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Perceptions of personnel at selected Texas community colleges regarding the impact of technology on their libraries

Sharon K Kenan, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Technological innovations have transformed all areas of community college libraries. Automated library systems, office software, and Internet access have altered work processes for library personnel and have changed research methodologies for students and faculty. The purpose of this bounded multiple case study was to explore how the adoption of technology has changed important areas of four community college libraries in Texas. Using purposeful sampling to select community colleges with high technology libraries, the study explored how the adoption of technology by the case college libraries changed the libraries and the roles of people employed within the libraries by examining the impact of the adoption of technology on the following areas of the libraries: (a) physical structure; (b) organizational structure; (c) services; (d) ability to help meet the institution's educational mission; (e) capital and operational budgets; (f) personnel; (g) allocation of human resources; and (h) collections. The researcher addressed this qualitative study from a constructivist paradigm that included multiple source data collection from (a) semi-structured one-on-one interviews; (b) non-participant observations, and (c) a review of public documents. Lean coding that corresponded to the eight categories being studied and in vivo coding that reflected the words of the participants were used to analyze interview transcripts. According to participants in the study (a) academic libraries are still vitally important for faculty and students; (b) transitioning to online resources has transformed library collections; (c) library employees have adapted to and been supportive of technology; (d) technology funds derive from multiple sources, and locating funds requires creativity; (e) libraries are optimizing space and ensuring it is retained for library purposes; (f) work relations have evolved within libraries and between libraries and information technology; (g) organizational structures have remained flat; and (h) employees with higher levels of education and technology competencies are being hired. Based on the findings of this study, implications for practice were formulated that might benefit libraries, library directors, and community colleges. Areas suggested for future study included online reference communications, attitudes toward library resources/services, relations within libraries, reporting structure and allocations, leading and following in different settings, and hiring the ideal candidate.

Subject Area

Community college education|Library science|Information science

Recommended Citation

Kenan, Sharon K, "Perceptions of personnel at selected Texas community colleges regarding the impact of technology on their libraries" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3504939.