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An empirical examination of open source software adoption in US public libraries

Namjoo Choi (School of Information Science, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 June 2021

Issue publication date: 10 November 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Similarly to Choi and Pruett (2019), which addressed open source software (OSS) adoption in the academic library context, this study aims to examine barriers and drivers to OSS adoption and to provide a snapshot of the current state of OSS adoption in US public libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of the public library staff members who oversee information systems/technology in their library was conducted. A total number of 288 valid responses were used for data analysis.

Findings

A range of barriers and drivers to OSS adoption in US public libraries were revealed, but, unlike academic libraries, awareness was found to be a barrier. Additionally, the vast majority of the non-adopters showed very low levels of OSS adoption intent in the near future, more than that which was indicated by academic libraries.

Practical implications

Several practical implications tailored for public libraries are provided, such as promoting OSS awareness among public libraries in rural and town areas, the importance of the initial trial/adoption and funding and marketing towards public libraries with small service population sizes and so on.

Originality/value

Following Choi and Pruett (2019) which examined OSS adoption in the academic library context, this study conducted a similar online survey with US public libraries and made several contributions to the literature and to the public library field.

Keywords

Citation

Choi, N. (2021), "An empirical examination of open source software adoption in US public libraries", The Electronic Library, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 695-712. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-01-2021-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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