The Intention to Use Mobile Digital Library Technology: A Focus Group Study in the United Arab Emirates

The Intention to Use Mobile Digital Library Technology: A Focus Group Study in the United Arab Emirates

Sumayyah Hassan Alfaresi (Brunel University, UK) and Kate Hone (Brunel University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5201-7.ch042
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This paper presents a qualitative study on student adoption of mobile library technology in a developing world context. The findings support the applicability of a number of existing constructs from the technology acceptance literature, such as perceived ease of use, social influence and trust. However, they also suggest the need to modify some adoption factors previously found in the literature to fit the specific context of mobile library adoption. Perceived value was found to be a more relevant overarching adoption factor than perceived usefulness for this context. Facilitating conditions were identified as important but these differed somewhat from those covered in earlier literature. The research also uncovered the importance of trialability for this type of application. The findings provide a basis for improving theory in the area of mobile library adoption and suggest a number of practical design recommendations to help designers of mobile library technology to create applications that meet user needs.
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Mobile Library Technology

Although libraries today provide many digital resources such as e-books, databases and online catalogues, their resources are not always the first search choice for students (Buzynski, 2007). This might be related to the outdated image that students hold about libraries, an image that does not fit with the needs of the new generation of students who prefer receiving information quickly, and who rely heavily on technology to access information (Albrecht and Pirani, 2009; Prensky, 2001). Students increasingly rely on smartphones to access online services; these have the benefit that they are always connected, unlike desktops or laptops that usually require a person to be in a certain place in order to have Internet access (Choy, 2011). This suggests that students may be more willing to engage with library services if they are provided through mobile library applications; such applications could also help improve a library’s image by providing a better match with the technologies that younger people are naturally adopting.

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