The author, Mary Lee Kennedy of TKG Consulting advocates using persona, "characters created from a composite of data that emerges from traditional market research, the collective experience as narrated by users and non-users themselves, and observations of user and non-user behavior to understand groups of users." (Kennedy.) This makes me think that a persona is more than the mean of a particular demographic segment. It contains that kind of information, but also a lot of qualitative information that makes it richer and deeper than demographic statistical data. I am sure it is not incidental that it probably also makes TGK's market research more accessible and palatable to a statistically unsophisticated audience.
Kennedy's second article focuses more on what she has learnt from her market research. I particularly like this list.
"Users expect the following:
- Easy access using their library or government issued ID.
- Friendly conversation with a library staff member who knows how to help them.
- Materials found easily where they are expected to be, including easy access online.
- Use of as many items as needed.
- Collection and building in good physical condition.
- Web site that is easy to use.
- Lots of choices, including diversity in format, language, and topics.
- Awareness and advisement of upcoming events.
- Friendly, personable staff." (Kennedy.)
Kennedy's research was conducted in the context of public libraries, but I don't see much on that list that does not apply to an academic library like the Olin Library. So, how do you think we are doing at meeting those nine expectations? Are there other expectations that you think a library like Olin should meet?