Public Librarians' Adoption of Technology in Two Southeastern States

Ashley EA Dowdy, Walden University

Abstract

Public libraries have become community hubs of technology, changing the responsibilities of public librarians. The problem is a gap between public library technology needs, the skills librarians have with technologies, and the strategies they use to acquire skills. The purpose of this predictive, sequential, explanatory mixed method study was to examine public librarians' attitudes about learning new technology and their behavioral intention to adopt it. Two frameworks guided this study: the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model and the diffusion of innovations theory. Quantitative data (N= 202) were collected by survey and analyzed through multiple linear regression analysis, which determined predictive relationships between determinants of technology use and moderating variables. Findings revealed that the performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions significantly affected the behavioral intention to use technology. The moderating variables of age, gender, experience, and voluntariness did not have significant impact. Twelve qualitative interviews inductively analyzed produced 4 themes of learning needs, learning strategies, barriers, and motivation. Findings have implications for social change because library stakeholders can have access to more knowledgeable and skilled staff, which will allow them to better serve the public, many of whom rely on library services for accessing social services, acquiring new skills, and locating information.