American Libraries and the Internet: The Social Construction of Web Appropriation and Use

by Bin Li


With the expanding use of the World Wide Web in society, American libraries have undergone massive changes. This new information tool has provided both opportunities and challenges to libraries of all kinds. To have a better understanding of the World Wide Web, the roles libraries and librarians have played in its development and use, and the interactions between the library and the Web cannot be overlooked.

How do American librarians define their roles in the changing environment, and how do they understand and appropriate the Web in their profession and work place? Previous studies have shown that the knowledge, perceptions, and expectations people have about a technology may influence the ways they react and use the technology. This study examines how librarians have perceived the World Wide Web from its early implementation to 2003, how the Web is appropriated and used in libraries, and provides a deeper understanding of Web use in libraries, and yields new insights into the future development of both libraries and Web technologies. Policy makers evaluating and planning information policies at different levels and system developers designing technology applications for use in libraries will find this book to be a valuable guide.


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