When definitions in practice do not align with the literature: Defining emerging technologies in academic libraries

Helen Reid, Mary Anne Kennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction: This study explores the language and discourse used during the practice of learning about emerging technology within three university libraries with an aim of developing collective understanding and informing practice.
Method: An action research based approach was used; librarians participated in focus groups and maintained personal journals about their learning of 'emerging technologies'.
Analysis" Content analysis using a practice theory lens was carried out to investigate the language and discourse used to describe the term 'emerging technologies' and the examples of technologies understood as emerging by the participants.
Results: Participants described emerging technologies using both the technology-centric characteristics used within the research literature and also in a personal or contextual manner. There was no overarching, agreed upon understanding at any of the three libraries.
Conclusion: The lack of a collective understanding of the term 'emerging technologies' may impact on the uptake of learning about appropriate emerging technologies in academic libraries. Working towards a collective understanding of the term may assist in the development of practice architectures to support learning of appropriate emerging technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInformation Research: an international electronic journal
Volume22
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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