Uses and Gratifications of the Internet and Library Information Resources: An Integrated Model Proposal
This study sought to argue the assumptions of the uses and gratifications theory (UGT) in information media selection and use among iGenerations undergraduate students. One of the propositions of UGT is that audiences consciously interact with media with the determination to satisfy a number of information needs. Taking into perspective of the library and the Internet as information media, the limitations of UGT in illustrating the gratifications sought and gratifications obtained in the use of the Internet as well as the library as information media is highlighted. Empirical data were collected from undergraduate students who were mainly iGenerations at two universities in South Africa. Two media were evaluated: The Internet and the library. Although the Internet was the preferred media by the majority of the respondents, the purpose why undergraduate students predominantly use the Internet is not in sync with their primary information needs as students. Also, the Internet was not revealed to be an alternative media to the library although the library sometimes failed in meeting the information needs of users. The study concluded that the assumption that users seek out other media when gratifications obtained from media use does not equate gratifications sought, is not always correct. An integrated model for information media use supplemented by the expectation confirmation theory was therefore conceptualised to justify the preference in information media by iGeneration undergraduate students.
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