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Library Philosophy and Practice 2010

ISSN 1522-0222

Use of Information Sources by Research Scholars: A Case Study of Gulbarga University

Shankar Reddy
Junior Research Fellow (UGC)
Dept. of Library and Information Science
Gulbarga University
Gulbarga, Karnataka State, India

 

Introduction

Information is regarded as a critical resource, ranking just after air, water, food, and shelter (Kemp, 1976). People need information for making decisions. They may acquire information through the research process, which is the process of finding ideas, facts, and new information by systematic study. The new facts and ideas will be based on existing ones, which are found in the existing literature. Information is acquired, processed, and disseminated through the university library, “a place, where books and users interact together for the transmission of civilization and cultivation of human beings” and “the most important resource in the pursuit of the general goals and objectives of the institution of higher learning” (Nwosu 2000). For the library manager, it is necessary to understand how resources are being used, the changing needs of users, and their levels of satisfaction. The present study looks at the use of information by research scholars at Gulbarga University.

About the University

Gulbarga University was established in 1980 by an act of Karnataka State. Its jurisdiction extends to the five districts of Gulbarga: Bidar, Raichure, Ballary, and Koppal of Hyderabad, Karnataka. The main campus is positioned on 860 acres of land, six kilometers of east Gulbarga city. It has 37 post-graduate departments and 4 postgraduate centers. There are 230 colleges affiliated with the university, which enroll graduate and diploma courses in science, arts, fine arts, music, social science, technology, commerce education and law. (“About us,” 2008)

The Gulbarga University Library takes pains to meet user needs by providing user- focused services, with more than 220,000 books, 435 scientific journals, sixteen CD-ROM databases, 540 dissertations, theses, technical reports, conference papers, and rare books .

Objectives of the Study

  • To discover how frequently research scholars visit the library
  • To discover the purpose of visits to the library
  • To discover users' opinions about the library collection
  • To discover what sources the research scholars consult most frequently
  • To discover levels of satisfaction with existing information sources
  • To provide suggestions for development of library resources

Review of Related Literature

A number of few studies have been dibe on use of information sources by sesearch scholars. Siddiqui (2001) conducted a study on the use of library collection of Jawaharlal Nehru University Library. A questionnaire was used to collect the data, which covered 99 scholars. The study found that 69 percent visit the library daily, and 31 percent found the library collection adequate to meet their information needs. Kawatra (1988) undertook a study on attitudes of research scholars towards use of resources and services. A sample of 109 research scholar drawn from three universities of Rajasthan found that a majority of scholars visit the library one to four times a week and scholars at all the three universities are not adequately involved in using the sources. Mallaiah and Badami (1993) studied the use of services and facilities of Mangalore University Library, covering 60 scholars. The majority of the research scholars visited the library for borrowing books, consulting periodicals, and more than half complained about the non-availability of current issues.

Scope and Limitation of the Study

The study is limited to full-time research scholars of the Gulbarga University who are pursuing their doctoral degree in science, social science, languages, commerce, and humanities.

Methodology

A questionnaire was used for collecting opinions of research scholars about information use. There are 305 PhD scholars. One hundred five questionnaires were distributed, and 83 were returned, a 79.04 percent response rate.

Results and Discussion

The collected data has analyzed and presented as follows:

Table 1: Gender distribution

Sex No of respondents Percentage
Female 27 32.53
Male 56 67.47
Total 83 100

Two thirds of respondents were male, and one third female.

Table 2: Frequency of library visits

Frequency Female N=27 Male N=56 Percentage Mean St. Deviation
Daily once 18 35 63.9 1.64 1.054
Once in two days 06 10 19.3
Once in a week 01 08 10.8
Twice a week 00 01 1.2
Rarely 02 02 4.8
Total 27 56 100

More than 60 percent of scholars reported visiting the library daily.

Table 3: Purpose

Purpose Female N=27 Male N=56 Percentage Mean St. Deviation
To borrow & return book 05 10 18.1 2.99 1.293
To read book 04 04 9.6
To browse Internet 09 30 47.0
To consult theses & dissertation 02 03 6.0
To read journal articles 07 09 19.3
Total 27 56 100

Nearly half the scholars visit the library to browse the Internet, while 10 to 20 percent also visit to read and borrow materials.

Table 4: Frequency of consulting information sources

Source Female N=27 Male N=56 Percentage Mean St. Deviation
Books 08 15 28.9 2.01 .981
Periodicals 15 32 55.4
Research reports 01 03 4.8
Theses 02 04 7.2
Encyclopedias 01 02 3.6
Total 27 56 100

More than half the scholars consult periodicals most frequently.

Table 5: Adequacy of collection

Response Female N=27 Male N=56 Percentage Mean St. Deviation
Fully adequate 02 07 10.8 2.77 .915
Adequate 07 12 22.9
Partially adequate 10 27 44.6
Inadequate 08 10 21.7
Total 27 56 100

Nearly half feel that the collection of the library is partially adequate, while slightly more than one-fifth found the collection adequate to meet their needs and another fifth found it inadequate.

Table 6: Level of satisfaction

Level of satisfaction Female N=27 Male N=56 Percentage Mean St. Deviation
Fully satisfied 05 07 14.5 2.33 .718
satisfied 12 20 38.6
Not satisfied 10 29 47.0
Total 27 56 100

Nearly half are not satisfied with available resources

Table 7: Suggestions for improvement

Suggestion Female N=27 Male N=56 Percentage Mean St. Deviation
New books to be added regularly 09 12 25.3 2.06 .755
New journals to be subscribed 11 25 43.4
Access to e-journals provided 07 19 31.3
Total 27 56 100

A majority of scholars want the library to subscribe for new periodical titles, and nearly a third asked for access to electronic journals.

Conclusion and Suggestions

The study reveals that the library is used regularly by this population of scholars. While there are significant levels of use and satisfaction, scholars also clearly expressed the desire for more journals and for access to electronic journals.

References

About us (2008). Gulbarga University. Available: http://www.gulbargauniversity.kar.nic.in/aboutus.htm

Kawatra P.S. (1988). Attitudes of research scholars towards the resources and services of three university libraries in Rajasthan: A study. Annals of Library Science and Documentation 35 (4): 171-177.

Kemp D. A. (1976). The nature of knowledge: An introduction for librarians. London: Clive Bingley.

Mallaiah, T.Y., & Badami, K.K. (1993) Library and information services facilities in Manglore University Library from the research scholar's point of view: A survey. Annals of Library Science and Documentation 40 (4):155-165.

Nwosu, C. (2000). A textbook in use of the library for higher education. Owerri, Nigeria: Springfield.

Siddiqui, A. F. (2001) Use of library collections in the Jawaharlal Nehru University Library, New Delhi. IASLIC Bulletin 46 (4):184-196.

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