Berikut adalah essay saya tentang aspek komunikasi dari performa digital library dengan penggunanya. Mengapa saya menekankan pada aspek komunikasi lebih khusus lagi mengapa developer dari digital library perlu mengetahui siapa kah penggunanya dan bagaimana berkomunikasi dengan mereka adalah karena pada saat ini dan kedepannya perkembangan dari digital library ataupun perpustakaan secara umum sebagaimana yang diungkapkan Pomerantz (2007) lebih banyak ditentukan oleh keinginan pengguna. Pengaruh social software, trans-API, dan interkoneksi yang semakin cepat (the grid) adalah faktor-faktor yang akan menjadi dominan selain makin tingginya kebutuhan akan ruang (space) bagi manusia. Essay ini adalah preliminary study dari teori komunikasi nya secara keseluruhan tetapi di essay ini saya sudah mengajukan dua model yang bisa menjadi rujukan di dalam diskusi computer-mediated communication kedepannya, enjoy!
Ideology in practice always forms rationalizations in human activity including from human interaction with every day technologies. Habermas (1984) called that practice as a rationally motivated binding. This rationality encourages me to take deeper understanding how human mingled themselves with rapidness impact of technology. My interest in human-computer interaction and digital media met their eyes with my study about human resource management in digital library especially when it evolves how digital library as an institution interact, or in wider sense, communicate with their user. It is interesting indeed to quest such curiosity since arrays of web technologies are growing fast and digital library nonetheless taking place as an entity in this stream. Users for digital library must be seen as integral part of institution performance. They are inevitable (Podnar, 2006) as like customers to trading company, tourists for travel agency. Hence, users are no different with other stakeholders; as Freeman (in Ylaranta, 1999) emphasized that without support from stakeholder, an organization would cease to exist.
Internet changing communication between stakeholders (Van der Merwe, 2005) and advances of web technology such as library 2.0 have affects the way library interact with their users (Curran, 2007). In my perspective, the way digital library interacting with their user emerge new conception of how library communicate to their stakeholders in which users is part of them depsite binary of internal and external. This involveness not only put boundary in align between digital library and traditional ones but also have distinguish perfomance of organisational communication in each institution. One among other interesting part in this new concept is it counts mental model of user as factor that affects user behavior thus being projected into their series of action through digital library web interface. Sherman (in Riva, 2001) have discussed models such Reduced Social Cues and Hyperpersonal Communication as nature of computer-mediated communication and factors in cyberpsychology. He pinnings that those models enable researcher to define more accurate and complete personalities and characters of CMC users nevertheless defining who the users are.
Indeed there are many things can be discuss and follows in this matters. However, this essay aims to bring clarity only to a small gap in between communication of digital library and its user as stakeholder and try to propose models that appears from the process thus some constraints need to be pins. First, this essay only focuses the discussion on communication aspect of digital library with its users although it also comparing the process with traditional library communication performance. Second, it presumes that policies and programs considerably align same process within each institution. Third, this essay does not attempt to take more deeply into negotiation of meaning and technical consideration which occurs within interface interaction.
For terminologies, I took definition of communication from Cannon (1980) as he defined communication in the context of system as “Transfer of meaningful information from one location (the sender, source, originator, or transmitter) to a second location (the destination or receiver).” Since this essay also counts mental model, I used Doyle and Ford ( in Westbrook, 2006) proposition as “a mental model of a dynamic system is a relatively enduring and accessible, but limited, internal conceptual representation of an external system whose structure maintains the perceived structure of that system,” Other limitations that must be consider are I did not attempt to relates the models that I proposed with implications of hybrid library even though that must be really interesting to bear with. Other thing is this essay required reader understanding of whether communication system or at least whether communication is. This essay is not for beginners.
A Model of Interaction
In Exhibit 1. I proposed characteristics of communication process between library and its user, which based on two things, first, my experienced dealing with both digital and traditional library performance such as searching, browsing, and retrieving, cataloging, and borrowing books. Second ones, I took Pomerantz (2007) conception of seeing digital library as place therefore affects how users as stakeholder accessing the library. In digital library, I found user communication characteristics are;
· Low Presence: user only ‘in touch’ with screen despite interactivity the website might offer.
· Mediated: electronic media as the communication channel plays its role to succeed message from user. There always ‘in between’ and ‘relays’ situation and lack of nonverbal communication.
· Action-Perception-Action: user apt to behave according to perception they gained. They are not react instead they create new action.
· Screen/website: boundary between user and library performance is the user’s screen and digital library website.
Further in comparison with traditional library, I found user communication characteristics are;
· High Presence: user feels the tangibility of library.
· Face-to-face/Direct: communication practices between librarian and the user being enrich with nonverbal capabilities such to express user emotion directly.
· Action-Reaction: more short causality since it has less medium and what user being follows are based on library action.
· Desk: boundary between user and library performance is the front line desk.
From that comparison we could see the line between user and library institution are screen or web interface in digital library and front desk in traditional library. Either institution is emphasis on narrow action of user as tip of iceberg of entire user behavior and characteristics. Particularly in digital library process, model of interaction showed that relation of action and perception of user emerge within user mind therefore it create singular process of communication between user and web interface. That singular conception opens the opportunity to be drawn the process into a model of communication.
A Model of Communication
I develop my conception from Grunig (1992) theory of two-way symmetrical communication among public relation and company stakeholders also Morsing (2006) findings on stakeholder involvement strategy, which proposed the role of sensegiving and sensemaking between company and its stakeholders communication process. They emphasized stakeholder involveness hence build pro-active relations with corporate programs nevertheless also build equal roles in communication between them. Thus, I finally drawn the communication process between digital library and its user as stakeholder in Exhibit 2. I proposes that communication process between user and web interface of digital library whom the user being their stakeholder consist of three interdependendently area, their part and action are;
1. The user-web interface side:
- In the context of interaction between user and web interface in digital library, user shares their action to limited options of act that the website offered. For instance, when user search or browse from the digital library website, found the information and retrieved it, what user really done was determined by the series of choices whatsoever that the digital library developers has been designed. Even for digital library that have been implemented the concept of web 2.0 such as library blogs, instead of change it, when user give a comment about a digital library policy in that blogs, the user only eligible to give comment about the issue that blogs had.
- From the web interface, user perceived and gain perceptions of the digital library, this perceptibility build the concept of digital library whom the user interact with. The concept been abstracted into mental model refers to the interaction of user with digital library web interface, nevertheless digital library as a whole.
- The mental model being projects into user behavior outside user interaction with digital library interface such as promoting the digital library to his/her friends.
- When the user using the digital library web interface again, the projected behavior will be narrows again to limited of action, so on and so forth.
2. The web interface and server side:
- Users’ action that’s being recorded as data signal hence being encode and decode in developers server.
- The possibility for noise disruption will emerge in this area as technical problems.
3. The digital library institution-web interface side:
- Every data that have been collected from the digital library server is use as digital library developers input of information.
- This input subsequently taking part in internal management process and can be use as database for policy decision. In this point, users’ action became feedback for developer side.
- Developer or digital library as institution derives the feedback to become a new or updating policy to the public which are the users.
- New policy is being codified through documentation and/or converted process therefore it fits the developers’ server protocol and eligibly to publish in digital library web interface, so on and so forth.
The model of interaction and communication between digital library and user as their stakeholder has showed us that there are possibilities to involve user in development of digital library. Web interface is the edge of digital library performance therefore having a better understanding how to develop the web interface will enable digital library institution to perform better service and quality in the future. Though the theoretical and conceptual basis’ for this matter is in developing process since evolves interdisciplinary from other field of science nevertheless this essay can be taken as preliminary study.