Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

A Comparative Study on Information Seeking Behavior of B.SC. & M.SC. Agricultural Extension & Education Students

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

A Comparative Study on Information Seeking Behavior of B.SC. & M.SC. Agricultural Extension & Education Students

Article excerpt


In Iran, Nature of field of agricultural extension & education is multidiscipline; so it is crystal clear that, agricultural extension and education students need information to obtain higher level of knowledge in a field for preparing academic course homework and project papers using a variety of information sources and services. Also, in Iran, toward improving knowledge about agricultural extension and education field, providing the basic academic facilities for information seeking process is necessary. Information seeking behavior is a broad term, which involves a set of actions that an individual takes to express information needs, seek information, evaluate and select information, and finally uses this information to satisfy his/her information needs (Majid and Kassim, 2000). In other hands, Information seeking behavior is considered a multifarious, dynamic, social human behavior that needs a picture as rich as possible to truly understand the phenomenon, and then, many questions will be answered (Gureshi, Zafar and Bashir khan, 2008).

Literature Review

In the study of Graves and Seliq (1986), they emphasized the importance of the medical library s role in developing life long learning skills in medical students. They pointed out that students need to develop skills in information management and the use information tools and databases. Undergraduate students often do not comprehend the necessity of learning to use the library resources available to them, nor do they always realize that research skills will be a necessary part of their future practice of medical profession (Graves and Seliq, 1986).

Pelzer and Leysen (1988), at their study about library use and information-seeking behavior of veterinary medical students for veterinary medical students at Iowa State indicated that the library was most frequently used for studying and for making photocopies of materials. The typical respondent relied on course textbooks and handouts for current information on unfamiliar topics, instead of using indexes or abstracts for guidance to recent literature. Light use of library information resources raises the concern that students are developing an inadequate base of retrieval skills for finding information on new procedures, diseases and drugs. No differences were found between students with and without formal bibliographic instruction in their approaches to seeking information or in library use (Pelzer and Leysen, 1988).

Findings of Fidzani (1998) indicated that guidance in the use of library resources and services is necessary to help students meet some of their information requirements. The study found that: journals, library books and textbooks are the most popular sources of information for course work and research and those students need to be taught how to use available library resources and services.

In another study, Whitmire (2001) examined the differences in library use attributed to students at different class levels. The survey investigated the library experiences of undergraduate students during their three years of study. Overall, library use was low for students in first, second and third year. However, the extent of participation by students in the various library activities did increase during the three years of study for 7 of the 11 library experiences. Asking the librarian was the one experience that decreased between the first and the third year undergraduate students. Using the computers in the library was the most important activity for undergraduates at all stages of their studies where it achieved the highest level of activity for the second and third year students and the second highest score for the first year students. Using the library catalogue (card or online) was reported as the activity that received the highest score for first year undergraduate students and the second highest score for second and third year students. Using the library to read or as a place of study was the third highest activity for first and second year undergraduates at this university and ranked fourth for third year undergraduate students. …

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