Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Using Social Media as a Tool to Re-Define and Transform Academic Library Service in the 21st Century
Date of this Version
Academic libraries are meant to acquire, provide and disseminate information resources to satisfy their patron’s information needs. A potent means in which librarians in academic libraries can optimize for their work and services as well as maintain their relevance is through social media. The purpose of this paper is to expose library and information personnel in academic libraries to the effective utilization of social media as an effective tool for re-defining and transforming academic library services in the 21st century. The specific objectives are to identify the types of social media used for effective library service provision in academic libraries, to identify the roles of social media in libraries, to identify the skills needed by librarians to effectively sustain library services through social media, to identify the major challenges associated with social media as a tool for service delivery and to develop strategies for effective adoption and utilization of social media as a tool for library service delivery. The methodology adopted is content analysis. The study was done by related literature review in which related articles on social media in academic libraries were analyzed. Hence, the study reviewed and analyzed the content of 21 articles in which topical issues based on this paper were addressed. The study revealed that social media are powerful tools that can enhance and promote library services. To be able to stay relevant in the socially networked environment and meet the growing needs of its patrons in the 21st century, it has become imperative for academic libraries to explore and adopt social media, which has become a library technology that has the capacity to expand the frontiers of library service delivery as well as to reach the hitherto unreached categories of patrons. The study recommended that academic libraries personnel should efficiently explore and adopt various social media platforms that are suitable for their community so as to grow the visibility and social media presence of their libraries and as well, reach out to every member of their community. Furthermore, adequate budgetary provision for the purchase and maintenance of technologies and facilities to effectively drive the social media implementation for service delivery is imperative.