Professional Development in an Age of Social Media: A Survey of Librarians in Federal Universities in South-West, Nigeria
Advancement in technology has opened up avenues for professional development through the use of social
media. This study investigates the specific areas to which the use of social media has profited librarians in
their quest for professional development and the challenges associated with its use. Survey design was used
for the study. The population was made up of 98 librarians in five federal universities libraries in South-
West, Nigeria. Sampling was enumerative. A questionnaire was used for data collection. Data collected
were analyzed using frequency counts and percentage. Findings revealed that access to professional
colleagues; skill improvement and the acquisition of new knowledge were the areas of professional needs
met mostly with the use of social media. Although social media was found useful in meeting the research
needs of librarians, the frequency rating was rather low. Challenges faced in the use of social media were
found to include slow internet speed, power failure, lack of confidentiality in social space and lack of time.
Based on the findings, the study concluded that social media is a necessary tool for professional
development and therefore, recommends that librarians study the special attributes of each social media
application in order to identify the right applications to aid research. On the challenges faced in the use of
social media, it is recommended that librarians strategically plan their time and set specific goals for using
social media. This would make them focused and able to achieve more within a short space of time.
Key Words: Librarians, Professional Development, Social Media, Technological Advancement.