This study examined “the information seeking behaviour of undergraduate students in faculty of Art, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.” Nigeria. It identifies the Information Needs of the undergraduate Students of Faculty of Arts Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, it also identified how undergraduate Students of Faculty of Arts Ahmadu Bello University Zaria search Information Resources, the Information Services Available in the Library to Undergraduate Students of Faculty of Arts Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, how undergraduate students of faculty of arts Ahmadu Bello University Zaria evaluate information resources, the extent of use by undergraduate Students of Faculty of Arts Ahmadu Bello University Zaria of Information Resources Available in the Library and the Challenges faced by the undergraduate Students of Faculty of Arts Ahmadu Bello University Zaria when Sourcing for Information. The research method used in this project study is survey research method. In a survey method, questionnaires are the main instrument for data collection. Frequency tables and percentages are the main tools used for data analysis. Results of the analysis showed that the shows that the undergraduate students in faculty of arts are aware of information needs and they are satisfied. It was also discovered that the high use of search methods in seeking information resources is based on the fact that it links them to other services which are domiciled on the web, some of the respondents indicated their awareness and use of different method in searching online information resources for their need if a previous search did not return with the desired information. Some of the respondents indicated their awareness and use of the following online services, electronic journals, electronic news letter, and online reference services and that the students are aware of evaluation information resources in faculty of arts and these services are been achieved with the help of librarians in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and that most undergraduate students of faculty of arts are satisfied with the information resources available in the library, but it needs to be improved and that there is significant difference among students of Ahmadu Bello University in the challenges faced when seeking information. Recommendations were proffered and some of the recommendations are: The University Library should provide training programme for undergraduate students on how to effectively search for information resources both library and web. Good relationship between the librarians and student in other for them to express their feelings. The university management should look into the undergraduate student’s curriculum and consider including a course that has to do with effective utilization of library and all e-resources provided by the university. It is suggested that this course should be taken by all undergraduate students and it should be anchored the academic library as a core course. More awareness should be created on the availability on Ahmadu Bello University’s institutional repository and how to effectively search for information therein. The library needs to contact the faculty to develop appropriate collections and other new digital information services that will be of benefit undergraduate students’ needs. This will motivate them in the use of library and make them efficient on their coursework. The study also recommends that Ahmadu Bello University should engage in exchange programmes with other Universities abroad to help bridge the gap of information literacy.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION1.1 Background to the Study The information seeking behavior of undergraduate arts students play a vital role fordeveloping library collection. It services as well as facilities to meet the information needs of thestudents. By this the importance of the arts students’ information needs to develop skills ininformation management and the use of the information tools and databases is ultimate to theirlearning process. Undergraduate arts students often do not know or comprehend the necessity oflearning to use the library resources available to them and do not realize that research skills willbe a necessary part of their future practice of medical profession (Bartley, 2006). More so, theinformation needs and seeking behavior of information users general are changing due to severalfactors that affect all information users and arts students inclusive.In Information Science, information need is defined as that need originating from a vagueawareness of something missing and then culminating in locating information that contributes tounderstanding and meaning. It is an anomalous state of knowledge or a gap in an individual'sknowledge in sense making situations. For a person to experience an information need, theremust be a motive behind it. From the above definitions, therefore, it can be noted that aninformation need is recognition that one's knowledge is inadequate to satisfy a goal that is athands. The importance of knowledge and information remain vital and crucial for thedevelopment of individual, societies, and organizations. Information and knowledge areresources that provide imprecators for nations, social, cultural, spiritual, political, economic,scientific and technological advancement. Information is as all conclusions, ideas and creative1
works of the human intellect and imagination that have been communicated formally orinformally in any form. Information as meaningful communication symbols transferred betweenany two points in human communication or machine networks. Information is an indispensablefor human development as air is essential for the survival of all living organisms on earth, (Reitz,2004: Aina, 2008: Vijaya kumar and vijayan, 2011). Identification of information needs is essential to the design of information systems ingeneral and to the provision of effective information services in particular. But it has been foundto be a difficult task as it is almost an investigative or detective work. In order to identifyinformation needs one should adopt various methods to gather information on the various factorsthat influence the information needs. No single method or tool will serve entirely. A carefulselection and blending of several techniques depending on the user whose need is being studiedis necessary. In fact, the "information needs identifier" should study, prepare and equip him/herself thoroughly to perform the task of identifying information needs. 1.1.1 Searching of InformationBartley (2006), in his study of information searching activities of MIT (MassachusettsInstitute of Technology) students, provided participants with instructions, asking them todocument their information searching tasks for the period of one week by taking photos or screenshots and notes on what they did, and also with interview carried out with them revealed thatbrowsing collections was one valued means mentioned by students in the discovering of researchmaterials.According to the scholar, participants physically browsed library collections nine timesduring the study week, and this strategy was mentioned as important by the participants. Thestudy also revealed that, of all the tasks performed by the participants (undergraduates), only 322
percent of the methods used revealed that student relied on web-based tools such as Google,Google print, Amazon and Wikipedia for many of their information needs and 39 percent of alltasks in the study involved the use of one or more of these web-based tools (Bartley, 2006).Whitmire (2003), in his study on information seeking behaviour and epistemological beliefs ofundergraduate students (seniors) at Yale University established that epistemological beliefsappear to correlate with information searching activities. According to the researcher, mostcommon information searching activities was citation chaining, browsing stocks, browsingjournals. He also observed that students had problems with topical searches, and that help andadvice were commonly sought from faculty, graduate students and peers (Whitmire, 2003).TheInformation Search Process Model: Kuhlthau developed this model by using Belkins (1980)anomalous states of knowledge, Kelly’s (1963) phases of construction, and Taylor’s (1968)levels of needs as theoretical bases. She defined the information search process as the user’sconstructive activity finding meaning from information in order to extend his or her state ofknowledge on a particular problem or topic. Kuhlthau has conducted empirical studies ofstudents’ information seeking behaviour in libraries. Her model includes six stages: Taskinitiation, Topic Selection, Pre focus exploration, Focus Formulation, Collection andPresentation. This model deals with three realms common to each stage:1. The affective,2. The cognitive and3. The physical. 3
In this three stage model of search process (Kuhlthau, 1994) asserted that informationprofessionals can intervene and help the users to identify as well as solve their information needsdepending on where the users are in their seeking process.1.1.2 Information RetrievalInformation retrieval (IR) is finding material (usually documents) of an unstructurednature (usually text) that satisfies an information need from within large collections (usuallystored on computers). Information retrieval is a field concerned with the structure, analysis,organization, storage, searching, and retrieval of information.Information Seeking Behavior of The Undergraduate Students In The faculty of arts Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.