Information seeking behavior among final year undergraduates at the University of Dar es Salaam

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University of Dar es Salaam
Research problem: this dissertation in on information seeking behavior, on non academic issues, with reference to final year undergraduates at the University of Dar es Salaam whose information seeking behavior has been investigated before. Methodology: the case study method was used, and involved the use of questionnaire and interview guides as data collection instruments. The sample included 170 respondents of which 160 were final year undergraduates, 5 reference librarians and 5 counselors. A purposive sampling method was used to select counselor and reference librarians for the study. Stratified random sampling was used to select final year undergraduates for the study. Data collected from questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS and content analysis was done for open-ended questions. The study was guided using Wilson (1981) model of information seeking behavior. Findings: the study established that most of the respondents had information needs related to employment and further studies. Other needs included procedures to: get bank loan, establish private company/ firms and join professional association. To satisfy their information needs, most finalist used news newspapers, internet cafes, radio, television and word of mouth. The least used source of information were church and mosque, seminary/ short course and electronic database. The source of information used by finalist were generally inadequate. In accessing and using information, finalists encountered barriers such as lack of awareness, not getting the right information, limited access to information and inadequate sources. Other barriers were inadequate funds, lack of time and lack of poor information searching skills. The most frequently used information seeking practices were internet search, newspapers search and consulting colleagues. There was little use of database search, attending seminars and workshops and consulting counselors. Very few finalists consulted printed books and journals. The study found that sharing of information with other people was common among finalists. Conclusion: Non academic information needs are as important as academic information needs. However, little attention was given to the earlier. Non academic information needs of final year undergraduates were not satisfied. Recommendation: the government must increase budget allocated for UDSM. The university should provide adequate sources of information to its students as well as market its facilities and services. Use of radio and TV stations to address information needs of students is also recommended. There is a need to establish libraries in halls of residence to facilitate easy access of information among finalists. Information literacy should be integrated into all undergraduate programs at UDSM. The result of the study could provide the UDSM management the bases to improve information seeking behavior of its students.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class Mark (THS EAF Z711.3.T34A57)
Information behaviour, Information services
Amsi, S. S (2009) Information seeking behavior among final year undergraduates at the University of Dar es Salaam, Master dissertation, University of Da es Salaam