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Why do people not attend public library programs in the current digital age? A mix method study in Hong Kong

Shan Shan Lu (Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Ruwen Tian (Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong) (Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Dickson K.W. Chiu (Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 2 February 2023

641

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to investigate the characteristics of the current situation of library programs and explore the possible reasons behind the low participation in Hong Kong. It focuses on the development of library programs in the era of digital technology, which can lead to discussion and reflections on the further development of library programs with innovative technology services.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applied a mixed-method research approach to investigate the current situation of library programming and the reasons for low participation in Hong Kong. The first part analyzes the characteristics of library programs offered by the Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) through data collection from the HKPL website. The second part of this study investigated the reasons behind the low participation in library programs through quantitative research through an online survey.

Findings

The findings show that current library programs were dominated by reading activities and children's programs to a great extent, which both users and non-users are not very interested in. Further, most respondents expressed more interest in cultural and leisure events and hands-on activities (especially new technologies related) than traditional library programming. Many lapsed and non-users chose not to attend the library programs for boredom and uselessness. As a result, there is a need for HKPL to adjust its services to stay relevant to the needs and interests of local communities.

Originality/value

Scant studies explored the reasons behind non-users of public library programs, especially in Asia. This research contributes to the literature by analyzing and proposing the characteristics of the current situation of library programs and exploring the possible reasons behind the low participation in Hong Kong.

Keywords

Citation

Lu, S.S., Tian, R. and Chiu, D.K.W. (2023), "Why do people not attend public library programs in the current digital age? A mix method study in Hong Kong", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-04-2022-0217

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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