ERIC Number: ED316247
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
A Regional Investigation of Citizens' Information Needs in New England. Project Report.
Chen, Ching-chih; Hernon, Peter
In order to identify the information needs of individual residents of the six New England states, telephone interviews were conducted to generate baseline data relating to information providers (e.g., availability, linkage between sources, and institutional barriers to information provision) and information seekers (e.g., problem awareness and articulation, and source awareness). The study examines information seeking needs arising from both work and non-work contexts of 2,400 residents from rural and urban areas in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In particular, it focuses on: (1) information requirements; (2) the various types of information source providers consulted, e.g., libraries, friends, neighbors, relatives, television, and newspapers; (3) the perceived level of user satisfaction with these providers; (4) a taxonomy of barriers to effective information seeking; and (5) reasons for library use and non-use. It was found that many people do not associate libraries with situations in which they have to find out something or solve a problem; if they do use a library, this source is frequently only one step in the information gathering process. It is recommended that libraries determine their unique role in the information seeking process and cooperate more fully with other institutional source providers so that both citizens and other source providers will associate libraries with the provision of information services. A copy of the telephone interview schedule is included. (42 tables, 17 figures) (SD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Libraries and Learning Technologies (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Simmons Coll., Boston, MA. School of Library Science.