Title

Adult Public Library Patrons' Perceptions of an Academic Library E-Learning Resource

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

5-25-2018

Abstract

Many Americans lack the skills required to use public access computers and the Internet at public libraries (PLs). Staff members of a PL in the Midwestern United States provide basic computer training to support patrons’ Internet and public access computer use. However, adult patrons who are beyond the basic skills level and those with sensory-disabilities are underserved. The purpose of this qualitative single-case study was to understand how an academic library’s information literacy e-resource affected the PL’s adult patrons’ learning based on the perceptions of adult patrons at a PL. Kling’s social informatics served as the study’s conceptual framework and the research questions centered on how academic library’s e-resource affected the participants’ learning. Purposive homogeneous sampling was used to identify 10 participants over the age of 18 who were patrons at the target site. Data were collected using observations, semi structured interviews, and document review. The data were analyzed using coding and structural analysis. Themes supporting the findings of an academic e-resource affecting the participants’ learning included standards-based e-resource sharing across library types, digital exclusion, digital inclusion, change, and innovation. A white paper was developed including a summary of the findings and the recommendation that library leaders adopt the academic library’s e-resource system to improve access and to support individuals who have sensory disabilities as well as patrons beyond the basic skills level at the study site. The implications for social change include enhanced e-services and the potential expansion of the patron base to include underserved stakeholders within the urban PL community.

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