Journal article Open Access

Library 2.0 versus other library service models: A critical analysis

Kwanya, Tom; Stilwell, Christine; Underwood, Peter G.

Literature on library service models is scarce and exists mainly in non-traditional formats such as blog entries and Web pages. Nonetheless, the subject evokes heated debate among librarians with many supporting the model they are using, sometimes without understanding that there are other options which perhaps could be better for their circumstances. Through critical documentary analysis, this study explores the library service models that exist as well as how they compare with each other. The findings have revealed that although there are many library service models, it is not possible to get a clear-cut model which is exclusive of all the others in practice. It is also evident that the models are continuously evolving along general socio-economic and technological development patterns in society. Similarly, the study suggests that none of the models can suit all library service provision contexts. However, it is also apparent that some models may yield more benefits than others to specific library communities at a particular time. In deciding the model to apply, libraries should be careful to accommodate the prevailing characterization of their user communities and their contexts.

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