Academic information needs and information seeking behaviour of grade 11 learners of Eastwood Secondary School.
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Information is considered an important resource that is essentially needed in all human endeavours. Information is a message that changes an individual’s knowledge by adding to existing knowledge or filling in the gap, hence information significantly enhances the existing knowledge of the user. For a learners to excel academically, it is necessary for the learners to make use of relevant and pertinent information to ensure his or her success. Learners are expected to build their knowledge through engaging with a wide range of resources and the emphasis in assessment learning is on projects and portfolios of work instead of rote memorizing of textbooks and teacher’s notes. Learners purposively seek information to satisfy their school work related needs. Aim: This study examines the academic information needs and information seeking behaviour of grade 11 learners at Eastwood Secondary School. Methodology: The research employed a quantitative methodology in the form of a survey. The questionnaire was used as a data collection instrument to collect data from 169 grade 11 learners, which produced a response rate of 100%. Findings: The findings revealed that that the learners were most in need of information that dealt with the subjects of mathematics, physical science and English. The information sources that were most sought after included the Internet, textbooks and study guides. Learners revealed that they preferred printed material followed by online material. English was the most preferred language when searching for information. It was found that academic needs influenced their searching behaviour on the Internet and in books. Learners were found to be most satisfied with the use of the Internet and cell phone when searching for information. The learners were faced with various challenges; the major challenges was the poor staff attitude of the community /public library, the school being without a functioning library and the lack of time to seek needed information. Recommendations: The study recommends the following: collaboration between community/public library and the school, school library policy, functioning school library, increase in public funding to schools for information resources, computers with internet connectivity at schools and for a teacher librarian to teach information literacy.