Perception of traditional medicine practitioners towards formal information sources in Delta State
Traditional medicine practice has gained increased popularity over the years, however, documenting its knowledge and practice methods have been an uphill task mainly because of its secretive nature. There is little information on the perception of traditional medicine practitioners towards formal sources of information and the preservation of their knowledge and practice. The study sought to investigate the perceptions of traditional medicine practitioners towards formal information sources and their perceptions towards the storage of their medicinal knowledge in these formal sources in Delta State, Nigeria. Four research questions guided the study and the descriptive survey design was employed. A self-structured questionnaire was used to gather data from 82 traditional medicine practitioners in Delta State. The study found that the commonest form of traditional medicine practiced in the state is herbal. The practitioners rely mostly on oral information sources and their perception of formal sources of information is very low. In addition, the traditional medicine practitioners are not interested in having their knowledge of traditional medicine captured and stored in formal sources because they feel that their knowledge about traditional medicine is sacred and cannot be written down or recorded. Among others, the study recommended the need for an awareness campaign to be carried out by public and medical libraries in Delta State, to sensitise traditional medicine practitioners about information resources that are of relevance to them that are available in libraries.