Information Needs And Information Seeking Behaviour Of Children In Public Libraries (The Case Study Of Imo State Library Board, Owerri)

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Information Needs And Information Seeking Behaviour Of Children In Public Libraries (The Case Study Of Imo State Library Board, Owerri)


Abstract


Information needs and information seeking pattern of public library users are varied on account of their different requirements which might be due to the various demographic, social, cultural and economic factors. Identifying information needs is the first step towards satisfying the needs of library users. An information seeking process involves a number of further steps, including: identifying information sources, consulting the sources and accessing information. Information needs and information seeking behavior is a kind of communication behavior, which surely be influenced by many factors. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Imo State public Library Board Owerri. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up librarians, full stack wed developers, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

The researcher would want to begin this work with a survey of the importance of information in daily living. Since the down of history, man had generally requires information for his day to living information is required in decision and in other aspects of life. To function and be relevant, every society needs information. According to bent and melacklam, information is the life-blood of modern organization. Owing to the pervasiveness of information in the life of organization some writers have tried to analysis organizational function in term of receiving, recording, arranging and giving information. At the top management levels, it is vital in planning and strategies decision making. Hence information is said to be data of value in decision making. It is critical resources that enable an organization to function and flourish. It is first among the other corporate resources because decisions relating to others depend on it. But the collection processing and dissemination of information are not trouble free. This is basically due to the nature of information. Information is indispensable to all processes and is essential to natural development. It is both a national and international resource for social political, religious, economic, cultural as well as technological development. Information is important as the three basic necessities of life which are water, food and shelter and so should be given enough priority in order to achieve what is meant for. It is significant to note that information is useless unless it is used however, before information can be made use of, it has to be provided and the user of it has to be aware of it. In other words, the use of information depends on its availability and accessibility to users.

Information Defined

Information is the act of informing or the condition of being informed or the communication of knowledge. The American library association glossary of library and information science (ALA) define information as all ideas, great and imaginative works of mind which have been communicated, recorded, published and distributed formally or in formally in any format. The new webster’s dictionary defines information as, the communication of news, knowledge obtained by search, study etc. it can also be considered as knowledge communicated concerning some particular facts, subjects or events. Information reduces uncertainty and adds to human knowledge. Information can be in two forms. Those that are pointers to other information and their sources which it provides substantive information which is information itself. Information is regarded as resources for use, and its generation and use for efficiency and effectiveness is a very demanding and stressful task because any information that lies not organized for future use may be wasted. Also, the relevance attached to information makes people to seek it in diverse ways and for diverse needs. (hanson 1978) writes: information is normally intended for use rather than interest. It is sought by their final users for particular purpose in particular circumstances. It is of maximum potential use to person who wants it when it meets his need not only in terms of general, subjects too. Needs can be seen as a requirement from subsistence or for carrying out some function or activities. Thus, information needs refer to information demands, requirements, wants or de sires for some general and specific purpose. Kadiri describes need in relation to information as: a state of lack of desirable requisition or commodity i.e. information necessary to deal with a situation as an individual deems fit.

Information And Children

Information needs and information seeking behaviour of children is defined as the provision of desirable, up to data factual knowledge to the children at the appropriate time to enhance their welfare and ways or patterns pursued by them in an attempt to resolve an information need or needs. Access to information is one of the human rights and each user of it should be able to get the right information he desires at the right time and place in the way he needs it. Information as a valuable commodity can be got from the library among other places and it is necessary that librarians satisfy user’s needs. In public libraries, the notion of book acquisition or children literature is important. Of greater value is how the books and other materials are presented to children from effective use. As a result, there is need for public libraries to meet with the information needs nd information seeking behaviour of children. This would not only enhance performance of the children, use of libraries but would go an long way in improving the services [rendered to children in public libraries. In addition, it would make for easy storage, processing, retrieval of information, dissemination and use. As information literacy becomes vital to functioning effectively in todays would, the public library has a responsibility in ensuring that the specific information and reference needs of children are adequately addressed.

Children as reference client require skilled and considered assistance to locate information relevant to both their perceived and real needs. The public libraries meet those needs through the children section of the public library. A children section is an important resource to which children have easy access to information and utilization. It provides information in various formats. The children section provides pre-school programmes, storytelling, reading competitive, riddles and joke among others. The library facilities education of children. It also performs vital function such as informational, educational, cultural and recreational services. Public libraries can play a major role in fostering in children the desire for education and helping them develop the skills for obtaining the kind of ever changing knowledge necessary to survive and prosper. Children by all means need information knowledge sake, self development, skill acquisition and to carry out a given assignment.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

In strict pursuance of the objectives for which public libraries are established children with different information needs and various seeking have continued to flood the libraries looking for ways to achieve their pressing information needs. In doing this, children make a mess of the acquired materials and as a result material in the library are not properly organized. To properly store, organize and process knowledge that is children literature should be paramount in the minds of library staff in public libraries. This becomes fruitless if the children are not conversant with the information relating to the use of public libraries, how to satisfy their information needs. Children get disappointed for not getting what desired, their needs not met and their information seeking behaviour not identified. This study intends to investigate the children specific information needs, ways by which the children needs are met, the kind of materials consulted by children and reaction of the children when their needs are met and when their needs are not met. So, on the strength of the above, the following research questions are formulated; a. what are the children specific information needs b. How are the children needs met? c. What are the types of materials used by children? d. How do the children go about obtaining information they need? e. What are the children reactions when their needs are met and not met? f. What problems do children encounter in obtaining the information they need?


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The objective of this study includes;

  1. Identifying the information needs of children
  2. Finding out the ways in which children needs are met.
  3. Identify source of information available to children.
  4. Knowing the ways or patterns in which children seek information relating to their needs.
  5. To determine problem encountered by children and also that of the libraries in disseminating information to children.
  6. To attempt to provide recommendation and suggestion for procuring information for children

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: There is no documented patterns in which children seeking information relating to their needs can be achieved
    H1: There is a documented patterns in which children seeking information relating to their needs can be achieved
  2. H0: There are no problems encountered by children and also that of the libraries in disseminating information to children
    H2: There are problems encountered by children and also that of the libraries in disseminating information to children

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study is meant to extend the frontiers of human knowledge and solve most of the problems encountered in public libraries when dealing with children information needs and information seeking behaviour. It would also be of great significance to staff of public and school/children libraries. Also to be director. Of public libraries as it would support plans for library development and input to improving services rendered to children. This study would serve as literature/reference material, for researchers in future and input to the literature available in this area of study


1.6 Scope And Limitation Of The Study

The scope of the study covers information needs and information seeking behavior of children in public libraries. Considering the time factor and financial constraints, the scope of this research is limited to information needs and information seeking behaviour of children in public libraries. There is no limitation as to the source of information used for this study, books, no-book material, journals, discussions public national, special libraries and information centers will fruitful utilized. The study has particular reference to Imo state public library board Owerri.


1.7 Definition Of Terms

Information

The online dictionary of library and information science defined information as data presented in readily comprehensible form to which meaning has been attributed within the context of its use information knowledge.

Information Needs

In 1967 information need was defined as an expression of the deficit of concrete information by an individual (collective or territorial) user solving a certain scientific or technical problem; it is said to be a necessity to acquire information about (or from) the serenity environment. Or any information a user ought to have whether the need is felt or not.

Information Seeking Behaviour

This is defined as patterns or paths pursued by an individual seeker or group of information seeker to solve or resolve an information need. Also Wilson (1999) defines it as those activities a person may engage in when identifying their own needs for information, searching for such information in any way, and using or transferring that information.

Children

Children are taken to be young people within the age bracket of 0-12 0r 13 years. The term children are refers to the plural of the noun child.

Public Libraries

Elizebeth Thomson (1971) defined the public library as an institution that exists to serve all resident of a commodity district or region and receive its financial support in a whole or part from public fund. It is also a place where children enjoy themselves in storytelling.


1.8 Organization Of The Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.

Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.

Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.

Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.

Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain information needs and information seeking behavior of children in public libraries

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of information needs and information seeking behavior of children in public libraries


5.2 Summary

This study was on information needs and information seeking behavior of children in public libraries. Four objectives were raised which included: Identifying the information needs of children, finding out the ways in which children needs are met, identify source of information available to children, Knowing the ways or patterns in which children seek information relating to their needs, to determine problem encountered by children and also that of the libraries in disseminating information to children, to attempt to provide recommendation and suggestion for procuring information for children. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Imo State public Library Board Owerri. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up librarians,full stack wed developers,senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.


5.3 Conclusion

The study reveals that the improvement of information services in rural environment it is necessary to make rural public libraries in every village and make the rural people aware about the need and importance of the public libraries. The library gives more information to rural community and its help to development of rural area. So the government should take steps to growth of library in undeveloped area. The rapid developments in Public library have helped different sectors by providing right information to the right reader at the right time. For example, it will help children to create reading habit, unemployed youths to get better jobs and farmers to improve agricultural production. Libraries of all countries are functioning for social development by extending these activities and services, sharing books, extension lectures on various topics such as child labor, epidemic diseases, reading habits and environmental protection.


5.4 Recommendation

  1. Library extension services such as Lecture Programs, Seminar/ Workshop programs should be organized regularly by the rural public libraries with proper emphasis to promote library services and its importance to the people.
  2. Public Libraries should arrange classes for illiterate people under National Literacy Mission.
  3. Rural Public Libraries should conduct social events like, New Year’s party, general knowledge quiz contest etc. Public Library should organized periodic Orientation Programme for library users to make them aware about the collection and services available in the public libraries.

Information Needs And Information Seeking Behaviour Of Children In Public Libraries (The Case Study Of Imo State Library Board, Owerri)


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