International Journal of Libraries and Information Services
Vol 49 (1999), No 2, pages 59-124
ISSN 0024-2667

Table of Contents

Patterns of Scholarly Communication in Information Policy: A Bibliometric Study

Abstract. This paper reports on a bibliometric investigation into the structure and dynamics of the information policy journal literature. The unit of analysis is a document test collection of 771 articles published between 1972 and 1996. This test collection was compiled from records in the multidisciplinary database Social Sciences Citation Index®. The investigation focuses on patterns of growth, knowledge accumulation, ageing and obsolescence, documentary scatter and knowledge production. It concludes that the structure and dynamics of the information policy journal literature diverges in several respects from typical social science literatures. Information policy is characterised by very rapid growth, high immediacy (in Price's sense), rapid reception and ageing processes and relatively low documentary scatter. These findings are put in the context of related work in bibliometrics and in the sociology of science wherever possible.

The Provision of Information to Adults in Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, by Non-Governmental Organisations

Abstract. Information has been recognised as an important factor in the development process. However, little information is available in the published literature on how information is or should be provided to adults in a developmental context. To gain some understanding of how information is provided to such adults, interviews were held with twenty-two representatives of non-governmental organisations working in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The study, which falls within a broad qualitative methodological framework, found that information provision was largely a participative, interactive process in which the oral or verbal method predominated. While other methods of information provision were used, they played, for the most part, a supportive role. Implications of the findings of the investigation for library and information services in a rural context are briefly discussed.

Developing an Information Provision Strategy for University Libraries in Ghana

Abstract. This study explores the notion of organisational missions and goals held by the major stakeholders in university libraries in Ghana and assesses these visions for the libraries in relation to the development of a strategic planning process for the libraries. Multiple case studies were used to collect the data and the data were analysed using the multiple case study approach. The primary findings are that the major stakeholders in Ghanaian university libraries have different perceptions of the missions of their libraries. Two main perceptions emerged. The non-library stakeholders preferred a narrower mission for the libraries focused more on the needs of their institutions and emphasising collection development as the method of attaining excellence. The library stakeholders expressed a much broader mission defined in the context of national information provision, emphasising information access while at the same time balancing it with collection development. This multiplicity of strategic visions was found to be the subject of disagreement between decision- makers and the rest of the library staff. The study concludes with some ideas on how to address this situation.

Performance Evaluation in Library and Information Systems of Developing Countries: A Study of the Literature

Abstract. Based largely on a study of the literature, this article outlines the nature and purposes of performance evaluation in library and information systems in general. It further delineates the information scenario of developing countries and pinpoints the specific issues that performance evaluation could address in the library and information systems of these countries. It then raises the challenges that the library and information systems of developing countries face in conducting performance evaluation to achieve the expected benefits from it. The article identifies the following stumbling blocks: lack of awareness, cost of conducting the evaluation, shortage of staff and lack of methods and tools to employ for the purpose. Methodological problems are identified as important. It concludes that the library and information systems in these countries have to develop their own methods and tools appropriate to their needs and relevant to their environment. It further discusses key issues in the development of the required framework such as assessing the environment and identifying what is important from the point of view of the system for the evaluation effort to focus on. The means of generating data usable for performance assessment and training as a means of improving the staff shortage and absence of awareness of the role of performance evaluation to address among the other challenges.

Strategic Development of Libraries and Information Services in Hungary

Abstract. The Ministry of Culture has prepared a three-year-old project for the government about the development of the national information network of libraries, archives and cultural institutions. This paper discusses the libraries project. The basic pillars of the project are the national information infrastructure development programme, the filling of the network with information resources, and the digitisation of information wealth. It is an important task to co-ordinate the cultural digitisation programme, to institute legal regulations on multimedia harmonising with European legal regulations, and to play an initiating role in copyright of electronic resources. These are the task for which the John von Neumann Multimedia Centre and Digital Library has been established.