Building Relationships through a Digital Branch Library: Finding the Community in Community College Library Websites

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nora J. Bird, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: This study evaluates whether or not community college libraries have in place the characteristics necessary to develop digital branch libraries to meet the expanding and changing needs of their publics. Using Hon and Grunig’s (1999) relationship building criteria as a framework, 98 community college library websites were analyzed to determine if they can be considered digital branch libraries (King, 2009). Digital branches go beyond offering mere functionality to embody relational aspects that are critical to the success of service-based organizations. That is, they provide at least the same level of services as their brick and mortar counterparts through real staff, real collection, real building, and real community. Findings indicate that while aspects of all of King’s criteria were present, representation was inconsistent and often weak; further, the emphasis was on functional features, suggesting a need for greater relationship building practices in order to engage with their publics. Collective results are discussed, and recommendations for improvement and areas of future research are offered.

Additional Information

Community College Journal of Research and Practice
Language: English
Date: 2014
Library Science, Community College Libraries, Academic Libraries, Websites, Digital Branch, Library Services, Public Relations

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