Employees’ perception of knowledge management in academic libraries in the digital age


The 21st century is associated with change in the business, education, and information environments due to the digital age paradigm shift. In the digital age, knowledge management has become essential for academic libraries that want to accelerate their performance in this time of change. The research objective was to evaluate academic library employees’ perceptions of knowledge management in the digital age. The research was guided by pragmatism through incorporating the mixed methods research approach where qualitative and quantitative methods were applied to ensure that the research questions were addressed. The research strategy was a case study. The study collected empirical data on cases of four campus libraries. This study applied the exploratory method to evaluate employees’ perceptions on knowledge management roles, skills, and technologies. Interviews and a survey were used as data collection methods. A purposive sample of the library management team and library employees from a South African higher education institution was carried out. The reliability of the questionnaire was tested that showed a high Cronbach’s alpha. The findings produced employees’ radar maps and concluded that knowledge management is not something to be neglected in the digital age that is associated with continuous change primarily because it ensures that knowledge is created, shared, retained, and disseminated in the library. Librarians are encouraged to use technologies such as social media, big data, and virtual reality in their day-to-day work to sustain the library’s relevance in the digital age.

Author Biographies

Tiyani Tyson Mabunda, University of Johannesburg
Tiyani Tyson Mabunda is a Researcher in the Department of Information and Knowledge Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa 
Tanya Du Plessis, University of Johannesburg
Tanya Du Plessis is a Professor in the Department of Information and Knowledge Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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