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Professional development through social media applications: a study of female librarians in Pakistan

Arif Khan (Department of Library, Pakistan Academy for Rural Development, Peshawar, Pakistan)
Jia Tina Du (School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the extent of use of social media by Pakistani female librarians for professional development and their perception of its usefulness. The paper also attempts to find out social characteristics that influence the use of social media among female librarians for career and professional development (PD).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through an online survey (using self-administered structured questionnaire) from 102 female librarians in Pakistan regarding usage frequency, perception, choice of librarianship as a profession and perceived benefits of social media. The list of participants was obtained from the Directory of Pakistani Library Professionals compiled by Sada-e-Librarian (a non-profit LIS professional organization). Data collections also include online interviews through Facebook chat with 20 key informants selected from the participants of the questionnaire survey.

Findings

The study reveals that the majority of Pakistani female librarians is well aware of social media and uses it frequently. They are found to make extensive use of social media for PD and perceive social media as a useful tool for PD. However, social media is judged to be less helpful in acquiring technical skills. The study found a number of factors affecting the use of social media for PD among female librarians in Pakistan. These factors include social characteristics such as privacy, parent’s years of schooling, marital status and family support.

Originality/value

This study is among the first attempts to discover social characteristics, the use of social media and its relationship with PD among female librarians in Pakistan.

Keywords

Citation

Khan, A. and Du, J.T. (2017), "Professional development through social media applications: a study of female librarians in Pakistan", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 7/8, pp. 342-353. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-04-2017-0028

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited