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Information searching & use of college libraries by subject specialists (college teachers) teaching in government colleges for elementary teachers at Bahawalpur Division, Bahawalpur.


Investigating information searching behavior of library users is important to analyze the effectiveness of library services. Users adopt different behavior in seeking their required information. Knowledge about user's behavior and their information needs helps the library professionals to organize their library and services that best match their patrons' needs. College libraries contribute a key role in research and teaching. The main objective of college library is to facilitate the information needs of college teachers and students by offering all relevant material that facilitate teachers in designing lectures and syllabus for the students. These offer materials that fulfill the information needs of college students in making different assignments related to their studies. Due to exponential growth in different sources of information and their use by information users have made it essential for libraries to design their services that best fulfill their user's needs. The Bahawalpur Division is rich in educational institutions. At Bahawalpur, the Government Elementary Colleges were originally established as teacher training School with the primary objective to train primary school teachers in teaching and learning. These institutions regarded as teachers training institutes in 1957. In 1971, these institutions got the status of Training College for elementary teachers. The instant study investigates the information search process by Subject Specialists (College Teachers) and their use of libraries.

Keyword: information needs, information searching behavior, elementary college teachers, Bahawalpur Division

Problem Statement & Significance of Study

Number of studies has been conducted to investigate the information search process by information users in higher education institutions and users related to particular field but in college sector, not much consideration has been given to explore the information search process adopted by college teachers. This study attempts to investigate the information searching by college teachers, their use of different library sources, their purpose of using college libraries and the problems they face during searching information from the libraries. The results of the study are helpful for library professionals working in college libraries to design their library services that best fulfill their patron's needs.

Objectives of the study

The purpose of this study is to achieve following objectives:

1. To investigate the information needs of college teachers (Subject Specialists).

2. To find out their purpose of using college library.

3. To find out the material available in the library related to teaching needs.

4. To explore the problems faced by college teachers (Subject Specialists) in using their college libraries?

Research Methodology

Study followed quantitative research method. Survey research strategy was adopted to collect data from the respondents. Questionnaire was designed after conducting comprehensive review of the literature. College lecturers (Subject Specialists) working in Elementary Colleges of Bahawalpur Division, Bahawalpur, were identified as population of the study. Seventy five (75) Subject Specialists working in five Elementary Colleges of Bahawalpur were contacted. However, sixty valid questionnaires were received. The response rate was 80 %. Collected data was interpreted by SPSS software (version 19).

Literature Review

Keeping in view the importance of knowledge about user's behavior, different researches have been conducted in this area. A colossal amount of literature is available on information searching behavior of different types of users. Some studies related to the phenomenon under investigation are reviewed in the given section.

Taylor (1991) indicated eight classes of information use: enlightenment, problem understanding, instrumental, factual, conformational, projective, motivational and personal or political.

Mustafa (2013) explored the information needs and seeking behavior of faculty members of Darul Ihsan University in Bangladesh. Findings showed that faculty members seek information to fulfill their information needs related to teaching and research. Respondents reported that due to huge amount of information they face problems in searching their specific information. It was good to know that majority reported that they visit the library on daily basis to get their day to day information needs for completing their teaching requirements. Bhatti etal (2011) indicated the responses regarding the use of internet sources by social scientists were databases, ejournals, online indexing and abstracting Most social scientists also prefer to use E-books, E-encyclopedias and E-dictionaries. The respondents perceived it very beneficial as 48% think that they have to spend less time in searching for their required information. 35% consider it very useful for accessing distant publications followed by 34% saying fast access to unlimited resources, less effort on internet useful for developing up-to-date knowledge.

Marouf (2010) surveyed the information needs and seeking behavior of social sciences faculty members at Kuwait University. Findings showed majority was using books and variety of other material for their research needs. Respondents considered that journals and books are most important in fulfilling their required information needs. They were using manuscripts, technical reports and primary materials. They reported that they also get their required information by attending conferences and training workshops. They preferred information in print form. Bhatti (2010) studied the information using and seeking activities among university teachers in teaching in Arts & Science Faculties at The Islamia University of Bahawalpur. Results showed that majority of respondents used library resources for teaching and research. They utilize library books, abstracting and indexing services available in library. Respondents indicated that they are facing problems in finding e-journals and accessing Internet service. Khan (2008) explored that the college teachers mostly seek information for their lecture preparation, improvement of their personal competencies and current awareness. Print format was preferred and lack of computers hardware and software as a major obstacle in accessing internet and indicated the need for training provision. A study by Al-Suqri (2007) explored the information needs and seeking behavior of social sciences scholars at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman. Majid & Kassim (2000) identified the information channels used by law faculty members at International Islamic University Malaysia. Findings showed that books are mostly used by the respondents in seeking information. Respondents mentioned that they seek information for preparing lectures and teaching needs. E-mail was found as the most used internet based service among respondents. Study concluded that the overall services of the library were adequate for the respondents to meet their information needs.

Data Analysis & Interpretations

Respondents' Gender

Sixty respondents participated in the study. Out of which, 70% were male and 30% were female subject specialists college teachers.

Respondents' Age

Majority of the respondents (45.0%) were between 51-60 years old. Second majority was between 41-50 years old.

Respondents Qualification

Most of the respondents (55.0%) were M.A, (20.0%) possessed M.Phil degree and only two respondents were PhD.

Respondents' Teaching Experience

Participants of the study were very experienced in teaching. Results showed that majority (61.7%) of the respondent has more than 20 years teaching experience.

Respondents' Opinion about the Relevancy of Library Material

Results showed that books available in the college libraries were relevant to the information needs of the respondents (mean= 3.70). However, they regarded reference material and internet facility as somewhat relevant (mean= 2.85, 2.97).

Purpose of Using College Library

It is encouraging to see the results that Subject Specialists (College Teachers) frequently use the library for their research work (mean= 3.70). Results showed that they frequently visited the library for preparing lectures and remain updated (mean= 3.48, 4.45).

Frequency of Library Use by Respondents

Results described that vast number of respondents used library on daily basis which shows their interest on the library services. It shows their satisfaction with the library services.

Respondents' Satisfaction with their College Library Services

It is plausible to know that respondents were satisfied with their respective college library services (mean= 4.32).

Problems Faced by College Teachers in Using Library

Respondents were inquired to mention the problems they faced in using their college libraries. Findings showed that respondents were satisfied with the library services and were neutral and disagree with the proposed problems presented in the questionnaire. According to this result the material of the library is relevant to their information needs and fulfilling their information requirements effectively.

Key Findings & Discussions

1. Respondents were satisfied with books available in the library and reported that these books are relevant to their information needs. There should be a collection in the library on journals and magazines for enhancing research activities.

2. Findings showed that Subject Specialists were engaged in research and intellectual activities as they reported that they frequently use the library for conducting research and to remain update in their area of interest. They should be provided online orientation for using online research databases and journals so that they conduct research on modern trends and issues.

3. Respondents were using library on daily basis which shows their interest and thrust for learning and research.

4. It is encouraging that the college libraries are offering library services according to the user's needs as respondents showed their satisfaction with their respective library services.

5. Respondents were utilizing library services smoothly and did not mention any problem in using their library.


Study presents very plausible results regarding the services of college libraries. Based on the results it is concluded that the college libraries of Elementary Colleges in Bahawalpur Divisions are offering good services. They are offering relevant material and satisfying different information needs of Subject Specialists (College Teachers). It is also concluded from this study that college librarians working in these libraries are performing good job for their users.


Al-Suqri & Nasser, M. (2007). Information needs and seeking behavior of Social Sciences scholars at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman: A mixed-method approach. 349, 3294687.

Bhatti, R. (2010) Information Needs and Information seeking Behavior of Faculty Members: at the Is lamia University of Bahawalpur. Library Philosophy & Practice.

Bhatti, Asghar, Mukhtar and Chohan (2011) Internet Use by Social Scientists at the Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan,Pakistan: A Survey. Library Philosophy & Practice.

Khan, S. A. (2008). Information needs and seeking behavior of college teachers and administrators: A survey of Bahawalpur City. Unpublished Master Thesis submitted to the Department of Library & Information Science, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur.

Mostofa, SK. M. (2013). Information needs & seeking behavior of faculty members of Darul Ihsan University in Bangladesh. Library Philosophy & Practice.

Majid, S. & Kassim, G.M. (2000). Information-seeking behavior of International Islamic

University Malaysia Law faculty members. Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science, 5(2), 1-17.

Marouf, L. (2010). Information-seeking behavior of the social sciences faculty at Kuwait University. Library Review, 59(7).

Taylor R.S (1991) Information use environments in B. Dervin and M.J. Voight (Eds.), Profress in Communication Science Vol. 10, Norwood, NJ Ablex.

Dr. Rubina Bhatti

Chairperson/Associate Professor, DLIS, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur

Rao Tariq Mahmood

Librarian: Govt. Elementary College, Bahawalpur MPhil student: The Islamia University of Bahawalpur

Shakeel Ahmad Khan

Librarian, Govt. College University, Lahore, Pakistan


Rubina Bhatti

Islamia University of Bahawalpur,
Table 1
Age of Respondents

Sr.No.   Age           Frequency   Percent

1        21-30 years      06        10.0
2        31-40 years      11        18.3
3        41-50 years      16        26.7
4        51-60 years      27        45.0
                          60        100.0

Table 2
Respondents Qualification

Sr.No.   Qualification   Frequency   Percent

1             M.A           33        55.0
2           M.Phil          12        20.0
3             PhD           02        03.3

             Total          60        100.0

Table 3
Respondents' Teaching Experience

Sr.No.   Experience       Frequency   Percent

1          0-5 years          4         6.7
2          6-10 years         8        13.3
3         11-15 years         6        10.0
4         15-20 years         5         8.3
5        Above 20 years      37        61.7

             Total           60        100.0

Table 4
Respondents' Opinion about Relevancy of Material

Sr.No.   Relevancy of Material   Mean   Std.Dev.

1        Books                   3.70     .830
2        Reference material      2.85     .820
3        Non book material       2.37    1.164
4        Internet facility       2.97    1.507

Note: 5= Fully relevant, 4=Relevant, 3=Somewhat relevant
2= Slightly relevant 1= Not relevant

Table 5
Respondents' Purpose of Using the Library

Sr.No.   Purpose of Using Library   Mean   Std. Dev.

1        To teach the class         2.32     1.396
2        To prepare lectures        3.48     1.000
3        To remain update           4.45      .723
4        For leisure purpose        2.35     1.022
5        For conducting research    3.70     1.306

Note: 5= Most Frequently 4=Frequently 3=Occasionally
2=Rarely 1= Never

Table 6
Frequency of Library Use by Respondents

Sr.No.   Library Use                      Mean   Std.Dev.

1        I use library on daily basis     3.68    1.049
2        I weekly use library             3.45     .790
3        I use library on monthly basis   3.00     .844
4        At leisure time                  2.45    1.032

Note: 5= Strongly Agree, 4= Agree, 3= Neutral, 2= Disagree,
1= Strongly Disagree

Table 7
Respondents' Satisfaction with Library Services

Sr. No.   Statement                   Mean   Std. Dev.

1         How satisfied are you       4.32     .651
          with your college library

Note: 5= Strongly satisfied, 4= Satisfied, 3= Satisfied
to some extent, 2= Dissatisfied, 1= Strongly Dissatisfied

Table 8
Problems Faced by College Teachers in Using Library

Sr. No.   Problems in Using Library               Mean   Std. Dev.

1         Non-availability of relevant material   3.18     1.200
2         Inadequate books                        2.90     1.203
3         Out-dated material                      3.03     1.275
4         Non-supportive behavior of librarians   1.85      .997
5         Noise in the library                    2.28     1.043

Note: 5= Strongly Agree, 4= Agree, 3= Neutral, 2= Disagree,
1= Strongly Disagree
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Article Details
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Author:Bhatti, Rubina; Mahmood, Rao Tariq; Khan, Shakeel Ahmad
Publication:Library Philosophy and Practice
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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