A Study of University Library Blog Comments
In order to cope with the generation of web2.0, libraries develop a variety of services and the blog is the most widely application of all. In regard to blogs, most studies focused on the blog services from the library’s point of view, leaving out the blog users’. Library service should be reader-oriented, therefore, it is better to examine the library services from readers’ point of view. Comment is the most representative characteristic of blogs, which not only displays the interactions between library and readers but also expresses the opinions of readers. Lots of university libraries in Taiwan have developed blog services in recent years. This study is intended to analyze the blog comments to illustrate library services from the readers’ point of view. Purposes of this study are: 1.To analyze the contents of university library blog comments. 2. To explore the library blogs and comments from viewpoints of librarians as well as readers. 3. To explore the impact of blogs on library services. Questions to be answered are as follows: What type of library blogs gets the most comments? What are the types of comments? What are the interactions between librarians and readers? What factors make readers comment? How librarians deal with readers’ comments? What are librarians’ viewpoints on library blogs? Do readers’ comments have impacts on library services? First, contents of 80 library blogs (in 33 universities) were analyzed. In addition, interviews and survey by questionnaire were conducted to investigate viewpoints of librarians and readers on university library blogs. The research targets are librarians and readers from the top five libraries which possessed more comments on their library blogs. According to the content analysis, most blogs belong to the types of ‘data and resources,’ ‘library news,’ and ‘combination.’ The number of commented posts in ‘specific user’ type of blogs are more than others (an average of 1 comment every 3 comment posts). There are more comments found in the type of ‘library service’ (an average of 21.4 comments per comment post). Articles which relevant to readers’ right acquire more comments. Reply to the author is on the top among various types of comments, followed by spam comments, library comments, personal-oriented comments, disputative comments, other comments, and related topic comments. Usually, librarians would reply to readers’ comments within 3 days. Languages used by readers in their comments are somewhat casual than those used by librarians in their responses. According to the survey by questionnaires, more than half of respondents tend to add library blogs in their bookmarks in order to obtain the latest news and information concerning library collections. Nevertheless, only a few of them would have willingness to make comments on blogs. Majority of respondents are satisfied with the response made by the library. Moreover, they also pointed out that university library blog is a tool which can facilitate the interaction between the library and readers. Librarians interviewed in this study indicated that solving the problems of traditional websites, distributing news, promoting reading are the major goals of university library blogs. They browsed the blog daily and reply comments anonymously. Librarians indicated that the more comments readers post, the more librarians can realize what readers concern. In conclusion, libraries would need definite goals, informative blog contents, appropriate management and promotion, and supports from the library authority to provide effective and efficient blog services.
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