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Social media, diffusion of innovations, morale and digital inequality: A case study at the University of Limpopo Libraries, South Africa

Marion Lucille Williams (Department of Communication Sciences, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium) (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa)
Alexander Dhoest (Department of Communication Studies, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium)
Ian Saunderson (Department of Communication Studies, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 18 June 2019

Issue publication date: 13 September 2019

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997

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore social media usage in an academic library in South Africa and the factors influencing its use. The primary goal of the study was to examine perceptions surrounding the impact of non-adoption of social media on morale, and to explore the consequences of digital inequality.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative method, in-depth interviews were conducted with a small sample comprising six key informants at the University of Limpopo Libraries.

Findings

The findings suggest that non-adoption of social media has a negative influence on morale, and that it is a very necessary tool required for interaction with students as well as promotion and marketing of the library’s resources.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited to one academic library in South Africa situated in a rural area. The research suggests that more academic libraries in rural areas be studied to ascertain if geographical location and finance are barriers to social media adoption.

Originality/value

This study addresses non-adoption of social media and suggests ways to improve employee morale and retention. The research contributes to current research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express sincere gratitude to Dr Elizabeth S. van Aswegen (Liz van Aswegen) for her support, for proofreading and editing this research project.

Citation

Williams, M.L., Dhoest, A. and Saunderson, I. (2019), "Social media, diffusion of innovations, morale and digital inequality: A case study at the University of Limpopo Libraries, South Africa", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 480-495. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-12-2018-0192

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited