The use of social media technologies (SMTs) in the provision of library and information services in academic libraries of South-West, Nigeria.
Bakare, Oluwabunmi Dorcas.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of Social Media Technologies (SMTs) in the provision of library and information services in academic libraries of South-West, Nigeria. This study is motivated by the fact that SMT adoption and use in academic libraries in Nigeria have not been embraced to a large extent in providing information services. The study adopted the post-positivist paradigm and a survey research design using structured questionnaires and semi-structured interview. The structured questionnaires were utilised to collect quantitative data from 107 academic librarians and 222 4th year Computer Science students, while the interview schedule was used to elicit qualitative data from 6 university librarians. Six universities were purposively selected, namely: University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, Ekiti State University, Lagos State University, Babcock University and Covenant University. Response rates of 96.8% and 83.2% for 4th year Computer Science students and academic librarians were achieved respectively. Findings revealed that the degree of awareness of SMT for each group of respondents in the study was the same. Conferencing tools, Chatting tools, Image and video sharing were the three major SMT technologies respondents were aware of in their day-to-day interaction with the libraries. The results also showed that the respondents were aware of all the listed SMTs in the study. Chatting tools such as Facebook messenger, Blackberry messenger, WhatsApp and Google Talk, MSN had the highest level of accessibility, hence its highest adoption; Blogging such as WordPress and Blogger had the least access suggesting they are the least adopted in all the libraries sampled. The study further revealed that majority of students accessed the Library Services offered through SMT from their classrooms or lecture theatres, while the minority accessed the services from Off-campus. The study further revealed that social networking, chatting tools and image and video sharing tools, were the first set of three most used SMTs by academic librarians in the surveyed universities. The aversion to the use of Podcast was evident in the high number of academic librarians (79.8%) who claimed they never used it regularly. One of the most revealing facts, about the frequency of usage, was the high percentage of respondents who claimed they never used Blogs, Microblogs, Collaborative tools, Podcast, Social tagging and bookmarking, Scheduling and meeting tools as frequently as possible. Majority of the students (66%) were of the view that as at the time of the study, their information needs in the surveyed university communities were not being met via SMT by academic librarians, while the remaining 34% believed otherwise. The intercorrelation matrices for both groups of respondents revealed that at p < .05, there were no multicollinearities between or among the variables of study. All the predictor variables in the study were found good enough to be part of the model in ascertaining the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variable. Moreover, the study showed there is a paradigm shift in library service delivery which negates the conventional method of service provision where clienteles accept whatever the library offers them. The study recommends the University Management and Library Management to work together in developing strategies of creating awareness about the different SMTs which can be harnessed for the provision of library and information services; and the formulation of policy to guide the adoption and use of SMT in the provision of library services in academic libraries of South-West Nigeria.