Awareness of the benefits of location based service technologies to libraries among Irish academic librarians

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McGroarty, Irene
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MSc Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
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The Internet of Things is considered the next technological revolution, Location Based Services is a rapidly expanding part of the Internet of Things and both are regarded as pervasive technologies. Location has an impact on behaviour and location data is valuable information that gives detailed insights into how users interact with physical space. The purpose of this study was to establish an understanding of the awareness of Location Based Services and their benefits to libraries amongst Irish academic librarians. This study investigated if librarians had a good understanding of these technologies, were aware of implementation of these technologies in American academic libraries and whether librarians thought that these technologies have a future in Irish academic libraries amongst other things. Location Based Services for libraries offers multiple services through a smart phone app including: map technology that can show a student their exact location in the library, turn by turn directions to resources and recommender services that can recommend print and e-content to a student based on their location in the library. This technology allows the library via a dashboard to see real-time use of the library space and collect meaningful data about the use of the library space. This exploratory study used convergent parallel mixed methods research design and collected primary data via in-depth interviews and a survey of Irish academic librarians. The majority of the literature used in this study is from implementations of Location Based Service technology in American academic libraries. Findings include: that there is a lot of awareness of these technologies in larger, older libraries, the importance of the role of a champion for any new concept or technology to be introduced into the library industry. The findings also showed that there is a place for Location Based Services in Irish academic libraries in the future but there are concerns about data protection and lack of resources. This study also presents a number of interesting points for further study. One aim of this dissertation was to promote Location Based Services and their benefits amongst Irish academic librarians and there was a lot of interest in these technologies.