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Article

Gashaw Kebede

Focuses on the information needs of users that are changing as a result of changes in the availability of information content in electronic form. In the course of the…

Abstract

Focuses on the information needs of users that are changing as a result of changes in the availability of information content in electronic form. In the course of the discussion, the paper first highlights the trend and nature of the physical form in which information content is currently being made available for users’ access and use in electronic information environments. It then attempts to determine why the prevailing information needs of users are coming into being and how they are shaped in electronic information environments. Finally, makes suggestions regarding how to go about identifying and meeting the prevailing needs in electronic information.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article

Charles O. Omekwu

The purpose of this study is to investigate librarians' level of responsiveness in an era of policy change and reform.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate librarians' level of responsiveness in an era of policy change and reform.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach adopted was to introduce and describe the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) as a major policy framework in Nigeria. A purposive sampling approach was used to survey librarians' familiarity and knowledge of the NEEDS concept. In all 54 questionnaires were distributed and 36 were returned. Descriptive statistics were used to generate data for discussion.

Findings

Majority of the respondents did not understand fully the NEEDS concept; were not familiar with the NEEDS document, institutional and macroeconomic frameworks, NEEDS vision, values and principles. Less numbers were very correct or correct as to whether their libraries had a copy of the NEEDS document. Many of the librarians had neither seem or read the document; less than 50 per cent of the respondents knew where to obtain the NEEDS document; knew that the NEEDS document can be accessed online and downloaded from the web. Majority did not know that the NEEDS secretariat is located at the National Planning Commission.; confessed that they can not answer reference question on NEEDS. Only five indicated that they responded to the invitation for comments and suggestions during the formulation of the NEEDS document.

Practical implications

It is critical for the Nigerian Library Association to heighten its information advocacy role in an environment of change and reform. Librarians must be proactive in an environment of change and reforms.

Originality/value

A fundamental study that challenges librarians to relate to the change and reforms occurring in the organizational, transactional and contextual environments of their work.

Details

Library Review, vol. 56 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

Tandy M. Ombogo and Ben W. Namande

The purpose of this study is to assess the influence of generations on information behavior and needs to access and use of library resources and how well academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assess the influence of generations on information behavior and needs to access and use of library resources and how well academic libraries in Kenya are simultaneously serving both generations. From literature reviewed, a study on the Kenyan scenario on generational behavior and needs was not identified and this study sought to fill that gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collected were done through mixed-methods research using observation, structured interviews and questionnaires. The sample included 143 students and faculty within different generations, and three library staffs at The United States International University-Africa’s Library. Quantitative data were analyzed through SPSS and Excel, while qualitative data were analyzed according to the theme of this study. Likert-scale responses were used to measure information behavior of users’ needs and preferences.

Findings

Findings showed that the library is serving two distinct generations with different needs: out of a mean score of 5.00 of sample surveyed; digital immigrants need information resources mainly for research at an aggregate 3.93 while digital natives need information resources mainly for examinations at an aggregate 4.01. Both generations need to use technology to access and use information resources at 94% of digital immigrants and an aggregate 81.5% of digital natives surveyed. The library is training both user groups accordingly. This answered the research problem this study sought to assess.

Research limitations/implications

The generation of users was known only after administering the questionnaires. Consequently, the researcher targeted them using the status of respondents, faculty or student, to maximize sampling for each generation. Undergraduate and master’s students were used to target digital natives, while the faculty was used to target digital immigrants. PhD students were used to target both digital immigrants and digital natives. This study was done only in one location, USIU-Africa’s Library.

Originality/value

This study assessed how different generations within academic libraries in Kenya could be guided to effectively and efficiently adapt to global changes. This study assessed generational influence on needs and preferences in access and use of information resources, and assessed how academic libraries are concurrently and successfully serving variant user needs in Kenya,

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

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Article

Qing Ke, Jia Tina Du and Lu Ji

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the contextual factors of health crisis information needs are different from a general health context and how these factors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the contextual factors of health crisis information needs are different from a general health context and how these factors work together to shape human information needs.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collected the COVID-19-related questions posted on a Chinese social Q&A website for a period of 90 days since the pandemic outbreak in China. A qualitative thematic approach was applied to analyze the 1,681 valid questions using an open coding process.

Findings

A taxonomy of information need topics for a health crisis context that identifies 8 main categories and 33 subcategories was developed, from which four overarching themes were extracted. These include understanding, clarification and preparation; affection expression of worries and confidence; coping with a challenging situation and resuming normal life; and social roles in the pandemic. The authors discussed the differences between a health crisis and a normal health context shaping information needs. Finally, a conceptual framework was developed to illustrate the typology, nature and triggers of health crisis information needs.

Research limitations/implications

First, only the Baidu Zhidao platform was investigated, and caution is advised before assuming the generalizability of the results, as the questioners of Baidu Zhidao are not representative of the whole population. Furthermore, since at the time of writing the COVID-19 is still in an emerging and evolving situation (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020), the collected data included only a relatively small sample size compared to the post-pandemic period, and this might have impact on the interpretation of the study’s findings.

Practical implications

The study’s taxonomy of information needs provides a reference for indexing and organizing related information during a disaster.

Social implications

The study helps authoritative organizations track and send information in social media and to inform about policies related to the pandemic (e.g., quarantine and traffic control policies in our study) to the right people in the right regions and settings when the next disaster emerges.

Originality/value

The taxonomy of information need topics for a health crisis context can be used to index and organize related information during a disaster and support many information agents to enhance their information service practices. It also deepens the understanding of the formation mechanism of information needs during a global health crisis.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

Charles R. Senteio, Kaitlin E. Montague, Stacy Brody and Kristen B. Matteucci

This paper aims to describe how public librarians can better address complex information needs. First, librarians should classify the degree of complexity of the need by…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe how public librarians can better address complex information needs. First, librarians should classify the degree of complexity of the need by using Warner’s classification model; then they can use Popper’s three world theory to anticipate and respond to complex information needs by following specific steps.

Design/methodology/approach

After examining the information science literature, appropriate models were selected to support public librarians. Our information science scholarship, coupled with our practical experience, informed our search and selection.

Findings

This paper details specific steps that public librarians can take to anticipate and respond to individual information needs. Doing so is imperative as the information needs of the public continue to become increasingly complex.

Originality/value

This paper improves information practice because it offers specific steps to aid public librarians to anticipate and respond to complex information needs. It draws upon an existing model and theoretical framework. This paper also highlights selected examples of how public librarians across the USA have anticipated information needs, and developed partnerships with organizations external to the public library to address complex information needs.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article

Yuxing Qian and Wenxuan Gui

The purpose of this study is to identify the health information needs of senior online communities (SOCs) users, which could provide a basis for improving senior health…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the health information needs of senior online communities (SOCs) users, which could provide a basis for improving senior health information services.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 14,933 health-related posts in the two most popular senior online communities (Yinling and Keai) in China are crawled as a corpus. Based on the results of word frequency analysis, text classification is performed based on two aspects: medical systems (Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine) and topics. The health information needs of SOCs users are revealed from the composition, growth trends and popularity of health information. Finally, some key points of senior health information services are discussed.

Findings

The health information needs of senior users can be divided into four types: coping with aging, dietary nutrition, physical exercise and mental health. These needs are comprehensive and involve a variety of health issues. Users are mainly concerned with physical health issues. In terms of medical systems, the number of Western medicine posts is relatively larger, whereas traditional Chinese medicine appears more in posts on coping with aging and physical exercise. The health information needs of SOCs users are in a stable status. Both the medical systems and topics could have an impact on the popularity of health information, but the number of posts is inconsistent with the level of popularity.

Originality/value

This study combines multiple perspectives to identify the health information needs of seniors in China with a comprehensive overview.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 73 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article

Dan Wu, Hao Xu and Shu Fan

This paper aims to identify consumers' health information consultation patterns by analyzing information sources to better understand consumers' health information needs

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify consumers' health information consultation patterns by analyzing information sources to better understand consumers' health information needs and behavior in the context of multisource health information.

Design/methodology/approach

Haodaifu Online, an online health consultation (OHC) website in China, was used as a research data source, and 20,000 consultation cases were collected from the website with Python. After screening and cleaning, 1,601 consultation cases were included in this study. A content analysis-based mixed-methods research approach was applied to analyze these cases.

Findings

The results indicate that with the participation of OHC, there are 15 patterns of consumer health information consultation. Besides OHC, health information sources reported by consumers included medical institutions family/friends and the Internet. Consumers consult on a wide range of health issues including surgical conditions obstetrical and gynecological conditions and other 20 subjects. Consumers have multiple information needs when using OHC: getting prescriptions, diagnosing diseases, making appointments, understanding illnesses, confirming diagnoses and reviewing costs. Through further analysis it was found that consumers’ health information consultation patterns were also significantly different in health issues and health information needs.

Originality/value

This study broadens one’s understanding of consumer health information behavior, which contributes to the field of health information behavior, and also provides insight for OHC stakeholders to improve their services.

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Book part

Gloria J. Leckie and Lisa M. Given

The history of the public library is long and rich, and continues to reflect this institution's initial mission: to respond to the needs of an evolving democratic society…

Abstract

The history of the public library is long and rich, and continues to reflect this institution's initial mission: to respond to the needs of an evolving democratic society. From its early days as a subscription service for the middle-class, through its evolution to become an educational site for the lower-classes and new immigrants, the public library has served as a touch-stone for urban industrial society in North America (Lerner, 1998, p. 138; Shera, 1974). Over the past century, public libraries have evolved to respond to the growing needs of the communities they serve and continue to do so with recent advances in technologies (such as DVDs, electronic books, the Internet, etc.), and with a more global outlook on the ways that people seek and share information. Indeed, the public library's constituents today are exceedingly diverse, including children and adults from a broad range of socio-economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds, all of whom seek information for a variety of personal and work-related purposes. The fact that public libraries have been fulfilling patrons' information needs for well over a century is a testament to their enduring success and versatility as information providers, and also points to the overall effectiveness of public librarians as intermediaries in the provision process.

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12024-629-8

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Abstract

Details

Information Tasks: Toward a User-centered Approach to Information Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-801-8

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Abstract

Details

Information Tasks: Toward a User-centered Approach to Information Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-801-8

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