Monday, July 15, 2013

Next generation public libraries in Malaysian : Web 2.0? Library 2.0?

Next generation public libraries in Malaysian : Web 2.0? Library 2.0?


Mohd Ismail Abidin¹* and  Kiran Kaur, PhD²*

Information Resource Center, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malacca City Campus, Malaysia¹*
Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of Malaya, Malaysia²*

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an overall view of the use of the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies by Malaysian public libraries. The focus of the research is to explore the types of Web 2.0 technologies used and to ascertain how widely these applications are being adopted. All fourteen state public libraries were included in this study. Data was collection using mainly web analysis. The result indicates that National Library of Malaysia (PNM), has adopted most of the Web 2.0 application while Social networking site applications (especially Facebook) is the highest used among Malaysia public library. The findings also indicate that the highest use of this application, about 33%, is  to provide information on library activities, announcements and any matters related to the library. However, some of the public libraries do not consistently update the information in their web 2.0 applications. The adoption of Web 2.0 application is at an initial stage and most libraries are planning to enhance the use for better services. It is hoped these research will give an overall view of web 2.0 adoption by Malaysian public libraries and improve their understanding among them to give better services by providing this application to their user.

Keywords :  Public libraries, Web 2.0, Social Media , Library 2.0 , Worldwide web,  Malaysia

Introduction

In supplying a variety of sources of information to fulfill  the needs of the local community, the Malaysian federal and state government  established  libraries. Public libraries play an important role in the delivery of various forms of information such as books, journals, electronic, microform, online learning, etc. to their community. In the era of information technology and the latest Web 2.0, services and facilities are widely offered in the sophisticated technological environment. The development of Web 2.0 technology requires public libraries to make changes in the delivery of information in a more up to-date, reliable, and dynamic manner which can better attract their users. Web 2.0 technology are widely  used by all segments of society in the world to create relationship, expand their networking, communicate and socialize. The term Web 2.0 was believed defined firstly by Tim O’Reilly and John Batelle in 2005. According to them, the term implies that Web 2.0 differs from an earlier web by being participatory, interactive, instantaneous, and emphasizes on online collaboration as well as sharing among users. In a library environment, this technology or application is termed Library 2.0. According to Chad and Miller (2005), Library 2.0 as a concept that is very different from the service we know today, that operates according to the expectations of today’s users.

In Malaysia, this new technology has infiltrated significantly throughout the country.  A recently published report about online usage in Malaysia has revealed that the top visited web sites in Malaysia are social networking sites (comScore, 2009). The report also shows that as of mid-2009, there were 9.3 million Malaysian (out of a population of 25 million) aged 15 and above who accessed the internet from various locations, consumed an average of 1,066 pages of content and spent nearly 14 hours online during the month (Mohd Hafiz, Watsons and Edwards, 2010). The latest data show (in September 2012) that the Facebook penetration in Malaysia is 50.29% compared to the country's population and 77.84% in relation to number of Internet users. The total number of FB users in Malaysia is reaching 13,156,960 and grew by more than 925,020 in the last 6 months and make Malaysia to the number 18th highest on the usage of Facebook.  


Figure 1 : Facebook usage by Malaysian citizen
Although this data and statistics show that Malaysia is among the fastest developed Asian countries using social networking as a medium of communication and sharing information.  Therefore, public libraries need to be more exposed to these developments and provide as many Web 2.0 applications to get closer to their users and improve the quality of online information delivery. As an example, according to Breeding (2007), “Facebook is becoming a trend in library users that libraries just cannot ignore”. Based on these statements, the public libraries especially the Malaysian public libraries need to create Web 2.0 applications in an effort to make library a "third place" to their users. To date, there has been little documentation on the use of Web 2.0 applications in public libraries in Malaysia and what the users of these libraries expect from public libraries in terms of delivering services through social media.

Research objectives

This study attempts to identify Web 2.0 applications adopted by Malaysian public libraries in servicing their community and further examine the specific purposes of Web 2.0 used in Malaysian public libraries.

The objectives of the study was:
·        To identify web 2.0 applications visible on the Malaysian public libraries’ website
·        To explore the purpose of using Web 2.0 technologies by Malaysian public libraries

LITERATURE REVIEW
Accessing the literature for the research papers, conference papers, e-books and e-journal on web 2.0 applications and libraries 2.0 are available in various databases such as at Science Direct, Emerald, Ebschost, Proquest and so on. There are many studies have been carried out which have revealed the use of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, especially among developed countries like the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), and Australia (Serantes, 2007; Linh, 2008; Gosling, Harper, Michelle, 2009; Nesta and Jia Mi, 2011; Curran, Murray, Christian, 2007). The term Web 2.0 was defined by Tim O’Reilly and John Battle while the term “Library 2.0” was first believed to be defined by Michael Casey. According to Breeding (2007), “Web 2.0 has become a trendy marketing concept. Library 2.0, on the other hand, is the integration of Web 2.0 features in library web-based services”. Meanwhile Xu, Ouyang and Chu (2009) state that Library 2.0 should be open to all, interactive, convergent to accommodate various Web 2.0 tools, collaborative with others and also participatory in Web 2.0 movements. Besides that, Kim and Abbas (2010) in their study of the adoption of Library 2.0 functionalities by academic libraries and users mention that Web 2.0 enables library users to get closer to the library using two-way communication and knowledge exchanges such as participating in activities like building subject heading through cataloging via folksonomy, or providing comments on books via blogging. In addition, according to Paroutis and Al Saleh, (2010) Web 2.0 allows users to collaborate in providing inputs, produce and update  information and knowledge. While, Curran, Murray and Christian (2007), indicate that libraries that use Web 2.0 applications, contribute to providing better service to their clients and the opportunity to gain more customers. By using this service, users would be able to view online, borrow locally, request from afar and buy or sell as appropriate to their situation (Miller, 2006b). Besides that, the use of Social Networking Sites (SNS) can provide a variety of ways for users to interact such as email and instant messaging services (Shin, 2010a). Shin found, 90% per cent of all Koreans in their 20s and around 25% of Korea’s entire population is registered with Cyworld. SNS are being used regularly by millions of people and it seems that social networking will be an enduring part of everyday life (Dwyer, 2007). Meanwhile, study on the MyLibrary Calendar, another type of web 2.0 application, by Li, Wong and Chan (2009), this application enables patrons to use their own personal calendar computer applications that support the open and standard iCalendar format as a one-stop-shop platform to automatically collect and manage library calendar events, library e-mails and notices, and their own records of circulation, interlibrary loan and room reservation in an efficient and centralized channel.

Figure 2: Conversation Prism (Social network tool)

social media by Brian Sollis and Jess3.png



Looking at the frequency of the use of Web 2.0 applications, Xu (2007) surveyed 82 academic libraries in New York State and Long Island in the USA. They found that blogs, IM and RSS were the main Web 2.0 applications which have been used extensively compared to social bookmarking, social networking sites and podcasts. In addition, Nguyen (2008) in her study of 37 Australasian university libraries, found RSS was the most widely used and instant messaging was the least used technology. Meanwhile the study from Liu (2008) that examined 111 ARL academic library web sites, found that IM has been employed in almost all libraries considered in his study. Blogs, on the other hand, were popular among school library web sites (Valenza, 2007). Han and Liu (2009) in their study found more than two-thirds of the top 38 Chinese university libraries adopted one or more Web 2.0 tools through the basic functions of their web sites. From the six types of tools, Catalog 2.0 and RSS are the most common, while IM, Blog, SNS and Wiki are less frequent.


The use of Web 2.0 or social media  by Malaysian citizen are very high and increases substantially each year. Recent data from the Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), which monitors the network on ICT in Putrajaya Campus Network (PCN), found a total of 19.96 million transactions were performed on the access sites of social networking website from 1st to 30th March, 2011. This monitoring found 3 accesses to the highest on the social networking website that were: profile.ak.fbcdn.net, www.facebook.com and static.ak.fbcdn.net. Although the use of social media or Web 2.0 are rising rapidly each year in Malaysia, very scarce research on the use of Web 2.0 applications in Malaysia was found. In an investigation on the use of Web 2.0 technology by Malaysian students by Mohd Hafiz, Watson and Edwards (2009), it was found that students are not familiar with some of the Web 2.0 applications such as podcast, social tagging and second life. Meanwhile, Danyaro, Jaafar, De Lara &Downe (2010), found that Facebook, Wikipedia and Youtube are the three most popular social networking websites among tertiary students in Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia. The latest research on Facebook in Malaysia done by A.R. Riza Ayu and A.Abrizah (2011) investigating the use of Facebook among academic library Malaysia, found that most of the academic libraries in Malaysia have just started using Facebook in early 2010, although this application has been in existence since February 2004. Similarly, research from Rafidah, Zuraidah and Ruzita, (2011) in their study of the implications of Library 2.0 tools in Malaysian academic libraries towards reference services, found that the most popular social media used by the academic library is Facebook, with 9 out of 15 Malaysian academic libraries using it.


In order to fill the gaps in the literature and advance the professional understanding of Web 2.0 technologies’ application in Malaysian public libraries, the study tries to present the findings of the content analysis that systematically examines various Web 2.0 applications in  14 Malaysian public libraries, and attempts to describe the extent of their applications of Web 2.0 tools.




Methodology

A content analysis (Web analysis) methodology is applied to a sample of 14 Malaysian Public  libraries. The content analysis (Web analysis) will take that standard or criteria to measure the Web 2.0 applications for the use of research data collection based on previous studies (Han & Liu, 2009; Linh, 2008).  However, this instrument is modified for library practices. This instrument is divided into 8 categories and consists of 81 checkpoints, refer to table 1. All of 14 Malaysian public library websites were examined starting from 1st Jun until 15th Jun 2011.
Table 1 : Checkpoint



Table 2 : List of Malaysian State Public Libraries
           
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
i.     Identifying public libraries that have Web 2.0 applications.
The existence of the Web 2.0 applications in Malaysian Public Library are identified through the Library website or the official portal of the Public Library. Only the main public library in each state was selected. If it appears that the public library's website has one or more icons Web 2.0, the library will be marked as "Yes", while if the library does not have the Web 2.0 icons, it will be marked as "No" (Refer to the Table 3). Web 2.0 icons in the library homepage were also tested as to whether it had active links to Web 2.0 library applications or vice versa.

Table 3 : List of Web 2.0 Application used by Malaysian Public Libraries


What are the Web 2.0 applications adopted by Public libraries in Malaysia?

The research observes the content analysis of web site (until July 2011) for all 14 Malaysian Public Library including the National Library of Malaysia. Based on the observation all of these public libraries, it is evident that they are using the Web 2.0 application, having at least one Web 2.0 application. Referring to Table 3, it shows that the National Library of Malaysia (PNM) has actively adopted most of the Web 2.0 applications, 6 out of the 7 Web 2.0 applications in this research, excluding the Instant Messaging. Although the chat icon is available on the second link of PNM website, it is not owned or operated by PNM. The chat facility is provided and maintained by a third party of PNM, U-Pustaka. It is followed by the Public Library of Penang (PPAPP), which uses 5 out of the 7 Web 2.0 applications except for Wikis and RSS. The third highest usage of Web 2.0 applications are the Public Library of Negeri Sembilan (PPANS) and Public Library of Selangor (PPASL), both are using 4 Web 2.0 applications. The Public Library of Kelantan (PPAKB), Public Library of Perak (PPANPK) and Public Library of Sarawak (PNSK) are using 3 out of the 7 Web 2.0 applications. While, the Public Library of Johor (PPAJ), Public Library of Melaka (PPAM), Public Library of Perlis, Public Library of Sabah (PNSB) and Public Library of Terengganu (PPAKT), are only using 2 out of the 7 Web 2.0 applications. From the 14 Malaysian Public libraries, Public Library of Kedah (PPAK) and Public library of Pahang (PPAPH) have least types of Web 2.0 applications adopted by the libraries.
Figure 1 shows the type of Web 2.0 applications adopted by the Malaysian Public Libraries. According to this data, the use of social networking site applications, Facebook, is the highest among the 13 public libraries, Sabah Public Library. This was followed by the use of RSS application (9), Podcast / Vodcast applications (7), blog applications (4), Wikis (3) and Photo sharing (1).

Figure 1 : Web 2.0 tools use
What is the main purpose of Web 2.0 application adoption?

Overall, from the web analysis on each of the applications in each library portal at random, showed (Refer to table 4) that the highest use of this application aims to provide information on library activities, announcements and any matters related to the library (33%). In addition to that, the main purpose of this application is also to share a collection of photos between libraries and users (19%). Twelve libraries have adopted this application through a social network site, Facebook and 7 libraries adopt it using a photo sharing, Flickr. Furthermore, 18% of libraries use Web 2.0 tools to share general information related to public library or other matters that are appropriate for user information. From this data, it can be established that three libraries are using Wiki, seven libraries are using RSS, three libraries using blogs and five libraries are using Youtube.
Next, the checkpoint Others ranked the fourth highest. It is found that 16% of the libraries are using this Web 2.0 tool for disseminating information such as circulations (Pekeliling), current issues, tenders, Minister’s speeches, a collection of traditional Malay music, MoUs, videos, etc. The Web 2.0 tool used for this purposes consist of wikis (3 libraries), RSS (5 libraries), Blogs (2 libraries), Instant Messaging (1 libraries), Podcat / Vodcast (5 libraries). The fifth highest usage of Web 2.0 tools among Malaysian public libraries is to give advice and reference services to the user (17%). Of these, four libraries are using Facebook, 2 libraries are using Instant Messaging and 1 library is using Wikis.



Table 4 : Purpose of using Web 2.0 tool
No
Purpose /Web 2.0 Tools
Wikis
RSS
Blogs
Instant Messaging
Podcat / Vodcast
Social Networking Sites
Photo Sharing
Total %
1
General News
3 (21%)
7 (50%)
3 (21%)
0
5 (36%)
0
0
18 %
2
Library News, Announcement & Event
0
9 (64%)
3 (21%)
0
6 (42%)
12 (86%)
3 (21%)
33 %
3
New books/ journal
0
5 (36%)
0
0
0
0
0
5 %
4
Book review & Discussion
0
0
0
0
1 (7%)
0
0
1 %
5
Searching Skill
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 0%
6
Advice and Reference services
1 (7%)
0
0
2 (14%)
0
4 (28%)
0
7 %
7
Library orientation
0
0
0
0
1 (7%)
0
0
1 %
8
Sharing Photo
0
0
0
0
0
12 (86%)
7 (50%)
19 %
9
Resources Guidance
0
0
0
1 (7%)
0
0
0
1 %
10
Others
3 (21%)
5 (36%)
2 (14%)
1 (7%)
5 (36%)
0
0
16 %

Five libraries have adopted the RSS application to promote their new books /new journal collection to their users. Only 1% of libraries are using Web 2.0 tools for the purpose of publicising book reviews and discussions (via Youtube), library orientation videos (via Youtube), and library resource guidance (via Instant Messaging). None of the libraries use the Web 2.0 tools for library instruction.

What is the main characteristic of Web 2.0 application adoption?

In Malaysia environment, not all Web 2.0 application are very well known used by Malaysian people especially teenagers. Although the statistic showed that Social networking sites (facebook) are highly used in Malaysia, but other do not indicate so. It is important  forthe library to provide instruction, manual or guidance on the use of Web 2.0 application. Based on the Web analysis, only 10% of the Malaysian public libraries provide instruction or guidance or manual to use Web 2.0. (Refer to table 5) The data showed 9 libraries provide this characteristic through RSS application and only 1 libraries (Pustaka Negeri Sarawak) through Podcast/Vodcast application. None of the libraries provide this characteristic through Wikis, Blog, Instant Messaging, Social Networking Sites and Photo Sharing.  
Next, it is important to know whether in each of web 2.0 tool, the library provides links to the library home page or not. This is because, if the user  clicks the library web 2.0 tool, they can return back to the library home page or not. From the observation, most of the libraries provide links back to their library home page. 3 libraries through Wikis, 9 libraries through RSS, 3 libraries through blog, 12 libraries through facebook and 2 libraries through photosharing (Flickr).
For the “there are categories for posting” characteristic, it is only found through RSS application (7 libraries)  and podcast/vodcast application (3 libraries). The libraries are using categories such as Library current news, Press & Announcement, Calendar activity, Vidcast RSS feed, Podcast RSS feed and etc. It is also found that most of the web 2.0 tools provided by Malaysian public libraries have a searchable functions to get back their entries either by using keyword, by topic or by date. For the characteristic  of “library designs it application”, it is found only 3 libraries (National Library of Malaysia, Public Library of Pahang and Public Library of Pulau Pinang) have this characteristic through their blog application.
Table 5 : Characteristic of using Web 2.0 tool

No
Characteristic /Web 2.0 Tools
Wikis
RSS
Blogs
Instant Messaging
Podcat / Vodcast
Social Networking Sites
Photo Sharing
1
Provide instruction /guidance / manual on the use of application?
0
9  (64%)
0
0
1 (7%)
None
None
2
Provide links to the library home page?
3 (21%)
9  (64%)
3 (21%)
0
None
12 (86%)
2 (14%)
3
There are categories for postings?
None
7 (50%)
0
None
3 (21%)
None
None
4
Entries are searchable by keywords/topics/date?
3 (21%)
6 (43%)
3 (21%)
None
7 (50%)
None
3 (21%)
5
Library designs its application?
0
0
3 (21%)
None
None
0
None

CONCLUSION
Although, at this time Web 2.0 applications  are widely accepted and used by all segment of society today for the purpose of communication or exchange of information and knowledge, the public library usage is among the lowest in Malaysia. As a result of the investigation of the 14 Public Library Web sites in Malaysia, it is revealed that the average library has only one or two Web 2.0 applications and they are still in their basic development stage and not consistently updated. The most popular applications used are Facebook and RSS. However the libraries do not used / take advantage to use this application in properly manner. There is a library that takes days to update their account and also there are some libraries that do  not respond to queries from users. This can cause the  user to lose interestand not use  this application anymorein future.  Libraries should play a proper role in providing quality services when offering a new service. Use of Web 2.0 applications is one of the most popular trends at this time. Malaysian public libraries need to be more consistent in updating each of the applications developed and fully exploit the intelligent functions that are available in each of these Web 2.0 applications.

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3 comments:

  1. This article is very in depth and relevant for my study. Thanks for the great work

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the article. it helps me to understand more for my presentation regarding web 2.0

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're welcome..Feel free to read ya..Thanks

    ReplyDelete