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Acceptance of social marketing concepts by selected Romanian librarians: Culture and context

Advances in Library Administration and Organization

ISBN: 978-1-84855-710-9, eISBN: 978-1-84855-711-6

Publication date: 15 July 2009


Social marketing is based on general marketing principles and strategies aimed at selling products and services to consumers with the purpose of changing an existing action; changing individual or group behavior, attitudes or beliefs; and reinforcing desired behaviors. The purpose of the study is to assess the acceptance of social marketing by librarians in post-Communist Romania within the context of this country's efforts to adopt democratic values into its social system. The study also uses the social marketing concept as an idea that requires change in attitudes and behaviors about the nature of librarianship. In so doing, it can be used as means of understanding the willingness of Romanian librarians to accept change. During the Communist regime, the librarians acted as tools that supported the dissemination of the totalitarian government's views. Fifteen years after the collapse of Communism they continue the struggle to implement principles of participatory management. However, visible changes in Romanian librarians’ mentalities, attitudes, and behaviors are still to come. A group of 74 librarians in attendance at a conference responded to a survey questionnaire based on the Social Marketing Scale (SMS) designed to determine the participants’ acceptance and willingness to support social marketing within their institutions. Results reveal that on the surface, social marketing was rejected by the sample group studied. The study suggests that, if social marketing is to play a role in Romanian librarianship, Romanian librarians must first accept the concept that libraries are important institutions and that libraries play a vital role in a democratic society. Once Romanian society begins to perceive the library as an information agency, knowledge and experience in social marketing must be gained so that the administrative and institutional will to pursue social marketing can be encouraged. Romanian libraries continue the process of redefining themselves within the country's transition to a civil society.

Developing countries in the former Soviet-bloc region have received little attention by Western researchers of libraries. This study attempts to broaden this limited knowledge concerning librarianship in Eastern Europe by offering some insight into the culture of Romanian libraries and the Romanian librarians’ readiness for change as they faced and continue to face the transition from an autocratic cultural and governmental system to a more open and democratic society with Romania's admission to the European Union as of 1 January 2007. The study uses “social marketing” as one means of ascertaining the degree to which Romanian librarians are willing to accept change.


Anghelescu, H.G.B., Lukenbill, J., Bernard Lukenbill, W. and Owens, I. (2009), "Acceptance of social marketing concepts by selected Romanian librarians: Culture and context", Graves, W., Nyce, J.M., Golden, J. and Williams, D.E. (Ed.) Advances in Library Administration and Organization (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 123-150.



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