Public libraries and digital natives: The situation in Turkey
Akın Gürdal, Seda
Biçen Aras, Bahar
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Digital natives are the generation of people who are born into and raised in digital technology, accept digital instruments as a part of their lives, see technology as an ordinary part of their everyday lives, and create a unique lifestyle shaped by digital media. These people differ from individuals of former generations with their unique characteristics. Especially while learning, they exhibit different attitudes, perceptions and behaviors from individuals of former generations in processes such as searching, accessing, using, sharing information, etc. Due to these differences, it is inevitable for education and culture institutions to develop new methods, services and applications intended for digital natives. One of these educational institutions is the public libraries. Today, it is essential to take into consideration the changing needs and expectations of digital natives, who are the most important users of public libraries’ services and applications. In this study, with which efficacy of digital native-oriented services and policies that public libraries in Turkey have developed have been questioned, it has been aimed to determine the perceptions, thoughts and expectations of the librarians, administrators and clerks working in the public libraries regarding the services and applications provided to digital natives in the libraries they work. Within this framework, a questionnaire has been executed covering 399 participants selected randomly from administrators, librarians and clerks working in public libraries in Turkey. The data obtained from the questionnaire have been analyzed on SPSS 24.00. From the data being analyzed, the conclusion drawn is that a great majority of the participants have negative perceptions regarding the services and applications provided to the digital natives. Within the context of the results gained from the study, some suggestions regarding the public libraries in Turkey have been developed.