Identifying the information needs of public library and information services users in Limpopo province

Solomon Bopape, Maoka Dikotla, Matlala Mahlatji, Morongoenyane Ntsala, Lefose Makgahlela

Abstract


Public libraries are indispensable institutions that contribute towards the socio-economic development of every citizen in every country by providing access to information. In South Africa, the provision of access to information through public libraries was marred by the inequalities of the apartheid laws. In order to address past injustices regarding access to information, the government of today, through the Department of Arts and Culture, is committed to allocating an annual library conditional grant to all the nine provinces to build and develop new and already existing public libraries, respectively. This study investigated the information needs of people who use these newly built and developed public libraries and information centres in Limpopo Province. The questionnaire was distributed to the library users of selected public libraries in Limpopo Province to collect information about their basic information needs and expectations. The results showed that the majority of public libraries and information services users in Limpopo Province are the youth and young adults, who specifically use these libraries and information services for study space and accessing the internet. The kind of information required by these youth, young adults and adults revolves around health matters, education programmes, career guidance and crime prevention. It is therefore recommended that library users be made aware of other services offered by public libraries and that user needs analysis studies be conducted from time to time in order for public libraries to meet the ever-changing needs of library users.


Keywords


Information needs; library users; public libraries; Limpopo Province

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/83-1-1631

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