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The purpose of this paper was to assess the Web 2.0 competencies’ levels of academic librarians in selected libraries from two library consortia KLISC in Kenya and GAELIC…
The purpose of this paper was to assess the Web 2.0 competencies’ levels of academic librarians in selected libraries from two library consortia KLISC in Kenya and GAELIC in South Africa and how these competencies can be sources of empowerment for the effective provision of e-services. As service organizations, academic libraries face challenges similar to those in other service sectors. One of the major challenges includes that of providing not only quality print resources but also quality e-services. Globally, academic librarians use various Web 2.0 technologies to engage with their library users and colleagues and for their information work. Academic librarians are now, more than ever, expected to be empowered and build diverse voices, perspectives and arguments into library collections and services. Most of the youths (academic library users) in developing countries like Kenya and South Africa are heavy users of Web 2.0 technologies. This presents a challenge for their academic librarians who must augment their traditional library skills with Web 2.0 technologies for provision of effective e-services. This study explores the interconnections between librarian empowerment, traditional librarian skills and Web 2.0 competencies for effective e-services.
Survey method of research was used to conduct the study. Purposive sampling was used to select a homogeneous sample of academic librarians and libraries that use the Web 2.0 technologies. An online questionnaire with both closed and open-ended questions was used to collect data. The Web 2.0 competency levels were analyzed and presented using descriptive statistics. To achieve more robust findings and to illustrate the implications of Web 2.0 for librarian empowerment, the ATLAS. ti software was used to illustrate interconnections between librarian empowerment, traditional librarian skills and Web 2.0 technologies. The emerging codes and themes are presented in three network views.
The findings from the quantitative data indicate that the majority of the librarians have intermediate competency levels in Web 2.0 technologies. The findings from the qualitative data show that Web 2.0 tools and librarian empowerment can be used to illustrate interconnections in content collaboration tools, bookmarking tools and SNSs. Web 2.0 competencies can transform knowledge-sharing activities, augment existing authoritative information service, foster interaction and market information products and services. This study redefines librarian empowerment through competency in Web 2.0 tools and new roles for effective e-services.
This paper proposes that librarian empowerment through Web 2.0 competencies is essential in augmenting traditional library skills and in providing effective e-services. This manuscript describes original work and is a re-submission EL-08-2015-0143.R1 due to expired deadline in this journal. Both authors approved the manuscript and this submission.
Discourses on critical librarianship have been mainly theoretical. However, discourses with a practical application of Critical Theory in librarianship, critical…
Discourses on critical librarianship have been mainly theoretical. However, discourses with a practical application of Critical Theory in librarianship, critical librarianship, or library management and operations are limited. Yet, librarianship underscores efficiency and practicality in service provision with the dominant ideology in librarianship being practicality. Based on Critical Theory and emerging power dynamics in e-services, this chapter presents a discussion on the practical application of Critical Theory in academic libraries. The Web 2.0 technologies have triggered a shift in information seeking and use by empowering the academic library users to seek and use information from nontraditional sources. This shift in information seeking behavior and the resultant power dynamics has an impact on strengthening of the academic library as a public sphere; a public virtual space where people can meet and exchange ideas with the eventual outcome of democratization of knowledge. This chapter analyses the practical implications of power dynamics in academic libraries and the need for realignment of academic library functions to key Critical Success Factors (CSFs) including the role of library management, a focus on librarian power, a focus on user empowerment, creating awareness of the Web 2.0 services, and maximizing the use of Web 2.0 technologies. A proper realignment of the shifting power is necessary and must be pursued as a deliberate strategy by academic libraries to facilitate generation and sharing of information. It concludes by presenting the practical implications of power dynamics in academic libraries and recommendations on dealing with the emerging paradigm shifts.