The adoption and use of social media in academic libraries : a comparative study between universities in Belgium and South Africa
Academic libraries have become hubs of technology, changing the responsibilities of academic libraries. In the Global North, academic libraries have taken the lead in adopting various social media platforms, to enhance service delivery and dissemination of information to students. Similar adoption models are seen with academic libraries in the Global South, but not all are adopting these innovative methods of communication. With these technological advancements, academic libraries have an obligation towards students to increase their level of high-tech preparedness and skills development. The problem prompting this research was the lack of technological advancements and lack of infrastructure at a university situated in the rural outskirts of South Africa, which led to a comparative study with other academic libraries in Belgium and South Africa. In light of the uneven distribution of resources between academic libraries in Belgium and South Africa, the study examined how academic libraries might be considered as places to create social capital. It is against this backdrop that this study researched the perceptions of library professionals and students at academic libraries in Belgium and South Africa to investigate the adoption and use of social media, in particular, Facebook and Twitter as service delivery tools in academic libraries. Academic libraries play a fundamental role to provide innovative library services to students and faculty members in support of teaching, learning and research. Therefore, the need for library services to adapt to 21st-century technologies is crucial to avoid stagnation. The study was carried out in two phases and in phase one the participants were selected from three academic libraries in South Africa and three in Belgium. The second phase used interview data from student respondents from the University of Antwerp in Belgium and from the University of Limpopo in South Africa. This thesis is a collection of papers focusing on the adoption and use of social networking platforms at higher education institutions. This qualitative study examined the adoption and non-adoption of social media and the utilisation of such innovative technologies in academic libraries. The study emphasised the importance of staying current with emerging technologies to embrace library services and to facilitate liaison between the library and students. While the majority of students perceived Facebook and Twitter as important communication tools, which are easy to use, the minority were not supportive of the adoption of social media in a library setting.
Antwerp : University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Communication Studies , 2023
208 p.
Supervisor: Dhoest, Alexander [Supervisor]
Full text (open access)
Research group
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Creation 05.10.2023
Last edited 21.10.2023
To cite this reference