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Embracing changes in technology: a case study of the University of KwaZulu-Natal libraries.

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The involvement of current technological advancements in an academic library has influenced changes in collecting, storing, and managing information. The study investigated changes in technology and to what extent staff are embracing the ever-changing technologies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Libraries. Academic libraries have been around for many years, they are as old as the academic institutions they serve, and are traditionally considered collections of information sources and storehouses of books. Today the idea of the library as just a ‘storehouse of books’ has changed, and people now generally understand that the library plays an essential role in making the successful research output of an academic institution possible. Technology has changed the expectations of library users; people of today expect to be able to find and access information from wherever they are. The ever-changing technological environment has meant that academic libraries must adapt to the demands of the users in an attempt to create services that enrich user experience and meet the strategic goals of their institution. The study adopted a qualitative research approach and purposive sampling technique. Sixteen participants, which included top management, middle management and senior/ professional librarians participated in the semi-structured, in-depth interviews, recorded on audio. The data collected were analysed using thematic analysis. The key findings were that staff were resistant toward changes in technology, and that contributed to the challenges faced by management. It was found that management wants to remain relevant to the current technological hike. Therefore, it is crucial that UKZN Libraries embraces the changes that come with technology to remain relevant to the ever-changing needs of its users.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban.