Information Seeking Behaviour of the Users of Academic Libraries
A Critical Review of Literature
This study offers a critical review of selected studies. A point of departure is the focus on the methodology used and the related issue of whether the inferences drawn are justified by the methodologies used. This is thus meant to be potentially useful for researchers in the broad area of information –seeking behaviour of the users in a digital environment. Eleven studies were selected for a deeper understanding of their users’ information needs and information-seeking behaviour and to make suggestions on how to enhance the effectiveness of library services and their efficient utilisation. The libraries selected for the present study are diverse–college libraries, university libraries, public libraries and a Government Department library. Our review is based on the results obtained through critical study and examination of the literature with the main focus on the Information Seeking Behaviour of the users. There is a diverse range of libraries and users covered by these studies, and several interesting hypotheses could be statistically validated. Without statistical validation of hypotheses, the inferences lack robustness. This is a striking weakness of the extant literature-including the sample examined here. However, some constructive suggestions are made. These include a focus on special libraries, methodological extensions and refinements, and a broadening of the hypotheses and validation of inferences. We believe our review fulfils an important gap as scant attention is given to analytical rigour.
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