A Study on Information Needs and Information Seeking Pattern of Public Library Users of Barak Valley, South Assam
Sinha, Manoj Kumar( 2015).A Study on Information Needs and Information Seeking Pattern of Public Library Users of Barak Valley, South Assam. IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) 20 (8) Ver. V (Aug. 2015), PP 13-36, e-ISSN: 2279-0837, p-ISSN: 2279-0845.
24 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2015 Last revised: 31 Dec 2015
Date Written: August 20, 2015
Purposes of Study: Information needs and information seeking pattern of rural 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.
Objectives and Samples of the Study: This study has been carried out on public library users in order to know the basic information needs and status of information seeking pattern of public library users of Barak Valley, South Assam which comprises of varieties of public library users viz. students, teachers, farmers, business class people, women and elderly people, etc. The respondents of the present study are mainly drawn from the rural areas of three districts of Barak Valley where the majority of the people are comparatively having lower level of educational background and they are generally less educated.
Methodology and Research Design: For that purpose, survey method has been adopted by the investigators using mainly schedule which is supplemented by observation and interviews in some cases. The self-designed schedule comprising of 22 questions has been distributed amongst the randomly selected samples. The schedules were distributed amongst the 300 samples, out of which 215 respondents have responded. During data analysis, it has been found that only 139 users are valid respondents and participated mainly in the survey. So the major part of study reveals result of 139 respondents. The filled up schedules were collected from the respondents for data analysis and interpretations. On the basis of filled up schedule the data has been analysed and tabulated using MS-Excel Software. For data analysis percentage technique has been adopted.
Important Findings and Discussion: The survey finding reveals that majority of the respondents (47.0%) belongs to the age group of 16-25 years. The study shows that the awareness about the rural/public library was more among the respondents and the highest numbers (34.53%) of the respondents visit public library once a week. It also highlights that most of the respondents (40.29%) prefer to spend at least one hour in the rural public library. The study also reveals the fact that the maximum demand for information from the respondents (88.44%) were from employment related information. The Television channels (100.0%) and Newspapers (98.56%) are two important sources from where the majority of public library users (67.44%) get their desired information needs. Majority of the respondents (86.33%) say that the information given by various sources are moderate. The study reveals that the majority of the respondents (82.73%) are very much satisfied with the information which are provided by the rural/public libraries available in their locality; and a substantial number of respondents (64.74%) do not face any difficulties to access right information whereas very few respondents (32.25%) are getting problems to access right information.
Conclusion, Suggestions and Recommendations: The present study has clearly indicated that, regarding the improvement of information services in rural environment it is necessary to make rural public library in every rural villages and make the rural people aware about the need and importance of the rural public library. Now a day’s libraries play an important role in teaching-learning, making people informed citizens and make people aware about the various developmental schemes being run by the States and Central Governments. The library gives more information to rural community and help in development of rural areas. So, the Assam Government should take steps for the proper growth and development of Rural Public Libraries located in under developed areas of Barak Valley, South Assam in particular and rest of Assam in general for the overall development of the state. It would not be out of place to mention that, Library Legislation has not been enacted in Assam. Therefore an effort should be taken from the Govt. of Assam for the overall development of public libraries in Assam state especially in underdeveloped areas for creating more jobs and extending more library services to the society. Reliability and Validity: This was the first attempt to study the status of rural public libraries and to assess the information needs and information seeking patterns of the respondents. The validity and reliability of data depend on the responses received from the respondents. As far as the present study is concerned, it is original and carried out on the basis of random sampling method for determining the sample and before going for actual study, pilot study was conducted to see the validity and reliability of tools employed for data collection.
Keywords: Information Needs, Information Seeking Pattern, Public Library, Rural Library, Barak Valley, South Assam, North East India
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