Information Behaviours of Non-Users of Libraries in Botswana

  • A Mutshewa
  • B Grand
  • A Totolo
  • S Zulu
  • B Jorosi
Keywords: Community information needs, information-seeking behaviour, information sources, libraries, non-users of libraries.

Abstract

Public libraries are established to be used by communities. Surprisingly, many people in communities where there are public libraries do not make use of them. This descriptive study investigated the information needs and
information-seeking behaviour of such nonlibrary users, so that the libraries could redesign their services to attract them. Also examined are the barriers encountered by nonlibrary users in getting information, their reasons for not using the library, and their perceptions on current outreach efforts by libraries in the communities. The target population for this study
was the community of non-library users in Botswana. The snowball sampling method was used to select 302 respondents from 34 research
sites in the country. The findings indicated that respondents knew about the existence of the library through friends, Kgotla meetings, and advertisements in local media, and they were also willing to participate in the activities of the library. However, lack of time, distance to the library and inadequate relevance of the library resources and services to the activities the respondents were engaged in seemed to be the main barriers to library use. In terms of information required, it was difficult for the
respondents to express their information needs; nevertheless, the study was able to establish that the respondents often needed information on current affairs, education, business and agriculture, and they used radio, newspapers, friends, work supervisors and personal experience to meet their needs.

Keywords: Community information needs, information-seeking behaviour, information sources, libraries, non-users of libraries.

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Articles

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eISSN: 0795-4778