The idea that women in India are best suited to being at home is gradually changing. With the changing economic environment, more and more Indian women who were confined to their household duties are taking up jobs in well-established offices and companies to ensure a definite income for them. There are others who have their own business and are engaged in other industrial activities, although the number of women in this category is comparatively low (Venkataraman, 1995, p.1).
Working women need constant updating of their knowledge to demonstrate their skills, abilities, leadership qualities, and job efficiency, as well as knowledge on their rights, responsibilities, and limitations. This can occur through continuous reading, adequate training, education, and effective library facilities to support these information needs. While the literacy rate of Karnataka state has increased to 64.04 percent since the year 2001, the male literacy rate is 76.29 percent while the female literacy rate remains at 57.45 percent, which is far below than state average (Vijayaraghavachar, S M. 2001, p.70)
Reading not only enriches the mind but sharpens the intellect of the reader. Reading is necessary for working women to develop their personality and to find solutions to problems they encounter not only on the job but also in their day to day life. A library is a service institution that can justify its existence only when it satisfies the information requirements of its users. User satisfaction is one of the basic objectives of the collection of any library. To systematically plan the organisation and development of library resources and services, as well as to assess the information needs of the users, user studies are becoming crucial and imperative. The present study, therefore, evaluates and assesses the information needs and information-seeking behaviour of working women.
Background of ACC Cements, Wadi
The Associated Cement Company (ACC) was set up in 1968 with an installed capacity of 4 Lakhs (400,000) per annum of ordinary Portland cement clinker. Subsequently the capacity was enhanced in two phases to 20 Lakh tonnes per annum. The current capacity after the commissioning of new plant is 40 Lakh tonnes per annum. The factory is situated in the south-central part of India in the state of Karnataka. It is well connected by railroad and highway. The nearest important railway junction, Wadi, is on the central railway between Solapur and Guntakal. Wadi station is about 1.0 kilometer from the plant site. The plant machineries were originally supplied by M\S. Taylor and M\S. ABL and were later renovated and upgraded over ten years (Bhatt, 1998)
It is presently one of the largest cement units in India with net assets worth Rs. 2843 crores sales amounting to Rs. 2,921 crores (units of 10 million) and annual revenues of Rs 3,322 crores. Its annual cement production capacity is 15.5 million tons. The company's enterprises are supported by a powerful in-house research and technology facility, the...