18th LIASA Annual Conference: Abstracts: Re-envisioning the role of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Library and Information Services in ECD through an information seeking behaviour study

Re-envisioning the role of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Library and Information Services in ECD through an information seeking behaviour study

Kepi Madumo, Constance Bitso

As an effort to re-envision the role of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) library and information services in Early Childhood Development, a study was conducted on information-seeking behaviour of Grade R practitioners in the EMM. Information seeking behaviour studies are done with the aim of informing the design of information services (Hepworth 2007); they are part of a process of re-envisioning and revamping library and information services. The research focused on establishing Grade R practitioners’ information needs, on information sources often consulted, on actions and strategies used when seeking information and on the challenges they face when seeking information. Grade R practitioners need information to increase their knowledge for optimum performance of their duties. Literature points to a possibility that if Grade R practitioners can have access to relevant, accurate and timeous information and gain essential information retrieval skills, they might develop capacity for innovation, creativity and ultimately improve their teaching. Focusing on this important cadre (Grade R practitioners) that forms part of the foundation phase in our basic education, the study used Leckie, Pettigrew and Sylvain’s General Model of the Information Seeking of Professionals as the guiding theory. This paper presents the results of this study that took a qualitative approach from an interpretivist point of view. Data were collected through focus group discussions and an interview with a key informant. Furthermore, it shares the strategy for re-envisioning library and information services for Grade R practitioners in the EMM.