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Social Media Use by Canadian Academic Librarians
Social Media Use by Canadian Academic Librarians
Social Media Use by Canadian Academic Librarians
Social Media Use by Canadian Academic Librarians
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Social Media Use by Canadian Academic Librarians

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  • 1. Social media use by Canadian academic librarians: a focus on motivation, attitudes and behaviours Dean Giustini, Kevin Read, Tania Alekson UBC Social Media Research Team May 2011 Phase II Survey link (English version) http://www.surveyfeedback.ca/surveys/wsb.dll/s/1gf76Design of phase II surveyOur phase II survey instrument consists of ten (10) semi-structured questions that aredesigned to elicit qualitative information from academic librarians in CARL / ABRClibraries. It builds on the quantitative data gathered in phase I and the investigators’analyses was made public in late 2010 on Slideshare. Our goal in phase I was to elicitquantitative data about Canadian academic librarians’ use of social media as well asinstitutional support for usage. Phase II aims to extract in-depth narratives andqualitative data about academic librarians’ use of social media especially their attitudes,behaviours and motivations. The tools identified as used most-often by academiclibrarians were blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, chat services such as Meebo and Google Talk,social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and media-sharing sitesSlideShare and YouTube. We aim to identify other tools that have emerged since ourphase I survey (e.g. Foursquare, Gowalla, Groupon).The views of Canadian academic librarians about their readiness and acceptance ofsocial media are critically important. Institutional cultures are often at the root of whylibrarians do or do not use new technologies successfully. Moreover, academic
  • 2. librarians’ attitudes towards technology are indicators of their acceptance. According toSpacey (2003), Fine (1986) and Evald (1996), positive attitudes are fundamental to theacceptance of new technologies. The relationship between attitudes and behaviours isexplained in some detail in the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1989). Inconducting phase II, we hope to identify the best practices of academic library 2.0 andthe tools seen as most useful among Canadian academic librarians.Sample of Canadian academic librariansThe sample will be randomly accrued from phase I data; however, purposive browsingof Canadian academic library websites for librarians who blog or tweet with someregularity will be sought (“theoretical sampling”). In addition, we will consult our socialnetworks (e.g., Facebook and Twitter). Our main aim will be to find academic librariansat CARL / ABRC libraries who use social media at a higher level than the average (whatmight even be called ‘early adopters’ or ‘technology evangelists’) but whom we alsosuspected would engage us in discussion about social media. The sample will includeboth female and male librarians, in both public and technical services, working at CARL /ABRC member libraries. The resulting list of Canadian academic librarians (n=50), theirnames and e-mail addresses, will form our sample. The phase II survey will be validatedthrough an iterative process of formulating questions, editing and improving them,asking for input from the UBC Social Media Research Team, and through further testing;eventually the survey will be sent via e-mail to the sample in May 2011.
  • 3. Analysis of survey dataData captured in phase II will be analyzed using a grounded-theory approach [1], asystematic technique of comparative analysis that is used to examine qualitative data. Inaddition, we plan to use a combination of open and creative interpretation techniques[2]. The grounded theory analysis will be conducted by ATLAS.ti software (ATLAS.tiGmbH, Berlin, Germany) and additional manual coding. To consolidate categories andthemes, all transcripts will be coded after ATLAS analysis. Through iterative discussion,analysis and reflection, the investigators will enumerate factors (e.g., attitudes andbehaviours) that influence Canadian academic librarians’ use of social media. Coding willbe used to delineate emerging themes and inter-relationships in the transcripts.Identifying information of respondents found in the interview transcripts will be maskedto ensure the privacy and confidentiality of participants.Four Stages of Analysis in Grounded TheoryStage PurposeCodes Identifying anchors that allow key aspects of the data to be gatheredConcepts Collections of codes of similar content that allow data to be groupedCategories Broad groups of similar concepts used to generate a theoryTheory A collection of explanations that explain the subject of the research 1. Strauss A, Corbin J. Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. 2nd ed Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage; 1998. 2. Clandinin DJ, Connelly FM. Narrative inquiry: experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

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