Academic information needs and information-seeking behaviour of Haythorne Secondary grade eight learners using the Msunduzi Woodlands Branch Public Library, Pietermaritzburg.
Budhu, Bhavisha Premdass.
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Information is an essential ingredient for a socially and economically engaged democracy in any community. The changes and advancements in the educational system and the lack of school libraries have resulted in a paradigm shift in the role that public libraries play in the 21st century. This necessitates public libraries to become knowledgeable about current information needs and the information-seeking-behaviour of its users. It is against this backdrop that this study investigates the academic information needs and information-seeking behaviour of grade eight learners of Haythorne Secondary using the Msunduzi Woodlands Branch Public Library, Pietermaritzburg. The study’s methodology was largely quantitative, with some qualitative elements as it seeks to identify the academic information needs of a particular community. Hence a mixed methods approach was adopted in order to accommodate both sets of data. The study utilised a descriptive cross-sectional survey design. A census survey was undertaken with a sample of grade eight learners (256 learners) of Haythorne Secondary who used the Msunduzi Woodlands Branch Public Library, Pietermaritzburg. The study seeks to ensure equal representation as well as represented, input from both registered and non-registered library users. The instrument used for collecting data from learners was a self-administered questionnaire consisting of closed and open-ended questions. In addition, a semi-structured interview schedule was used to collect data from the Northern Branches Senior Librarian. The reliability and validity of the questionnaire were ensured through a pre-test on a group of grade eight learners at Eastwood Secondary School, Pietermaritzburg. The quantitative data was captured using SPSS software. The qualitative data were analysed manually using thematic analysis.