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Comparison of personas between two academic libraries

Holt Zaugg (Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA)
Donna Harp Ziegenfuss (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 8 August 2018

Issue publication date: 18 October 2018




A persona describes a group of library patrons as a single person to better identify and describe user patterns and needs. Identifying personas in academic libraries can assist in library planning by focusing on patrons. Initially, personas were thought to be unique to each library; additional insights led the researchers to rethink this assertion. The purpose of this paper is to determine if personas, developed in one library, are unique or more universal than previously thought.


In this study, 903 surveys were completed across two institutions asking library patrons to identify use patterns within each library. Mean score responses were analyzed using an ANOVA, principal component analysis and RapidMiner technology. All analyses were used to identify personas with common interests and places personas in groups or neighborhoods.


The findings provide evidence for the universality of academic library personas. However, differences occur in how the personas are grouped and use different library services and resources.


Personas allow librarians to view patrons in a more personal way as they connect personas to specific library spaces. While the personas appear to be universal, their interactions with each other depend on specific library amenities.



Zaugg, H. and Ziegenfuss, D.H. (2018), "Comparison of personas between two academic libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 142-152.



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