Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Investigation of Relationship between Time Period Spent on Virtual Social Networks and Communication Skills of Librarians of Public Libraries of IRAN Province

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Investigation of Relationship between Time Period Spent on Virtual Social Networks and Communication Skills of Librarians of Public Libraries of IRAN Province

Article excerpt

Introduction

The emergence and expansion of electronic communications and, consequently, the application of social networks have transformed social interactions. These networks have been considered as providers of a new way of communication and content sharing on Internet and currently there are hundreds of millions subscribers to social media (Zarei et al., 2015). Internet social networks are virtual communities where users can create individual profiles, connect with their friends, get acquainted with new people based on shared experiences (Kuss, 2011). These networks are simply web pages that people can subscribe to and find friends, interact with each other, share photos and videos they like and they get the chance comment on the interests and content of others, publish their own content in accordance with their taste and opinion and even publish their imaginations in the virtual world of these networks. What highlights social networks and their impact is the general interest of users to these networks such that everyday millions of people in the world subscribe to them and spend hours surfing social networks (Afrasiyabi, 2013).

Concerning the growing trend of users and members of social networks, it is essential to recognize various dimensions of networks and their impact. The advent of technology in countries is along with ups and downs. The use of modern technologies is an oppottunity as well as a threat. (Bakhshi, 2013). One of the threats can be the extreme use of social networks which makes more people interested in communicating in cyberspace rather than real space and therefore reduction of their communication skills.

This issue becomes more significant for people engaged in services jobs and high interaction careers such as librarian occupation since libraries, especially public libraries, have a high level of interaction between librarians and users who are from a wide range of community members with different characteristics and as well as various information needs. Therefore, in order to satisfy the information needs of individuals and obtain their satisfaction, there must be a twoway interaction between the librarian and the client. Effective and constructive communication requires communication skills. However, according to previous studies as well as the presented discussion, the extreme use of social networks can affect the communication skills of individuals. Consequently, concerning the importance of this issue in the librarianship and library business, the present study has been conducted to investigate the relationship between the time spent on social networks and communication skills of librarians in public libraries of Khuzestan province. This is the first study that explores the relationship between the length of time spent on virtual social networks (Facebook, Telegram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram ...) and communication skills of librarians.

Theoretical Framework

"Communication skills" is defined as the ability to communicate with others; as the ability of individuals in achieving their objective of communication. (Rahbari, 2010). In this study the communication skills of librarians are classified into five categories that are presented below:

1) Verbal skills: the deliberate use of verbal symbols in order to persuade others to do something (Robbins, 2010, p. 149).

2) Effective listening skill: Effective listening is active participation in a dialogue, an active process that includes attention, understanding, evaluation, recall and responding (Doaei, 1994, p. 62).

3) Feedback Skill: The last step in communication process is feedback. Feedback is the process whereby the recipient declares communication and expresses his feeling about what the other person has done or said (Shermoran, 1993, 476). In other words, feedback is the return of the consequence and result of the message to the sender so that the sender will be informed of the status of the message being sent and how it is received and understood (Alvani, 2001, 177). …

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