Personifying the social media presence of academic librarians: A uses and gratifications perspective / Niusha Zohoorian-Fooladi

Fooladi, Niusha Zohoorian (2014) Personifying the social media presence of academic librarians: A uses and gratifications perspective / Niusha Zohoorian-Fooladi. PhD thesis, University of Malaya.

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    Despite the widespread use of social media by students and its increased use in higher education, very little practical evidence is available concerning its prevalence in library services by interpreting academic librarians’ social media presence based on theoretical assumptions. The purpose of this research is to understand academic librarians’ social media presence with respect to their awareness, motivations and current practices using the “uses and gratifications” theory (U&G). The objectives of this study are threefold: a) to examine academic librarians’ usage of social media in Malaysia and the reasons for this behavior, b) to understand the gratifications obtained from creating a social media presence among academic librarians, and c) to model academic librarians’ social media presence in terms of awareness, current practices and motivations. This study uses a qualitative approach that attempts to explore how librarians are using social media based on the theoretical lens of U&G. Case study has been chosen as a research design to holistically explore the web presence of academic librarians and how they use social media in library services. Data was gathered via interviews and three focus groups sessions with 26 academic librarians from three research-intensive universities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The three research-intensive universities were chosen because they are on their quest to be the regional leader in research and academic excellence and they are among the top universities in Malaysia and in Asia. Participants were from different library departments and were purposively sampled based on the following criteria: a) they sat in the committee of their respective library website, b) they were either heads of departments or librarians in charge of creating content and updating social media applications in the sampled libraries, iv c) they considered themselves to be active users in at least one social media tool, and d) they expressed a willingness to take part in the study. The results indicated that at least four types of social medias are deployed in libraries to reach out to the users: blogs, multimedia sharing sites, social bookmarking and social networking sites (SNS). Facebook, Blog, Delicious, YouTube and Twitter are the tools mainly adopted by these libraries. The gratifications for social media adoption in libraries are presented in the form of a honeycomb framework of seven functional building blocks namely: presence, synchronicity, information needs, groups, conversations, relationship and current awareness. Findings reveal that librarians face the following obstacles in creating a social media presence: workflow obstacles, technology obstacles, organizational obstacles and personal obstacles. In order to present librarians’ awareness, practices and readiness towards social media, this study has yielded personas describing four different classes of academic librarians’ social media presence: skaters, sliders, shufflers and starters. These personas represent hypothetical librarians in their work place – introducing them by name, picture and a narrative. It is apparent from the results, that librarians in these three research-intensive universities need support from the library management to mobilize them into a more active and participatory role in creating social media presence.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.) – Faculty of Computer Science And Information Technology, University of Malaya, 2014.
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Personifying the social media presence
    Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
    Divisions: Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology
    Depositing User: Mrs Nur Aqilah Paing
    Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 10:50
    Last Modified: 18 Feb 2015 10:50

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