Technology initiatives in academic libraries : status of Library 2.0 within the libraries of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Library 2.0 model is one of many library service models. It has its origin in, and borrowed concepts from, Web 2.0 which is associated with Web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centred design and collaboration on the Web. The focus of Library 2.0 is on user-centred change and participation in the creation of content. Different scholars and researchers have discussed Library 2.0 and numerous articles have been written discussing the implementation of the model in academic libraries. Findings are that academic library users, who are becoming more involved and familiar with Web 2.0 technologies, no longer want to use the library only as a reading space or a place to use books and journals without being able to make suggestions and have their views heard. The Library 2.0 model facilitates this and, as it encourages sharing and participation, is considered a suitable model for academic libraries. The purpose of this study was to investigate the implementation of Library 2.0 within the libraries of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the difficulties encountered when using Library 2.0 technologies to deliver their services. To achieve the purpose of the study both primary and secondary sources of data were used, including literature from various sources (journals, books and information found on websites). Interviews and self-administered questionnaires were the instruments used to collect data. The population of the study consisted of all subject librarians on the UKZN campuses, the campus librarians, and the Library Director. Data were analysed through content analysis and the use of SPSS and presented in the form of figures. It was found that UKZN libraries were slow in terms of involving the technologies associated with Library 2.0 in their services. Only Facebook and a weblog are used by the UKZN libraries and it is evident that more needs to be done in terms of implementing and promoting the technologies that encourage collaboration and interaction with users – the essence of Library 2.0. It has been said by different scholars and researchers that institutions that are perceived to be slow in involving new technologies in their services, are at risk of becoming irrelevant to their users. These users will then move to other services who can better meet their needs. Therefore, it is crucial for UKZN libraries to embrace these technologies if they want to keep up and remain relevant to the ever changing needs of their users.
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