Investigating user continuance intention toward library self-service technology. The case of self-issue and return systems in the public context

Published date16 September 2019
Date16 September 2019
AuthorChorng-Guang Wu,Pei-Yin Wu
Subject MatterLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library technology,Information behaviour & retrieval,Information user studies,Metadata,Information & knowledge management,Information & communications technology,Internet
Investigating user continuance
intention toward library
self-service technology
The case of self-issue and return systems
in the public context
Chorng-Guang Wu
Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, and
Pei-Yin Wu
Costco Wholesale Corp, Taipei, Taiwan
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to apply expectation-confirmation theory (ECT) and the unified
theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) to identify potential determinants of library patrons
intention to continue using (continuance) self-issue and return systems for borrowing and returning books.
The role of continuance is specifically interesting and is well-established in the literature of information
systems (ISs) and marketing because continuance is considered to be the central element for the survival of
ISs and of self-service technology (SST). However, the role of continuance has been neglected by researchers
studying library SST adoption.
Design/methodology/approach A research model integrating the expectation-confirmation model of IS
continuance with UTAUT was developed and empirically validated using data obtained from a field survey
involving 128 active users of a self-issue and return system at a public library in Taiwan.
Findings Library patronscontinuance intention was affected by their post-adoption expectation of
perceived performance, effort performance and facilitating conditions as well as their satisfaction when using
self-issue and return systems. Moreover, a patron satisfaction level was influenced by performance
expectancy and confirmation of initial expectations, whereas confirmation had a positive effect on all
post-adoption expectations.
Originality/value This study broadens perspectives on SST adoption behavior in the library context by
identifying some factors that influence library patronscontinuance decisions. Furthermore, the authors
verified the applicability and predictability of the theoretical integration of ECT with UTAUT in a diverse
setting because the authors sought survey participants outside of the college population.
Keywords Continuance intention, Self-service technology, Expectation-confirmation model,
Expectation-confirmation theory, Library self-issue and return system,
Unified theory of acceptance and usage of technology
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
In recent decades, self-service technologies (SSTs) have profoundly transformed the way
services are delivered. Several studies have indicated that the implementation of SSTs for
service encounters has offered service providers a variety of benefits such as streamlining
transaction processes, extending business hours, reducing operation costs, maintaining
service consistency and utilizing customer resources to generate services (Dabholkar, 1996;
Berry, 1999; Meuter et al., 2005). When a high number of service providers apply SSTs for
realizing the aforementioned benefits, the library sector collectively transitions from face-to-
face encounters to automated self-service approaches, thus enabling patrons to borrow and
return library materials without interpersonal contact with the library staff. Library Hi Tech
Vol. 37 No. 3, 2019
pp. 401-417
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/LHT-02-2018-0025
Received 3 December 2017
Revised 25 February 2018
17 September 2018
Accepted 25 September 2018
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
This work was partially funded by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan
(Grant No. NSC102-2632-H-155-001-MY3).
One of the well-known SSTs incorporated in a library setting focuses on self-issue and
return systems that enable users to circulate books and other materials through a
computerized machine without library staff involvement. Stafford (1997) and Morris et al.
(2001) suggested that the self-issue and return systems assist libraries in addressing
problems such as long waiting lines at issue desks, extended service hours, wastage of staff
resources and work-related strain injuries among staff. Thus, an increasing number of
libraries are deploying such systems. As the deployment of self-issue and return systems is
gaining momentum, research that fosters a clearer understanding of library users
perceptions concerning the systems is of high priority. Specifically, understanding what
affects a library patrons use of self-issue and return systems could potentially provide
significant managerial implications for library service operations.
Through the years, several empirical studies have identified various behavioral factors
that influenceSST acceptance in libraries (e.g.Chang and Chang, 2009; Hsiao and Tang,2015).
Although these studies have provided an optimal start by explaining why library patrons
accept and use SSTs,they may be insufficient in providing a more completepicture of library
patronsperceptions toward self-service facilities. Technology adoption research suggests
that the acceptance of an information system (IS) is vital for the success of the system;
however, the systems sustainability d epends on its continu ed use (Bhattacher jee, 2001).
Acceptance and continued use (continuance) of a technology are two different phases
temporally and conceptually. From Bhattacherjees viewpoint, a users perce ption of an IS
concerning the actual use of the system may vary overtime, which, in turn, affects the users
post-acceptance behavior and continuance decision. Therefore, the authors argued that as
library patrons obtain first-hand experience of using an SST; their perceptions of the
technology would likely vary and could consequently lead to continuance or discontinuance
behaviors. Extant research has not substantially added to the authorsunderstanding of
library patronsperceptions regarding the continuance of SSTs. Therefore, this research
endeavors to fill the gap by identifying potential influential factors of library patrons
continuanceintention toward self-issueand return systems. The objectiveis to enable libraries
to not only advance their knowledge concerning the process of boosting the usage of SSTs
among existing users and facilitating user acceptance but also formulate an SST strategy
aimed at effectively managing library resources.
Previous research on SST adoption in the library context (e.g. Hsiao and Tang, 2015;
Suki, 2016) mainly applied the technology acceptance model (TAM) and attitudinal
theories such as the theory of planned behavior (TPB), theory of reasoned action (TRA)
and social cognitive theory (SCT). However, to investigate library patronscontinuance
behavior, the authors proposed a conceptual model combining the unified theory of
acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) with the expectation-confirmation theory
(ECT) of the IS continuance model. UTAUT was chosen because it demonstrates a very
strong explanatory power on an individual intention to accept an information technology
(IT) (Venkatesh et al.,2003),whereasthelatterwasselectedbecauseitissuitablefor
explaining and predicting a persons behavior related to continued IS usage
(Bhattacherjee, 2001).
Venkatesh et al.s (2011) study demonstrates that integrating ECT with UTAUT is useful
for understanding userstechnology acceptance and continuance. The proposed research
model in the present study used four major predictors of UTAUT (i.e. performance
expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence and facilitating conditions) as well
as satisfaction and confirmation constructs from ECT to explain continuance intention.
The authors tested the model by conducting a field survey of active users of a self-issue and
return system at a public library in Taiwan.
The present study contributes to the literature on self-issue and return systems as
follows. First, because scant research has focused on identifying the salient determinants of

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