Die inligtingsbehoeftes van ingenieursdosente verbonde aan die Vaal Universiteit van Tegnologie
Information technology gradually started to play a major role in the service rendering of academic libraries since 1994. Large amounts of money became necessary to enable libraries to provide the latest formats of information sources, as well as access to quality electronic databases. Prices of printed information sources also increased dramatically over recent years, along with a high South African inflation rate. Government subsidies for academic institutions also started to decline annually (De Kock, 1997). User needs, and information seeking patterns of library users also changed over recent years because of major information technology developments. Many authors performed studies on changing user needs in recent years, of which five were chosen to form the basis of this study. It became of utmost importance for libraries to monitor user needs regularly, to be able to identify changing needs and expectations. This will enable academic libraries with tight budgets to render more relevant and appropriate information services to specific user groups. Research procedures and methodology: A literature study was done in order to determine which information rendering models currently exist, as well as to find prior research on the information needs of engineers. This was followed by a qualitative study by means of semi-structured interviews. Personal interviews is a flexible method. which enables the researcher to ask follow-up questions, as well as to ask respondents to explain certain issues in detail (Huysamen, 1993 :15 1). The interview schedule contained thirty-three questions, based on eleven theoretical hypotheses constructed throughout the study. The following engineering departments were included in this study: Electronics, Applied Electronics & Electronic communication, Process instrumentation and Control, Power, Mechanical, Civil & Building, Metallurgy, Industrial & Production, and Computer Systems engineering. The aim of the study: This study is aimed at determining the information needs of engineering lecturers in particular, and also to determine if the Gold Fields library currently satisfies their information needs. All engineering lecturers have access to electronic databases as well as internet from their offices, and in many cases don't need to make use the physical library building any more. This study aims at finding out what their current information needs are, and which avenues they are currently being used to acquire relevant subject related information. Lecturers will also be probed about the role of the Gold Fields Library in their information needs. Conclusion: This study reveals that the information needs of engineering lecturers revolve primarily around their personal research interests, as well as changing lecturing methods. Printed and electronic information sources are currently complementing each other, and in no way is one replacing the other. This study also showed that the Gold Fields Library is currently not satisfying engineering lecturer's information needs, with specific reference to the intranet; some printed and electronic resources; training on electronic databases; packaging of information; personalized information services, and the subject knowledge of information librarians. Engineering lecturers were satisfied with the following: information interviews conducted by information librarians; personal attributes of information librarians; information technology competency of information librarians, and ethics. It became evident that the Gold Fields Library should consider certain changes and expansions to the information services currently rendered to engineering lecturers.
- ETD@PUK