A study of library usage and satisfaction by Social Scientists at Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan.

Author:Bhatti, Rubina


Library is a vital agency to promote education and research by providing latest information and knowledge. The role and growth of information and knowledge is faster than before and even at acceleration. Information is needed in every field of life Kemp (1976) said that "indeed, information has been described as the fifth need of man ranking after air, water, food and shelter." Chen and Hernon (1982) defined that information is all knowledge, ideas, fact, data and imaginative works of mind which are communicated normally and informally in any format. Information is defined as data used in planning, decision making and analysis of some program. It has a major role in man's routine activities; either it may be at home, school colleges, playground or work places. It is crucial to man's survival. It is like a stair to provide foot path to promote the research work (Uttor, 1999).

Dervin (1986) presented the concept of information in a different way. According to her, "Information is seen as something constructed by human being". She has presented the six stages of information seeking behavior and further says that all these elements have much importance for research point of view. Without understanding the importance of this concept, the library cannot perform their task properly.

Therefore every person demands different materials in different forms. The present age is of information technology and it also affects the nature of users and its needs. That is why with the passage of time different people demands different things in a different ways. The researchers have to face with information explosion, information pollution and exponential growth of information. Due to information bang, the researchers puzzle about the information needs, information sources and information access. With the effect of new information and digital technology, many researchers and scholars of the world have much interested to access the latest information. Every scholar is taking much interest in research field because of faster accessibility of the digital information (Khongtim, 2006). Here the library's role is very crucial, thus, the need to study the library usage and satisfaction of users with their libraries and information centers.

The Research Questions

The basic purpose of the research is to obtain deeper understanding of the information needs of the faculty members of the Social Sciences. To obtain the above purposes, the study sought to find the answers of the following research questions:

  1. What sorts of information sources are being used by faculty members of Social Sciences at Bahauddin Zakariya Multan and for what purposes?

  2. What is the satisfaction level of faculty members with library collection and other facilities provided by the departmental libraries of Social Sciences at Bahauddin Zakariya Multan?

  3. What are the main problems faced by the Faculty Members while searching for their relevant information and using library services?

    Literature Review

    A study by Gamage (2006) analyzed the information needs of environmental scientists in universities in Srilanka. The results of the study reflect that library users were not satisfied with the collection and services of the library. The study recommends proper management and up gradation of library services and the use of a standard classification scheme for the organization of library resource. Moreover this study further suggests the establishment of an environmental information network in Srilanka for resource sharing.

    Prabha, Connaway, Olszewski and Jenkins (2007) concluded that the users of the library stop to search information, when they have to confront multiple kinds of information. They expressed that when the same information is repeated in different sources they stop to search further information. The faculty members informed that they used information for teaching, research work, preparing for lecturers and assigning presentation for classes. The results of the study pointed out some elements that affect the searching of information such as: objectives and characteristics of the information needs, external variables and internal variables.

    Al-Suqri (2007) explored the information needs and seeking behavior of social sciences scholars at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman. The base of the study was the model of information seeking behavior of Wilson (1996), Ellis (1989) and Kuhlthau (1991). The findings of the research show that social sciences scholars face three main problems while seeking information i.e. limited availability of resources, poor Internet connection (low speed or internet availability) and lack of sufficient sources in Arabic language.

    Seaman (2011) studied the Information Needs of humanists, this research points out that an institutional repository can present better services to the faculty members of Social Sciences and humanities. It shown that Institutional Repository (IR) is of ever-increasing importance to colleges and universities. If the professional staff understand the importance of the institutional repository, they can make the library services up to the standard. The main focus of the research was to pay attention on the promotion of digital archiving, publishing, and sharing of scholarship and research data.

    A study by Bhatti (2009) revealed that majority of the faculty members mostly use their university library for research work and updating knowledge purposes. Faculty members also complained about the insufficient provision of journals related to their field of study. Nearly all the respondents pointed out that there is no indexing and abstracting service in the library. They demanded inter-library loan service to fulfill their information requirements. The study further recommended the appointment of a liaison officer for useful communication between the library staff and the faculty members so that the services of the library may be improved.

    Khan (2010) conducted a study at M. Phil level to assess the information needs and seeking behavior of the law faculty members in the University of Peshawar and its seventeen affiliated law colleges, Khayber Pakhtoon khawa (North Western Frontier Province NWFP, Pakistan). The findings showed the respondents' dissatisfaction with the sources, resources, services and facilities provided by the law colleges' libraries The study suggested the provision of IT based sources, facilities and the assessment of teaching communities' information needs for planning better...

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