Social Media and Library Collaboration: Analysis of Government Libraries (Kaguvi Building)

Social Media and Library Collaboration: Analysis of Government Libraries (Kaguvi Building)

Lazarus Sauti (Ministry of Transport, Zimbabwe)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0043-9.ch016

Abstract

The use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp has become an integral part of everyday communication in Zimbabwe. These platforms allow libraries and librarians to work collaboratively. Anchored on the diffusion of technology theory, this chapter analyzed the availability of social media in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Library, Ministry of Environment Library, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development Library, and Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency Library. The researcher interviewed six library professionals and found out that government librarians are using social media platforms to promote access to information and support freedom of information. The study noted that government libraries are still facing challenges such as lack of administrative support and lack of clear collaboration policies. These challenges are affecting collaboration initiatives. Accordingly, the researcher recommended managers to support their libraries with financial resources if government librarians are to effectively apply social media in their work areas.
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Theoretical Framework

This chapter is premised on the diffusion of technology theory, proposed and popularised by Everett Rogers (1962). The theory explains the “adoption, application and spread of new media technologies or ideas in a community over a period of time through social structures” (Okuonghae, 2018, p. 9). According to Rogers (1962, p. 15), diffusion refers to “the course of action by which an innovation is spread through certain channels over time among the members of a social system”. The theory, which envisages that social media provides information and influences judgment, is also dependent on the conditions which increase or decrease the likelihood that members of a given culture will adopt a new idea, product or practice. Katz, Blumler and Gurevitch (1974) explicate that the idea behind the diffusion of technology theory is that, for a new idea to spread there must be an awareness stage, interest stage, evaluation stage, a trial stage and an adoption stage. This theory is relevant to this chapter, because the application of social media platforms in government libraries and other information centres is a key element in the diffusion of these platforms.

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