The impact of public access venue information and communication technologies in Botswana public libraries
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice
Department of Library and Information Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana; Management and Information Systems, Centre for Development Informatics, University of Manchester Manchester, England, United Kingdom; Technology and Social Change Group, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States
Objective - A study on the impact of Public Access Venue (PAV) Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) was conducted in Botswana libraries with Internet connections. The main objective was to determine the impact of ICTs in public libraries. Methods -Using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework as a theoretical lens, the study used semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions to investigate the impact of PAV ICTs in 4 study sites, resulting in data from a total of 39 interviews and 4 focus groups. Methods -Using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework as a theoretical lens, the study used semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions to investigate the impact of PAV ICTs in 4 study sites, resulting in data from a total of 39 interviews and 4 focus groups. Results - The results of the study show that PAV ICTs had a positive impact on users in the areas of education and economic benefits. Within educational and economic impacts, social benefits were also found, pertaining to the use of social media and the Internet for formal and informal communication. The study also revealed a slight difference between school going users and non-school going elderly users where the use and acquisition of computer skills was concerned. Elderly non-school going users tended to rely on venue staff for skills more than the younger school going users. Conclusion - The study recommends that PAV facilities should be improved in terms of skills offered and resources availed so as to appeal to both the younger school going generation and the older non-school going users. It is also recommended that education on ICT be improved to help curb rising unemployment in Botswana; such skills would enhance the income generation skills of the unemployed users as well as school leavers. © 2015 Totolo, Renken, and Sey.