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The Shoemaker’s Son: A Substantive Theory of Social Media Use for Knowledge Sharing in Academic Libraries Open Access


Other title
library and information science
qualitative coding
grounded theory
social media
academic libraries
qualitative research
knowledge management
organizational practices
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Forcier, Eric
Supervisor and department
Quamen, Harvey (Humanities Computing)
Rathi, Dinesh (School of Library and Information Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Quamen, Harvey (Humanities Computing/English and Film Studies)
Given, Lisa (School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University)
Rathi, Dinesh (School of Library and Information Studies)
Engel, Maureen (Humanities Computing/English and Film Studies)
Humanities Computing
School of Library and Information Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts/Master of Library and Information Studies
Degree level
In the last decade social media have become integrated in the knowledge sharing practices of libraries. While an entire genre of literature is devoted to the use of social media for promotion (i.e., ‘Library 2.0’), little research has been done on the use of social media for organizational knowledge sharing in academic libraries. Using knowledge management as a framing discourse, this study addresses the gap in the literature by examining social media use at two academic libraries. Analysis of qualitative interviews with 14 librarians using a Grounded Theory approach produces a substantive theory of social media use for knowledge sharing in academic libraries, revealing that these tools are underused for the purpose of dialogue and the sharing of tacit knowledge, and providing practical implications for their future implementation. This study establishes a theoretical framework for the examination of how social media are used in organizations that can inform future research.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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