Perceptions of University of Botswana Librarians on the Potential of Web 2.0 Tools

MPOELENG, Dimane (2015) Perceptions of University of Botswana Librarians on the Potential of Web 2.0 Tools. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session S12 - Reference and Information Services. In: Reference as service and place, 11-13 August, Gaborone, Botswana.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Perceptions of University of Botswana Librarians on the Potential of Web 2.0 Tools

A study on the perceptions of the usage of Web 2.0 technologies was carried out among library staff of the University of Botswana (UB) using an online questionnaire and content analysis of the UB Library. This research work targets the University of Botswana library professionals, including librarians and senior management of the library, on their perceptions of what Web 2.0 tools are, what conditions prevail for their use, and whether they are willing to use them in enhancing library services for users. Two methods of data collection were used in order to triangulate the findings. These were an online survey with an open ended question as well as content analysis of the UB Library website. Facebook, blogs, Twitter, wikis, podcasts, and LinkedIn were chosen for this study because they were found to be very popular in most academic libraries, according to the literature consulted. The study employed a qualitative design due to the smallness of the sample. The sample comprised of mainly librarian and senior management cadre. The senior cadre was purposively chosen because it is assumed that they have the qualifications, experience and exposure needed in the library. There are a total of 137 UB library employees out of which 19 are senior officers comprising senior librarians (15) and top management staff (4), and librarians (47). This was a purposive study which targeted the three top cadres of librarian, senior librarians and library management. These cadres have a total of 66 potential participants and 30 responses were received. The results were analysed using qualitative methods and were mapped against the Library Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model, one of the popular models identified in the literature for studying the adoption of Web 2.0 in both libraries and academic institutions. Authors also identified traits among librarians that can be defined by the present model. The findings show that library staff has adopted some Web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, and use them personally, however some tools such as wikis, podcasts, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs were not very popular. The research also established some facilitating conditions and social influences which negatively impacted the librarians and slowed down the rate of adoption and use of Web 2.0 technologies. This, then, informed the recommendations at the end on how the university library management can align Web 2.0 processes and tools to enrich their services. The study will help the University of Botswana Library Management with the status of Web 2.0 technologies in the library, understand the hurdles librarians face with regards to facilities and training, as well as inform strategic planning towards the adoption and use of these tools.

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