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Web 2.0 tools: a survey of awareness and use by librarians in university libraries in Africa

Emmanuel E Baro (The University Library, Federal University, Otuoke, Nigeria)
Nelson Edewor (The University Library, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Warri, Nigeria)
Godwin Sunday (The University Library, Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Nigeria)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 3 November 2014




This paper aims to investigate the level of awareness and use of Web 2.0 tools by librarians in university libraries in Africa.


A questionnaire was used to collect data from 140 librarians from 16 leading university libraries in Africa.


The study revealed that librarians in Africa are mostly familiar with Web 2.0 tools such as social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), blogs, instant messaging and wikis. It was also found that the most frequently used Web 2.0 tools by the librarians in university libraries in Africa are Facebook, instant messaging, blogs, Twitter and wikis. The study revealed that the librarians use the Web 2.0 tools for the purpose of announcing library news/events, online reference services, training resources, blogging and image and video sharing with users. Finally, lack of skills, power failure, lack of facilities such as computers with Internet access, lack of time and lack of interest were mentioned by the librarians as some of the challenges to using Web 2.0 tools.

Practical implications

These research results can also be consulted by interested librarians when they plan to make Web 2.0 applications in their libraries.


This study draws an overall picture of the Web 2.0 applications in university libraries in Africa and attempts to provide these libraries with helpful information to better understand how their colleagues elsewhere are utilizing Web 2.0 technologies in rendering library services.



Baro, E.E., Edewor, N. and Sunday, G. (2014), "Web 2.0 tools: a survey of awareness and use by librarians in university libraries in Africa", The Electronic Library, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 864-883.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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