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World Digital Libraries: An International Journal (WDL)
Vol.12(2)  December 2019
Print ISSN : 0974-567X

Cognitive Factors that Influence Information-seeking Behavioural Process Amongst Postgraduate Students: A Case Study from Kenyatta University Post-modern Library in Nairobi, Kenya

D. W. Muthee; School of Education, Kenyatta University, PO Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya; (E): dwambiri@yahoo.com

J. M. Masinde; School of Information Management, Central China Normal University, No.152 Luoyu Road, Wuhan – 430079, Hubei, P R China; (E):masindejohnson@mails.ccnu.edu.cn


This article discusses the salient features of a case study carried out among postgraduate students at Kenyatta University Post-modern Library. The study was primarily focused at recognizing cognitive factors, responsible for influencing library users’ information-seeking behaviour. In order to develop the variables, Vroom’s Expectancy Theory of motivation was used. A descriptive survey method was utilized to study a sample size of 384 students spread across four main schools:

(i) Education, (ii) Business Studies, (iii) Humanities and Social Sciences, and (iv) Science and Technology. Results confirmed that expectancy theory can be utilized to explain students’ information-seeking behaviour. Three different groups—some with strong, others with medium, and rest with weak influences—were found.  Interaction service quality, driven by students’ perception of service quality was found to be the most critical.  Information needs satisfaction (outcomes) together with student users’ perception of service quality amongst others informed their level of satisfaction with the overall service.

The findings support the idea that understanding cognitive information behaviour can help university libraries to plan more appropriate services.  The implication of this study is that there are particular key cognitive drivers that trigger users’ information-seeking behaviour in academic libraries.



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