Information Needs of Faculty Members and Research Scholars of Chaudhary Charan Singh University: A Case Study
The benefits of information revolution are centered on the convenience of the user. Faculty members and research scholars are responsible for teaching and are expected to do research and publish the results throughout their careers. This study looks at the information needs and use patterns of faculty members and research scholars of Chaudhary Charan Singh University. A questionnaire was used to collect data and statistical tests were applied to the results.
Significance of the Study
This study raises awareness of the collections and services of the library, and shows the effectiveness of resources and services of college libraries and the university library of Chaudhary Charan Singh University. It focuses on the skills needed to use electronic resources and emphasises the need for user education and training in using electronic sources in the library based on user responses.
Objectives of the Study
The present study is confined to the teachers and research scholars working in departments colleges and departments affiliated to Chaudhary Charan Singh University . The university includes six districts: Bulandshahar, Meerut, Muzaffar Nagar, Saharanpur, Baghpat and Ghaziabad College.
A random sampling technique was used to select from 63 colleges and 27 departments based on five faculties affiliated to the university. A total of 425 questionnaires were distributed and 200 were completed. In addition to a questionnaire, interview and observation were also used.
The data collected through the questionnaire was analysed using FoxPro database management system software. Statistical analysis of the data for the present study was done by applying
1. Simple percentage
2. Chi-square test
Chi-square was used to compare an observed group of frequencies with an expected group of frequencies. This allowed expected frequencies to be deduced from the null hypothesis.
X2 = (Fo - Fe)2
This is the required X2 Value
Fo = Observed frequency
Fe = Expected frequency
df = (r-1) x (c-1) or df = (r-1)
df = Degree of freedom
r = number of rows
c = number of columns
Distribution of Responses Received
Analysis of Data
Purpose of Visit to the Library
Frequency does not indicate the nature and purpose of library visits. With this in mind, visitors were asked to indicate the purpose of their visit to the library.
Nearly all users visit the library to borrow books, while four-fifths go to locate information in books and journals and for study and research, while a little more than half go to spend leisure time.
Information Sources for Research and Teaching Needs
Table 2 reveals that users prefer "other" sources, followed by discussion with colleagues, attending conferences, CD-ROM databases, and patents for research.
Figures in square brackets indicate the expected frequency (Fe) and those in parentheses indicate the cell Chi-square
Chi-Square at 119 df and 0.05 level of significance is 155.595
Null Hypothesis Rejected
Current Literature in the Field of Interest
It is essential that for researchers to be up-to-date in their fields of interest. In addition, they must know about developments in other broader and peripheral areas.
Table 3 reveals that respondents find current literature in e-journals, followed by the Internet.
Figures in square brackets indicate the expected frequency (Fe) and those in parentheses indicate the cell Chi-square.
Chi-square at 56df & 0.05 level of significance is 74.451
Null Hypothesis Rejected
Difficulties Accessing Information
Faculty and researchers needs the assistance of others to access information. Difficulties faced include lack of time, inaccessibility, incomplete collections, lack of knowledge of sources and library services, as well as "unfriendly library staff."
Table 4 shows faculty members and research scholars face difficulties in accessing information because of multiple factors. Three-quarters of respondents have difficulty because of lack of knowledge about using library services, while two-thirds lack knowledge of information sources.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Most users visit the library to borrow books, study and do research, locate information from books and journals, and do light reading. The purpose of visits depends on time available and the need to keep up-to-date.
Library use patterns are an effective method of understanding information requirements. Most users gave priority to book trade catalogues, bibliographies, indexes and abstracts, addition lists, and book reviews for being aware of the current literature. The lower ranking given to the Internet, e-journals, and CD-ROMs is due to the lack of availability and skill to use them, although they do use seminar papers, projects from colleagues, contact with original authorities, Information/Documentation centres, and the Internet. Respondents like to visit other libraries as well, and suggested networking among local, university, state, public, subject, national, and government libraries.
Every user faces constraints. Faculty members and research scholars face difficulties in access because of multiple factors. Most face a considerable problem of time to read or look for information in the library. They also face problem of lack of library automation. Automation is a key factor in improving library services for researchers. Faculty and researchers are not familiar with appropriate sources, and they need skill maintenance activities to update their knowledge of reference tools and other sources.
Librarians who were interviewed want to develop their collections, improve their services, and stand out in this competitive age. Due to the rapid growth of information, varied application of information technology, and financial constraints, it has become a big challenge for library professionals, especially in academic libraries. Improving quality does not just mean the adoption new and expensive technologies. It is also possible to work continuously on improving service as budgets permit. Users attach maximum importance to the relevancy of the needed material for research and teaching, more than to any other aspect of the library.
Devarajan, G. (1989). User's approach to information in libraries. New Delhi: Anmol.
Ellis, D., et al. (1993). A comparison of the information seeking pattern of researchers in the physical and social science. Journal of Documentation 49 (4): 356-60.
Foster, M.B. (1989). A study of use of information sources by social science researchers. Journal of Academic Librarianship 15 (1): 7-11.
Prasad, H.N. (1992). Information needs and users. Varanasi: Indian Bibliographic Centre.
Hewins, E.T. (1990). Information needs and use studies. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 25: 145-172.
Robinson, J., et al. (1995). Information usage by biological researchers. Journal of Information Science 22 (1): 47-53.
Sehgal, R.L. (1998). Statistical techniques for librarians. New Delhi : Ess Ess.
Shineborne, J. (1980). User needs and new technology and traditional approaches to library services. Journal of Information Science 2:135-36.
Subramanyam, T. (1983). A study of information seeking behaviour of doctoral candidates in social sciences. Herald of Library Science 22:104.
Wilson, T. D. (1994). Information needs and uses: 50 years of progress. In Vickery, B.C. (Ed.) Fifty years of information progress: A Journal of Documentation Review: Aslib Proceedings. London: 15-51.