Library resources, services and information seeking behaviour in changing ICT environment: a literature review.

Author:Kadli, Jayadev H.

    The review of relevant literature is nearly always a standard chapter of a thesis or dissertation. The review forms an important chapter in a thesis where its purpose is to provide the background to and justification for the research undertaken. It is not a chronological catalog of all of the sources, but an evaluation, integrating the previous research together, and also explaining how it integrates into the proposed research program.

    Literature reviews help us to see the full picture and uncovering new evidence on relevant topic. It encourages objective thinking, and systematic approach to the research undertaken. A good literature review requires the ability to conduct exhaustive bibliographic searches, ability to organise the collected data meaningfully, describe, critique and relate each source to the subject, and present the organised review logically, and lastly also very important, to correctly cite all sources mentioned.


    Many students are instructed, as part of their research program, to perform a literature review, Most are aware that it is a process of gathering information from various sources and documenting it. A literature review is a critical and in depth evaluation of previous research. It is a summary and synopsis of a particular area of research, allowing anybody reading the paper to establish why you are pursuing this particular research program.

    There are many reasons why we conduct a literature review. Few are as follows:

    * To ensure thorough understanding of the topic

    * To identify potential areas for research

    * To identify similar work done within the area

    * Identifying knowledge gaps that demand further investigation

    * To compare previous findings

    * To evaluate existing findings and suggest further studies.

    * To demonstrate that you can access previous work in an area

    * To identify information and ideas that may be relevant to your project

    * To identify methods that could be relevant to your project


    It is important to note that certain disciplines will have a different approach to literature reviews. The university department may have particular preferences so one should always make sure that you have consulted your research guide / supervisor before you start work.

    * Science and engineering have fairly rigid conventions for reporting on research. They can have a specific structure e.g. "introduction", "background" followed by "methodology" "results" and "discussion". This is known as an explicit literature review.

    * Social science literature reviews often follow a similar pattern to science and engineering literature reviews although some social sciences e.g. anthropology may have a less explicit approach.

    * Political science literature reviews may have to include a section which establishes basic premises and has definitions of certain terms and models.

    * Literary and historical literature reviews do not have a single convention. In contemporary literary studies an "explicit" chapter may not be needed. The researcher may be taking a new theoretical approach to material which has already been studied before.


    This review of literature section is segmented in to four different concepts namely,

  5. Changing Information Environment;

  6. Library Resources and Services in ICT Environment;

  7. Information Seeking Behaviour (ISB);

  8. Models of Information Seeking Behaviour.

    4.1 Changing Information Environment

    Electronic networks and different information formats are changing information access operations worldwide. Morrison and Stein (1999) discuss the role of the Universities and Colleges in preparing students to handle the rapidly expanding range of information formats. Information and knowledge are the high-value tools of the present age. The rise of the Internet has led to 'free information services'. Lennon (1999) looks at how 'free' information really is and whether we can continue to expect high-quality information to be available without cost using the Internet. Explaining what hybrid library is Garrod (1999) explains that the academic libraries and library staff need to adapt swiftly to the new learning environment. Similar view is expressed by Logue and Preece (1999).

    There have been several articles which have tried to predict the way information age will evolve. In one such attempt, Scammell (2000) looks about the future of information. The changing information format and the access mode is the crux of the issue in this information age. Similar thoughts about the innovations and the future of information management are expressed by Kunneke and Terblanche (2000), Wood and Walther (2000), Stickley (2000) and Brophy (2000).

    Impact of ICT and social exclusion in this information society is expressed by Dutch and Muddiman (2000). Stover (2000) conducted a qualitative survey to find patterns and themes among librarians in regard to their attitudes toward managing technology and the technological change. New Information and Communication Technologies are transforming Scholarly Communication. Lally (2001) argues that researchers and research intermediaries need to find new ways of working together in order to understand and take full advantage of the emerging forms and media for scholarly communication. Discussing about the future of the academic libraries, Akeroyd (2001), touches upon ICT innovations and its impact on all the components of the library systems.

    The digital era has revolutionized the methods for the organization and automated handling of information. The web documents are significantly different from traditional versions in their presentation and also the ways to organize and retrieve them. Ghiselli and Padula (2001) propose the integration of tools to the provide unified access to remote and heterogeneous archives, the contents of which can be grouped under the same subject, and which have been integrated to allow the user to navigate and conduct the thematic searches.

    Revill (2002) reviews with the comments on Information and Communications Technology-mediated learning. Fors and Moreno (2002) assessed the compatibility between the implementation of information communication technologies (ICTs) strategies and the bottom-up approach in the developmental process. The authors discussed on the benefits and obstacles of implementing the ICTs strategies.

    Veeranjaneyulu and Singh (2003) examine the impact of Information Technology (IT) on the academic libraries. Thinking deeply about changing academic environment, Rockman (2003) states that, libraries should plan ahead and take their services to where users require most rather than becoming too limited or denying users the chance to learn in modern environment using virtual reference service. Gaur (2003) argues that manpower is one of the three main components of reengineering process of library. He feels that the impact of the technology can be handled well if a well thought reengineering plan is in place for human resources. The similar thought is expressed by Tyckoson (2003) also.

    The changing information environment is also marked by a rapidly changing information user. The search engine technology degraded over time by the rapid increase of web pages and the retrieval strategies has yielded poor results. Carlson (2003) explores the alternative retrieval strategy approaches including a demonstration of their best areas of application. Dalbello (2004) gave a thought on renaissance of cultural memory in a digital form. Anunobi and Okoye (2008) discuss the nature of academic libraries in the digital age including the print resources. The authors describe a conceptual model of resource access of academic libraries in developing countries.

    A recent addition to the existing information formats is gaining fast popularity in the e-Books. Carlock and Perry (2008) made a study on a group of selected faculty to discover their perceptions and use of electronic books (e-books) in their research and teaching. This study revealed the advantages of e-Books over traditional print format books.

    Kumar and Singh (2009) describe about the advancement of information communication technology (ICT) has ensured the application of Internet and other electronic resources i.e. CD-ROM, DVD-ROM etc. in the learning resource centre (LRC). The authors stress on the competencies of LRC staff to handle the problems associated with the use of computers. The above views also supported by Bansode, et al. (2009) and view that ICTs have allowed traditional LIS methods to be replaced by the newer, faster, and more accurate ways of transmitting information.

    The changing format of resources is the challenge for the library in preserving and managing them. Pandey (2010) has touched on the Management and Preservation of Resources in digital libraries. The author also has covered the digital library and traditional library resources.

    Electronic information services and the competencies required for providing them are defined in his study by Corbin (2011). The personal, basic, general, and special competencies that will be needed are described. Both how the competencies are acquired initially and how they will be maintained thereafter (as well as responsibilities for gaining and maintaining competencies) are also discussed.

    The collection and management of digital resources dominated collection development and management literature. The mood of the literature was generally optimistic in light of the considerable challenges libraries faced in managing their resources to accommodate the rapidly growing and ever-shifting digital landscape. While looking back on the established philosophy of traditional collection activities, the authors Bullis and Smith (2011) moved decisively into the digital age and emerged with a positive vision of the future of library...

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