Impact of ICT on Social Science faculty members' information usage pattern at Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan.

Author:Bhatti, Rubina


The present era is the age of "Information and Communication Technology" which has revolutionized the whole world that is why the whole world has converted into a global village. The growing role of information has made information indispensable in all the fields of research. It has a significance importance for scholars and researchers who are totally dependent on current information. It is rather the first step to promote the area of research. Internet has affected the nature of information behavior in all segments of the society. No one can deny the importance of information in the society (Fidel, 1999).

Information Technology has changed the whole world into a global village that is why it is said that today's man is living in information society. Information has much importance in educational field. The present scholars and researchers cannot survive without update information. It is considered that air water, food and shelter are the basic needs of man, so Kemp (1976) also measured that information is the fifth basic need of a man. Professionals cannot provide better services without latest information.

Information seeking behavior basically refers to the searching and utilization of information by an individual (Khan, 2010). The nature of information seeking behavior differs from group to group and person to person in the society or in an environment. Information need is an individual concept. It is necessary to search new information when scholars and researchers feel the importance of new information and think that the old ideas are outdated (Kemp, 1976, p.1-25).

It is very essential for the professional staff of the library to know the users' demands and way of seeking information. The successful function of libraries depends upon the right choice of library collection. The collection should meet the overall (education and research) requirements of the library users. Librarians and library staff should be aware of how faculty members seek information and concerned materials. Knowledge of faculty members' information seeking behavior is crucial for improving the services of the library. If the library staff knows the faculty members' seeking behavior, they can provide the effective services to the users (Bhatti, 2009).

If the professional staffs are aware of the users' way of seeking behavior, they can provide better facilities to their users. They can guide users in the use of OPAC, search engine, e-mail, databases and famous websites available through the various networks. So the library should provide the maximum ICT facilities to their users. The professional staff must be given ICT facilities such as internet, laser printer, scanners, fax machine, telephone and modern methods of searching information (Patitungkho, 2005).

It is also very necessary for the library staff to keep pace with the change of technology. As the technology changes the sources of information are also changed. New sources and channels particularly the world wide websites have brought new challenges and issues. The retrieval of right kind of information is the main philosophy of librarianship. In these entire situations, the libraries should provide the related and current materials according to the users' requirements (Yousefi, 2007).

Objectives of the Study

The basic purpose of the research is to explore the impact of ICT and to obtain information related to purposes, search engines, database being used by the faculty members of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan. It also aimed to make suggestions for the improvement of the departmental library services attached to the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Literature Review

Lokman and Stephanie (2001) studied "The information Seeking Behavior and use of Social Sciences Faculty Members." Results of the study show that members of the Social Sciences faculty use the World Wide Web and electronic mail for locating particular government information. They also use traditional methods for searching information. Lack of knowledge about information services and sources was due to lack of information about library collection and service.

Borgman, and Smart (2005) indicated that the faculty members represent a wide range of research interest. However there is a prominent difference in information seeking behavior between physical and human geographers. The study concludes and suggests that digital libraries promote the undergraduates education and help to access the primary as well as secondary sources of information.

Hemming (2008) investigated "The Information Seeking Behavior of visual artists." It is a literature review based research article. The results of the study show that there are many differences between the seeking behavior of the visual artists and the other users of the community. It indicated that it is a particular community who has different approach from others. Mostly the respondents liked to use visual resources more than textual ones and they prefer to go to home rather than libraries. It also shows that they visit the library only for specific purpose.

Bhatti, Asghar, Mukhtar and Chohan (2011) surveyed Internet use by Social Scientists at the Bahauddin Zakaryia University, Multan, Pakistan. The findings of the study revealed that internet in the academic institutions have changed the methods of searching and retrieval of information. Social scientists not only use printed materials but also e-resources. The results of the study show that if the internet connectivity is...

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