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Impact of technology on organizational change in public libraries: a qualitative study

Advances in Library Administration and Organization

ISBN: 978-0-85724-287-7, eISBN: 978-0-85724-288-4

Publication date: 24 November 2010


This multiple case study investigates the impact of technology on organizational change in public libraries. Over the past 12–15 years, public access computers (PACs) have been introduced into public libraries. Once these PACs were connected to the Internet, they attracted patrons who had not previously used public library services. The main themes around which this study was organized relate to the implementation of technology with facilities and services, city government, and people. The main research questions were following: (1) How has public library culture changed since the introduction of computers for patron use? (2) What adjustments were necessary to deal with the influx of computers and other technology in public libraries? (3) Have PACs changed the way the libraries are organized and how they are staffed? The findings of the study included how technology influenced changes in staffing in the public libraries. Each of the libraries has undergone a culture shift due to the introduction of technology. One of the shifts is the change of the reference desk from general reference to the addition of a help desk with reference responsibilities. Another concern of the directors was constantly funding the upgrades necessary for software and hardware that technology requires. As not all of the directors have supportive city government, this can be problematic. Finally, the facilities where the public libraries were housed had undergone changes either through renovations or through new buildings to accommodate technology and the infrastructure needed to support it.


Velasquez, D.L. (2010), "Impact of technology on organizational change in public libraries: a qualitative study", Delmus E., W. and Janine, G. (Ed.) Advances in Library Administration and Organization (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Vol. 29), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 107-183.



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