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Transforming library communication: from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg

Transforming library communication: from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse institutional and functional development of a library with the help of communication theories. The library as a social institution should have a quite strong position in today’s information society, but new ways of information search have made its position unstable. Thus, a library needs theoretical and cultural-political comprehension and reassessment. The paper tries to answer the questions as to how a library can satisfy the needs of modern society and which strategy of library communication will be in demand tomorrow. Design/methodology/approach – The theoretical background is represented by communication theories of Marshal McLuhan, Denis McQuail and Yuri Lotman, as well as Michel Foucault’s concepts of disciplinary power and governmentality. Findings – The analysis revealed that library–user communication is based primarily on power relations, where “access” is the main keyword. The article brought out differences in library communicative processes in the “Gutenberg Galaxy” and today’s global network society, “Zuckerberg Era”. The analysis showed that library–user relationship is shifting from disciplinary power and monologue to the governmentality and new communicative forms, dialogue and participation. Research limitations/implications – The study demonstrates the possibility of implication of communication theories for library functional analysis. The new studies investigating which methods and forms of communication do libraries use today, how are the elements of power relations transforming would be very useful for the understanding of the topic. Practical implications – The study proposes to libraries some ideas that may be useful for developing the library communication strategy. Originality/value – This study, based on the communicative approach, corresponds well to library phenomenon and nature, as well as allows for reflection on the role of libraries in the society of today and future. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Library World Emerald Publishing

Transforming library communication: from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg

New Library World , Volume 116 (5/6): 17 – May 11, 2015

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References (18)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0307-4803
DOI
10.1108/NLW-05-2014-0055
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse institutional and functional development of a library with the help of communication theories. The library as a social institution should have a quite strong position in today’s information society, but new ways of information search have made its position unstable. Thus, a library needs theoretical and cultural-political comprehension and reassessment. The paper tries to answer the questions as to how a library can satisfy the needs of modern society and which strategy of library communication will be in demand tomorrow. Design/methodology/approach – The theoretical background is represented by communication theories of Marshal McLuhan, Denis McQuail and Yuri Lotman, as well as Michel Foucault’s concepts of disciplinary power and governmentality. Findings – The analysis revealed that library–user communication is based primarily on power relations, where “access” is the main keyword. The article brought out differences in library communicative processes in the “Gutenberg Galaxy” and today’s global network society, “Zuckerberg Era”. The analysis showed that library–user relationship is shifting from disciplinary power and monologue to the governmentality and new communicative forms, dialogue and participation. Research limitations/implications – The study demonstrates the possibility of implication of communication theories for library functional analysis. The new studies investigating which methods and forms of communication do libraries use today, how are the elements of power relations transforming would be very useful for the understanding of the topic. Practical implications – The study proposes to libraries some ideas that may be useful for developing the library communication strategy. Originality/value – This study, based on the communicative approach, corresponds well to library phenomenon and nature, as well as allows for reflection on the role of libraries in the society of today and future.

Journal

New Library WorldEmerald Publishing

Published: May 11, 2015

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