Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Usage of Web 2.0 Tools by Academic Librarians: A Case Study of University Libraries in South-South Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Usage of Web 2.0 Tools by Academic Librarians: A Case Study of University Libraries in South-South Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Academic libraries are meant to provide information to its users with recent development in their areas of studies. For academic libraries to meet up with recent trends of development there is a need to embrace the use of recent technologies in disseminating information to users at the right time in the right format and this can be made possible through the use of web 2.0.

Rogers (2009) posited that the terms "Web 2.0" and "social media" are interchangeable and are widely used to describe the same concepts related to online communities and sharing online information and resources. Web 2.0 technologies are so popular that they now dominate the everyday personal and professional life of millions of users (Baro, Idiodi, and Godfrey, 2012). Web 2.0 tries to tap the power of humans connected electronically through its new ways at looking at social collaboration (Dasgupta and Dasgupta, 2009). The term 'Web 2.0' is associated with 'social software' and user generated content, and greater participation and interaction between Internet users and the web (Snee, 2008). Awareness is what prompt the use of technology by people as what you are not aware of, you can't use. Eze (2016) opined that the popularity of Web 2.0 tools is affecting the way that libraries, museums, archives and other cultural heritage organizations operate.

The increasing availability of internet enabled devices like smart phones, android phones, electronic gadgets and other desktop computers as well as the cheap prices of internet bandwidth have made patrons in this 21st to be more digitally inclined. To be able to cater for the needs of these special set of patrons who are internet lovers, libraries need to move along with the trend. Web 2.0 services currently offered by libraries include bookmarking, user-added reviews/rating/summaries, blogs, wikis, RSS (real simple syndication feeds), podcasts, vidcasts, instant messaging, tagging, social networking sites, streaming audio and video, chat, community photo services, community book services, Twitter, reader's advisory, book lists, and maintaining a virtual library in second Life (Tripathi & Kumar, 2010; O'Dell, 2010).

Gross and Leslie (2008) affirms that Web 2.0 technologies are the "next big thing" in academic libraries because they offer social networking capabilities in providing information and services to the library's clientele. Rehman and Shafique (2011) state that "Web 2.0 technologies are blessings for library professionals as libraries can design attractive services using Web 2.0 applications without spending huge budgets for online hosting and storage." Most of these web 2.0 tools are offered free of charge for its users; librarians can register themselves or their libraries and use it as a digital marketing tool to reach a far larger audience. According to Amina and Nwanne (2015), most librarians in the developing nations are not aware of social media services such as web 2.0 even the few that are aware are still struggling to find out the productive users of these sites for library services. Users are also not aware of the protocols involved in social communication. There are currently a lot of studies on the use of web 2.0 in developed countries with only a few corresponding studies on the awareness and use of web 2.0 tools by librarians in Nigeria. However, there is no empirical study on awareness and use of web2.0 by librarians in universities of South-south Nigeria.

Rationale for this study

There are several studies on the awareness and use of Web 2.0 tools by researchers across the world, including Gupta, Gautam, and Khare (2014)studied "awareness and use of social media applications among library staff of power sector organizations", Rehman and Shafique(2011) "The Use of Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries: Perceptions of Information Professionals in Pakistan", and Anunobi and Ogbonna (2012) studied "Web 2.0 Use by Librarians in Anambra State of Nigeria". …

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