ERIC Number: EJ993515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 5
Emerging Technologies: How Do We Know What's Happening "on the Ground"?
Public Services Quarterly, v8 n2 p164-170 2012
Libraries have incorporated all kinds of emerging or recently emerged technologies such as social media, mobile apps, e-books, and tablets into their services with differing levels of resource commitment and with vastly different timescales. Some libraries adopt a measured, policy-driven approach, spending a year or more on research, assessment, and committee meetings before adoption. This is guaranteed to drive emerging technologies librarians or technophile library staff to despair. Other organizations use a more experimental, dive-right-in approach. In a "do more with less" environment, this can worry those with the responsibility to make sure that resources are used wisely for core services. What methods can libraries use to gather information about whether an emerging technology might be worth implementing for public services in a particular context? The author shares that at their library they have successfully used a modified type of focus group, the focus group panel, which she has found offers two key benefits: (1) it lets patrons speak about how they use or want to use technologies; and (2) it allows all interested library staff, from front line staff to upper administrators, to hear directly from patrons about their experiences with a particular new technology. These focus group panels obviate some of the guesswork about a new technology (e.g., endless discussions about how library staff "think" patrons feel about technology) and can dispose of covert or overt accusations that certain people are displaying an irrational level of exuberance or resistance about a particular emerging technology.
Descriptors: Technological Advancement, Adoption (Ideas), Academic Libraries, Library Services, Focus Groups, Users (Information)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio