The adoption of technology to enhance innovative user services at CALICO libraries, South Africa.
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The study investigated the adoption of technology of libraries part of the Cape Library Consortium (CALICO) to enhance user services. Changes in information behaviour and learning styles have been noted in higher education. Prompting the need for academic libraries to transform the delivery of user services. The focus of the study has been on identifying technology devices and applications adopted at CALICO libraries and examining the role played by librarians in the adoption of new technologies. Exploring user services in which these technologies have been integrated. The study employed the Diffusion of Innovation theory to define attributes of an innovation that can influence an individual's decision to adopt it. A web-based questionnaire and interviews were used to gather data from librarians at the four CALICO libraries. Academic librarians are recommended to embrace the new technologies to keep abreast of new trends, against concerns raised in the study about their attitudes towards new technologies. Their role has been described (Callahan, 1991) to be that of an agent of change through whom new technologies are made available to users. Though new services have been created, in most instances, academic libraries have remodelled existing services. The study identified a variety of factors that have had an influence in the transformation of user services, which include, budget constraints, technology developments and new demands from library users. In spite of the need to innovate user services, the study recommended that academic librarians need to adopt technologies that are compatible with both their users' needs and existing technologies.