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Information-Seeking Behaviour and Library Use by Academic Theologians in South Africa

Ken Dennis Chisa


This study discusses findings of a survey that analysed the information-seeking behavior and library use of academic theologians employed in seven theological institutions in South Africa which constitute the Pietermaritzburg Cluster of Theological Libraries (PCTL). Data on age, academic qualifications, information-seeking habits, and library use of the theologians were gathered by means of a questionnaire, literature review, interviews and observation. The research draws conclusions about the nature of information-seeking patterns and library use of these theologians in relation to their institutional libraries. Barriers to information seeking are identified and suggestions on how to tackle them are provided. The findings of the study show that academic theologians are consistent users of libraries but mostly rely more on personal collections than institutional collections. Moreover, the study found that while the theologians are reasonably satisfied with their institutional libraries, most of them feel that collections, rather than services need improvement. It is hoped that data and questionnaire comments arising from this study will contribute to improved theological library services within the PCTL and beyond.


information-seeking behaviour; library use; academic theologians; Pietermaritzburg Cluster of Theological Libraries

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