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Narmenji S M. Identifying Opportunities and Threats of Using Social Networking Sites to Create Interaction in Public Libraries. Research on Information Science & Public Libraries 2021; 27 (2) :227-259
URL: http://publij.ir/article-1-2342-en.html
, mnarmenji63@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (6649 Views)
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify the opportunities and threats of using social networking sites to create interaction in public libraries.
Method: This is an applied research that was conducted with a qualitative approach using thematic analysis method. The study population included librarians and officials of institutional public libraries affiliated to the General Directorate of Public Libraries of South Khorasan. A non-probability (non-random), and a snowball sampling procedure was used and 25 persons were interviewed by telephone. The semi-structured type of interview was incorporated.
Findings: Excessive use of social networking sites to create interaction between librarians and users was made on Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp, respectively. Types of requests from public library users on social networking sites are divided into two main categories: information requests and promoting requests. For the main category of information requests, 36 codes were obtained, 26 of which were related to the subcategory of ‘sourcing’ and 10 of which were related to the subcategory of ‘loaning and membership’. In the main category of promoting requests, the subcategory of ‘educational-consulting’ with 28 primary codes was higher than the subcategory of ‘informing’ with 19 primary codes. Opportunities for interaction through social networking sites in public libraries were grouped into three categories: social, communication, and advertising, with promotional opportunities having the highest frequency with the first 30 codes. Threats for interaction through these networks were also grouped into three categories: functional, cultural, and content, with the most initial code being related to the category of cultural threats. Barriers to interaction through social networking sites were also categorized into two categories: human barriers and infrastructural barriers. Human barriers have two subcategories: the category of ‘socio-economic barriers’ with 24 primary codes is more abundant than the category of ‘individual barriers’. ‘Infrastructural barriers’ were also categorized into two subcategories: ‘functional’ and ‘technological’, with more initial codes devoted to technological barriers.
Originality/value: Use of social networking sites can help improve public libraries services, especially reference services. Social networking sites also seem to provide good opportunities for public libraries to interact, which can even lead to improvement of the position of public libraries in society. Although the threats in this area are less than the opportunities, the existing concerns about them are sometimes significant, and it is necessary to plan properly in order to reduce them.
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Type of Study: qualitative | Subject: IT in Information Center
Received: 2021/07/26 | Accepted: 2021/08/25 | Published: 2021/09/7 | ePublished: 2021/09/7

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