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Implementing social software in public libraries: An exploration of the issues confronting public library adopters of social software

Louise L. Rutherford (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a research project designed to identify the kinds of social software that public libraries are using and to explore the issues confronting public library adopters of social software.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a qualitative methodology and takes the form of open‐ended interview questions using an e‐mail format. The research uses Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations theory as a framework.

Findings

The research found that blogs were the most popular social software tool being used in public libraries and that people‐related issues were the most important issue for librarians to take into account when implementing social software. Library staff acceptance of social software was the most crucial success factor for social software. Other important issues included staff training, the steep learning curve involved in becoming a social software user, and human resource constraints.

Originality/value

This paper provides public librarians with a basis on which to assess potential adoption decisions for social software and to learn from the experiences of others.

Keywords

Citation

Rutherford, L.L. (2008), "Implementing social software in public libraries: An exploration of the issues confronting public library adopters of social software", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 184-200. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378830810880306

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited