Application of social media in marketing library resources and services at Kyambogo University Library
Oloo, Eric Keziron
MetadataShow full item record
Marketing of library resources and services has become vital in recent times because of the invasion of and competition from other information-providing entities. Moreover, the traditional library marketing tools, which are majorly limited within physical library walls cannot capture the attention of 21st century-library users. This study examined the application of social media (SM) in marketing library resources and services at Kyambogo University Library (KYUL). The objectives of the study were to examine the SM platforms and techniques used in marketing library resources and services at KYUL, establish the SM preferences of the library users, examine the factors that limit the application of SM in marketing library resources and services and propose measures for effective application of SM in marketing library resources and services at KYUL. The study adopted a mixed-method utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. The target population was 31,857, which incorporated 31,822 registered library users that were targeted for quantitative study and 35 librarians targeted for qualitative study. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. The findings revealed that: KYUL uses WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to market its resources and services. It also emerged that marketing of resources and services at KYUL is done using SM platforms, alongside other channels, such as the library Website, and emails, as well as the traditional library marketing platforms, such as the displays of new information resources, flyers, newsletters, user orientations, posters, and exhibitions. It was established that the respondents consider SM as being a powerful library marketing platform in the current digital age. It also emerged that majority of the respondents subscribed to WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Messenger. The study concluded that; SM has been incorporated into the marketing toolkit of KYUL. It was noted that SM is considered to be an essential marketing platform, for marketing library resources and services to 21st-century library users. However, both the library users and the librarians highlighted various impediments to successful SM use regarding marketing and promotion of library resources and services. The hindrances noted by the library users were; limited internet access, high costs of internet, limited ICT devices, unreliable power supply, limited access to SM, limited awareness of the library SM platforms, limited knowledge in using SM platforms, and delayed feedback mechanisms. In addition, the librarians cited various hindrances such as; limited participation of users, technophobia, failure to accept SM as an authentic communication media, limited government interventions, limited SM marketing skills, inadequate funds, understaffing, lack of library SM policy, lack of library marketing plan, and lack of guiding SM marketing framework. Based on the findings, the study made various recommendations such as to; enhance ICT infrastructure (the internet, ICT devices ) at KYUL, lobbying for the students’ laptop financing scheme, provision of an alternative stable power supply, promotion of SM use in the library for academic purposes, publicizing the official library SM platforms, Provision of timely feedback to the users, introduction of SM training and capacity building programs, budgeting for SM services, recruitment of full-time SM librarians, establishment of the SM section, development of the library SM service policy, establishment of the library SM marketing plan, and adoption of the library SM marketing framework proposed by this study.