"Validating the Branding Model of Academic Libraries"

Document Type : Research َ Article


1 PhD in Information Science and Knowledge Studies, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IranDoc), Tehran, Iran

2 IT Management Associate Professor, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IranDoc), Tehran, Iran



Purpose: One of the most valuable assets of any organization is its brand. It serves various purposes in representing the organization, its employees, and its products. Libraries, especially academic libraries, face numerous challenges in effectively representing their core values in the information age while competing with other information providers. Branding can help address these challenges. However, there is a lack of basic and applied research on branding and its internal and external requirements in libraries. Therefore, examining how academic libraries can brand themselves and review their traditional brand is necessary. In a previous research, using the Grounded Theory method, a model has been developed that identifies a set of internal and external factors for building the brand of academic libraries. The objective of this study was to validate the branding model of academic libraries within the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology (MSRT) and present the validated branding model.
Methods: The research methodology of this study was quantitative using a survey method and data was collected through questionnaires. The participants in the study included managers, deputies, librarians from central libraries, as well as faculty members from information science and knowledge studies departments in public universities affiliated with the MSRT. Since the collected data did not follow a normal distribution, a non-parametric binomial test was used to test the research hypotheses. Additionally, the validity of the research model was assessed using a second type of structural equation modeling called partial least squares (PLS), which involved two methods: measurement theory and structural theory.
Findings: The factors that influence the development of university library brands can be categorized into two dimensions: internal and external to the university. Within the university, there are internal factors such as the architecture of the library building, the availability of information resources and services, the branding efforts of librarians, marketing activities, and library management. Additionally, external factors are influenced by the parent organization of the library and the higher education system. Outside of the academic realm, non-academic factors impact the brand development of university libraries. Firstly, the level of scientific and behavioral education within the library information society is influenced by the role of other libraries in educating the new generation and the different behavioral and information-seeking tendencies of the new information society. Secondly, the state of the overall information sphere in society is affected by the national economic situation and the state of digital publishing in the country. The success of brand building for academic libraries is also measured by brand imagery, brand superiority, and the loyalty of library users toward the brand.
Conclusion: The main method used in establishing the brand of academic libraries is the identity approach. This means that the brand is closely linked to the library's identity. The brand image is also influenced by the users' experience of using the library, and the library and its staff play a central role in developing the brand and its equity. Additionally, there are indications of an economic approach (due to the significance of applying marketing strategies) and a consumer-based approach (due to the crucial role of stakeholders in brand development).


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