The responsiveness of the library collection to the information needs of researchers at the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.
Mthembu, Thabisile Augustine
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Collection development plays a significant role in the successful achievement of the library’s purpose. The reason for the existence of the library is to meet the information needs of the community it serves. To determine if the PIC is responsive to the information needs of parliamentary researchers, the study used a mixed method of data collection. A survey method in the form of a questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data from parliamentary researchers. Other researchers at Parliament, for example researchers employed by political parties are not part of this study. Qualitative data was collected through interviews with a selection of librarians involved in the PIC collection development process and an evaluation of the Collection Development Policy of the PIC. Four librarians from the PIC were interviewed, and the PIC Collection Development Policy was analysed to triangulate data collected from the questionnaire and interviews. The information needs of parliamentary researchers are triggered by the information needs of parliamentarians, and therefore it is significant that the PIC provide a collection that responds to the information needs of researchers so they can provide relevant information to parliamentarians. The findings indicate that the responsiveness of the library material varies according to the needs of the researchers. The PIC will benefit from a proactive involvement of parliamentary researchers in the collection development process. Customised orientation, proper needs analysis and collection evaluation will improve usage of the library resources and responsiveness of the library material to the clients.