Information Use Environment of Religious Professionals: a Case Study of the Everyday Life Information Seeking Behavior of Catholic Clergy in Northern Nigeria
Description: This study explores the everyday life information seeking (ELIS) behavior of Catholic clergy in Northern Nigeria and describes their information use environment (IUE). It employed a mixed-method case study using survey and episodic interview techniques of data collection. The ELIS of Savolainen, the IUE of Taylor and the small world of Chatman were theoretical frameworks that guided this study. Findings showed that the IUE of these Catholic clergy is shaped by four elements: (1) geographical location and culture, (2) the celibate clergy, (3) their information needs, and (4) the information sources used to resolve these needs. Three types of information needs were identified: essential needs, circumstantial needs and intermittent needs. There was a high interrelatedness between the effects of culture and celibacy on the information seeking of these clergy. They are not likely to cross boundaries of their world to seek particularly essential information about their ministry or private lives. The findings of this study align with Chatman’s proposition that members who live in the round will not cross the boundaries of their world to seek information. The study found problems with access and availability of information, which included lack of familiarity with electronic/online library databases among the clergy, and the lack of archives and documentation of records and historical materials. It recommended the development of an archiving and documentation plan that digitizes paper documents for electronic management, including policies on data curation for the Catholic religious institutions in Nigeria.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Dankasa, Jacob