Investigating the Delays in New York City Public Libraries Compared to Private Business Technology

Problem Definition
This essay focuses on public libraries and their consequent improvement through embracing current technology that has been largely ignored but highly implemented by rival private libraries. Public libraries are non-profit avenues patroned by members of the public or the surrounding community as a crucial source of information gained either through books, journals, articles or free online material provided therein. Vital services such as internet access, book lending, learning centers, ESL, programs and activities, community meeting and exhibition and a myriad of other services need to be improved to ensure maximum service to the public who support such government run institutions. Therefore, there is a need to install up-to-date information technology to aid in service improvement and cut down on budged reduction. This shall go a long way in catching up with their counterparts in the private sector (Mohamed & Walczyk, 2009).
Problem Statement
In retail businesses, services are always consumer-centered. To enhance the customer service, business owners (a) accelerate the check out process through self checkout machines, (b) make it possible for customers to browse the entire store searching for the needed products from home through online store catalog, (c) allow customers to create personal accounts and register as store users to be part of the store social network, and (d) search for products in the store and check prices through (RFID) Radio Frequency Identification self check. In order to accomplish this, retailers always search and implement new technologies. In public libraries, technology is also an important facet of the institution. Technology increases the accessibility of library items and resources through online cataloging, speed the check in and checkout procedures, and help keep the library open by using technology to replace the staff during budget cuts. However, regardless of the benefits of technology, public libraries usually implement technologies later than any retailer. Library services require significant investment in technology in order to provide access to knowledge collections required by today’s knowledge requirements.
While the demand for technology requires significant investment in order to stay current with technological innovations, library funding for leading edge technological support remains slow. At best, libraries are known to be fast followers (Porter, 1989). To be a fast follower means that library organizations as a whole adopt technology which is tried and true, following the use and implementation strategies of other areas of industry. Hence, the study will investigate the reasons behind the delay in implementing technologies in the public libraries of New York City. The problem is that public libraries in NYC are not able to stay current with implementation of the newest technologies to facilitate library efficiency and good customer services
Purpose Statement
The purpose of this case study is to identify the barriers that prevent libraries from implementing new technologies that can save time, money, and have a significant impact on whether libraries can survive in an increasingly difficult economy.
Significance of the Study
In the past 20 years urban public libraries have integrated new technologies (e.g., Bar-coding systems, RFID Systems, Online Catalogs, Self-Checkout Machines, and Social Networks) to increase the accessibility of library services. Additionally, technology allows the library to remain open and running at its full capacity by filling the gap left by missing library staff as a result of layoffs during a budget reduction. However, the above mentioned technologies were implemented in the private sector long before they were adopted by public libraries. This study will investigate the reasons behind the lag in implementing new technologies in public libraries, and propose an approach to speed up the implementation of new technologies in the library system.
Nature of the Study
This qualitative case study will propose a qualitative study methodology to investigate the services that need to be provided by the library to its community. How can libraries replace the human factor with new technologies to save money and time and maintain the quality of its services during budget reduction? The reasons behind the library’s delay in implementing technologies compared to private sector also are investigated. Further, the study will provide recommendations that would help library administrators remain abreast of the new technologies in the market that may help the library to advance its services with high level of customer service.
The needed data for this study will by collected through surveys with library patrons, community library managers, and librarians from different communities. The library patrons’ surveys will be developed in order to collect data regarding the patrons’ opinions on different technologies that may be used in the library and their expectations from these technologies. The librarians’ surveys will be developed to collect data regarding their experience using the existing technologies in libraries. The community libraries managers’ surveys will be developed to collect data regarding the effects of using new technologies on themselves and on the library staff from the management and leadership perspective.
Research Questions
Why are the New York City libraries late in implementing new technologies?
What is the leadership role in implementing new technologies in libraries?

Methodology
In this qualitative case study I will investigate the essential need for technology implementation in today’s industries and compare it to the public library services that might enhance by implementation. Thus, library services require significant investment in technology in order to provide access to knowledge collections required by today’s knowledge requirements. While the demand for technology requires significant investment in order to stay current with technological innovations, library funding for leading edge technological support remains slow. At best, libraries are known to be fast followers (Porter, 1989). To be a fast follower means that library organizations adopt technology which, is tried and true, following the use and implementation strategies of other areas of industry.
This qualitative case study serves to investigate the technology affects on the services that required to the community. Further, the study seeks to investigate the affects of technology implementation in libraries and answer questions such as the implications of replacing the human factor to save money. Issues of time management and maintaining the quality of library services during times of budget reduction, and the reasons behind the library’s delay in implementing technologies compared to private sector will be investigated. The study will provide recommendations that would help library administrators remain abreast of the new technologies in the market that may help the library to advance its services with high level of customer service.
Research Method:
This study will propose a qualitative study methodology to investigate the services that need to be provided by the library to its community and investigate? How libraries can replace the human factor with new technologies to save money and time and maintain the quality of its services during budget cut. Further, investigate the reasons behind the library lateness in implementing technologies compared to private sector. Further, the study will provide recommendations that would help library administrators to be abreast of the new technologies in the market that may help the library advancing its services with high level of customer service.
Data Collection
The needed data for this study will by collected through developing surveys with library patrons, community library managers, and librarians from different communities. The library patrons’ surveys will be developed to collect data regarding the patrons’ opinions regarding different technologies that may be used in the library and their expectations from these technologies. The librarians’ surveys will be developed to collect data regarding their experience using the existing technologies in libraries. The community libraries managers’ surveys will be developed to collect data regarding the effects of using new technologies on themselves and on the library staff from the management and leadership perspective.
Populations
Business leaders and decision makers have new technology implemented in their business. Decision makers, technology managers, community library managers, Librarians, and public represent different communities in New York City.
Data Analysis
Qualitative data analysis software NVivo9
Research Design
Explanation how Research Design is appropriate to the Research Method
The case study to investigate and explore the reasons behind the delay in implementing the technologies in Public Libraries in New York City compared to private businesses.
Specific population group of proposed study is identified as
Samples that represent businesses, public libraries, and public
Geographic Location of study is identified as

New York City population increased due immigration and community’s exodus due economic rescission which increased the need for using public libraries in New York City. However, because of the lack in funding public libraries, the technology implementation will expedite the services. New York City contains five boroughs served by three public library systems. New York Public library serves Manhattan, Bronx, and Staten Island through 92 libraries, Queens Public Library serves Queens Borough through 63 libraries, and Brooklyn Public library serves Brooklyn Borough through 60 libraries.
Limitations
Potential weaknesses of this study can be that the sample size is not large enough to give good cross section representation of the library patrons. Also since various demographics visit the library at different times, observation at all hours of the library would give a better representation, but may not be feasible. In addition, with the current unemployment rampant among all sectors, the survey may be biased negatively.
Delimitations
Although it would be better to run surveys in all branches of the library system to get a comprehensive view, this study will are focus in three branches only to be economical and feasible. The three locations will be selected on the basis of diverse demographics.
Summary
As technology implementation help businesses expediting customer service and reduce staffing from the financial perspective, public libraries also using the technology for the same purpose. Technology implementation becomes the final solution to keep public libraries open when public libraries face funding reduction. However, instead, technology implementation in public libraries always comes long after implementation in the private sectors. Due the economic recession, public libraries become crucial resource for free public service including job hunting, creating and polishing resumes, free internet access, GED help, homework help and ESL classes, etc. This qualitative study is to investigate the reasons resides behind the delay in technology implementation in public libraries. Further, the study will explore the effects on library services as a conclusion of technology implementation.

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