Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Influence of Information Literacy Skills on Information Needs and Use among Banking Personnel in Ogun State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Influence of Information Literacy Skills on Information Needs and Use among Banking Personnel in Ogun State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Information is indispensable for human development and it can be considered as an important resource that contributes towards the development of a nation. It provides the core for the development of knowledge, the basis for innovations, the resources for informed citizenry, and as a result, becomes the key commodity for the progress of a society. Acknowledging the impact of information in human development, Mooko and Aina (2007) opined that every individual, whether literate or illiterate, needs information for a variety of issues essential for survival. Olabisi (2001) observed that the importance of information to individuals and human society cannot be undermined. It is an essential raw material which acquisition and understanding is essential in decision making, policy formulation as well as implementation growth and survival. Reliable information is the cornerstone for building the awareness expertise and practical strategies necessary to improve the world at its hearts, the health, and the physical, technical, mental, social and scientific development of humanity. Without adequate information, not much can be achieved especially when it concerns decision making or requiring knowledge. Information is a perquisite for world decision making at all levels and in all circumstances. Thus, there is often the need for individuals or organizations to obtain timely and relevant information that helps in reducing the degree of uncertainty in the operating environment of such individuals or organizations. Odunewu and Omagbemi (2008) stated that the importance of information extends to personal, interpersonal as well as community decisions and actions. To that extent information is considered a vehicle for development in all areas of human endeavours. It is an essential ingredient in office work, management decision-making and in knowledge work productivity. Information is very vital to development. It is the most singular variable which differentiates and determines whether a country is in the first, second, third or fourth world.

The areas in which people need information are diversified and vary from one group to the other. Some of these information need areas include: job related information, political information, health information, social information (i.e. information on social infrastructure), governmental information, especially as it affects their occupation and businesses, and educational information, among others. The literature on information needs and information seeking acknowledges that work related information seeking is different form everyday information seeking. The different characteristics of work environment make one type of information needs and seeking different from the other. Therefore, it is beneficial to study one group of information seekers at a time and use the results to develop user-oriented information systems in order to serve such particular group better. It is important to understand that availability and access to information is not sufficient to guarantee that an individual will acquire the skills necessary to comfortably survive in an information world. According to the Association of College and Research libraries (2002), information literacy is a set of ability requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. Information literacy is focused on content, communication analysis, information searching, and evaluation. It is a vital ability for the modern information-intensive world, enabling personal, economic, social and cultural development.

Oyedokun and Lumade (2005) describe information literacy as the ability to locate, evaluate, manage and use information from a range of sources not only for problem solving but also for decision making and research. Information literacy is much broader than the acquisition of traditional information skills. This includes how to use a catalogue, hot to locate a book on the shelves and how to access electronic databases. …

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