Information seeking practices of teachers in selected government-aided secondary schools in Butambala District, Uganda
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The study investigated the information seeking practices of secondary school teachers in selected government-aided secondary schools in Butambala district, Uganda. The aim of the study was to establish the information seeking practices of secondary teachers in these schools so that appropriate strategies are proposed to better information seeking practices of secondary teachers if the situation is found wanting The study was guided by four objectives: to identify the information needs of the secondary school teachers, to analyze the information seeking practices, to examine the information sources preferred by them and to review factors that motivate or that hinder their information seeking. The study used the Leckie, Pettigrew, & Sylvain (1996) information seeking model of professionals as the theoretical framework but it was necessary to overlay it with a Conceptual Framework (CF). The study used mixed research methods where the interplay of data collection tools were used to solicit for the relevant data from the respondents to support the study. These tools included: unstructured interviews and semi-structured questionnaires. A sample size of one hundred forty respondents was involved in the study. These included one hundred thirty-eight secondary school teachers and two school librarians. Quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and the results were summarized in tables and charts giving the frequencies and percentages. Content analysis technique and Interactive Model of Data Analysis for qualitative research were used. The study established that the major role of teachers is teaching. As a result, their major information needs included: content to be delivered in class, teaching methods and personal interests. Findings on information seeking revealed that teachers sought information with a specific purpose in mind, get the needed information through newspapers, and some of them use colleagues to seek information on their behalf whereas others collaborate to seek information. It also emerged that secondary school teachers regularly use books, school library, syllabus documents, personal notes and fellow teachers. The findings also indicated that solving a problem followed by work context and then work roles were the major factors motivating teachers to seek information. Heavy teaching load, too many learners in a class and lack of time were the major factors hindering teachers’ information seeking practices. The study recommends that Uganda school libraries consortium be established to allow inter-library document sharing, teachers should embrace the use of mobile technology for information access, a digital school library be put in place as well as the introduction of a current awareness program for secondary school teachers in Butambala District and Uganda at large.