing personas and scripted scenarios.