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Exploring the conditions of success in e-libraries in the higher education context through the lens of the social learning theory

Pinho, C., Franco, M., Mendes, L. (2019), "Exploring the conditions of success in e-libraries in the higher education context through the lens of the social learning theory", Information and Management.
Abstract:

The main aim of this study is to identify and understand the conditions of success in the implementation, use and maintenance of electronic libraries (e-libraries) in the academic context of higher education, through the lens of the Social Learning Theory (SLT). To achieve this goal, a qualitative approach was adopted, through a case study of the e-library of a University in Portugal. The data were obtained from direct observation, interviews with various actors (staff of the library, computing and administration services of this institution) involved in the process of implementing and maintaining the e-library, and also the documentary analysis. The empirical evidence obtained reveals the most relevant factors for e-library success to be: (1) minimization of costs, (2) acceptance and use of e-libraries, and (3) staff training. This study shows the great importance of library staff training regarding use and exploitation of the e-library’s functions. Thorough knowledge of the e-library means improved use and search effectiveness. The minimization of costs associated with its implementation and maintenance is also a factor determining its success. Given the limited number of empirical studies exploring the topic, this study is particularly important and innovative in the context of Higher Education Institutions (HEI). On the basis of the empirical evidence obtained, a framework is proposed, grouping and reflecting the most important factors for the success of e-libraries in the HEI context.