Comparative analysis of students' information seeking behaviour in Adventist Universities: a survey of Babcock and Solusi.

Author:Onuoha, Uloma Doris
Position:Solusi University and Babcock University - Report


The 21st century can best be described as an era of information revolution, with the presence of information bearing materials in diverse formats. Libraries and information centres are not only equipped with materials in traditional formats but also in electronic formats offering users a vast selection. With the array of information sources available in the university library, little wonder then that the library is known as the academic heart of the university (Odiase, Unegbu, and Haliso, 2001).

Information seeking behaviour according to Wilson (2000) entails the totality of human behaviour in relation to sources and channels of information including active and passive information seeking. In the quest for information, different kinds of behaviour are manifested as students have different reasons for wanting information, different levels of search skill and preference for some types of information bearing materials. Leckie, Pettigrew & Sylvain (1996) affirm that information seeking involves personal reasons for seeking information, the kinds of information which are being sought, and the ways and sources with which needed information is being sought.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church owns a number of schools from kindergarten to tertiary level. At the tertiary level most especially, it is expected that libraries would be available to support the information needs of the user communities. While previous studies have been carried out on the information seeking behaviour of undergraduate students in government and state owned institutions, little has been done to find out the information seeking patterns of students in church owned universities. This study therefore intends to breach that gap by finding out and comparing the information seeking behaviour of undergraduates in two Seventh-day Adventist Universities.

Babcock University

Babcock University has its roots in the Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA) established on September 17, 1959 by the first Adventist missionary in Nigeria with an initial intake of seven ministerial students (Babcock University, 2009). The University is fully owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church and registered under the laws of the federal republic of Nigeria to operate as a private University. While upholding the importance of the highest academic standards, the uniqueness of Babcock University is to be found in the pursuance of the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy of education that emphasizes the harmonious development of the academic, physical, psycho-social and spiritual potential of students and faculty.

Solusi University

Solusi University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution situated west of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and near the original headquarters of Chief Soluswe from whom the University took its name. Established in 1894 (Seventh--Day Adventist Year Book, 2009). The school started as Solusi College after a small band of dedicated pioneers established a mission station on the site of the present campus. It opened on October 4, 1994, as the first private institution of higher education in the country, following the granting of the charter by the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe. It was renamed Solusi University to reflect the institution's expanded roles and academic offerings. Like every other Adventist University, Solusi University emphasizes the harmonious development of the academic, physical, psycho-social and spiritual potential of students and faculty.

Statement of the Problem

Information is a vital resources needed by students to perform well in their academic pursuit. However research and observation reveals that students sit long hours in the library in the quest for information, however, the type of information sought, the purpose of seeking information, accessibility to the required information and problems encountered during information seeking remains largely unknown. This unknown phenomenon affects the library and the user (students) in the sense that the library may not effectively meet the information needs of the students, and as such, students waste time in unfruitful search that would have been used for study. In the light of this, the present study investigates the pattern of students' information behaviour at Babcock University and Solusi University.

Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine information seeking behaviour of students' of Babcock and Solusi Universities; the specific objectives are to:

1 discover the purpose for information seeking by students;

2 determine the methods used for seeking information;

3 find out problems faced by students while seeking information;

Research Hypothesis

The following Null hypothesis are also tested.

H01.There is no significant difference in the pattern of information seeking behaviour of Babcock university students and students of Solusi University.

H02 There is no significant difference in the pattern of information seeking behaviour of students' based on their discipline.

Literature Review

Information behaviour is the totality of human behaviour in relation to sources and channels of information, including both active and passive information seeking and information use (Wilson (2000). The need for information is often understood as evolving from a vague awareness of something missing and as culminating in locating information that contributes to understanding and meaning (Kunhthau, 1993)). In...

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