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Development of smart academic library services with Internet of Things technology: a qualitative study in Hong Kong

Hoi Ching Cheung (Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Yan Yin Marco Lo (Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Dickson K.W. Chiu (Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Elaine W.S. Kong (Edward Bennett Williams Law Library, Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 6 November 2023

224

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines academic librarians' perceptions and attitudes toward Internet of Things (IoT) applications in Hong Kong academic libraries and the problems and possible improvements in using IoT technologies to strengthen library services.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research used video conferencing software for semi-structured, one-on-one interviews. Participants were given introductory material about the IoT and asked to complete an interview. The data were analyzed using inductive theme clustering for this study.

Findings

The analysis identified three themes: perception about applying IoT technology to the library, problems and improvements in using IoT. Participants were generally optimistic about the potential benefits of IoT for improving library operations and providing personalized services. However, they also expressed concerns about privacy and security, errors and extra efforts for information literacy training. They suggested improvements such as incorporating facial recognition technology, advanced RFID technology and collections identification technology to enhance user experience.

Originality/value

Most studies examined users' views rather than librarians' on IoT applications, which few studies cover, especially in East Asia.

Keywords

Citation

Cheung, H.C., Lo, Y.Y.M., Chiu, D.K.W. and Kong, E.W.S. (2023), "Development of smart academic library services with Internet of Things technology: a qualitative study in Hong Kong", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-06-2023-0219

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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