Information professional does personally play a very significant role in the information service process. The categories of duties they perform vary from one institution to another. But generally they are charged with the responsibility of collecting/gathering information, processing, storing and eventually disseminating it to the clients/information users.
The users here comprise of researchers, teachers and students, professional practioners, policy, makers and makers members of the grass root community in the rural areas etc.
- To begin with the information personnel must have a foresight of what the user’s needs and want the responsibility of determining the user needs. User needs assessment is therefore the role played by the information professionals. This could be determined through formal or informal approaches. A formal approach involves conducting interviews or admistering questionnaires to potential users in order to obtain their information needs. An informal approach involves an impromptu interview with actual or potential users of library.
- Organization of resources. Information resources if simply acquired and piled in a library in information centre will create chaos and disorder. The information professionals/personnel are duty bound to bring order in the information centers. This is done for the purpose of making location and access to such items easier and quicker. Organization of resources is achieved through bringing of related items together in a helpful sequence. In order to achieve this given specific scheme is used. In addition they also do the shelving.
- Information professionals also carry out information repackaging. Because of information overload due to information explosion language barrier and the preventive of information n a context that is outside the user’s cultural framework the information are required to repackage the information to make it usable.
Repackaging implies information analysis, which involves/reviewing, consolidating and evaluating knowledge on specific topics. The products of repackaging information would include: Abstract, indexes, press cuttings, posters, translations etc.
- Preparation of access tools: Information centre, have major goals of satisfying the user needs in the most efficient and effective way. The resources within centre holdings have to be access to. It therefore implies that the personnel in charge have to prepare guides to the literature holdings of these centers. Access tools include indexes, catalogues, accession, lists, finding aids, bibliographies etc. This leads to indexing, cataloguing, bibliographic compilations etc.
- Information personnel also play the role of being the link between the mass of literature and the clients in information users. This is exemplified in reference and referral service.
- The reference service involves personal/face-to-face assistance to the information users in answering their queries. Referral services is that type of service that entails linking of users to the information centers/that could best answer their queries.
- Selection and acquisition of information resources. Having determined the information needs of its potential users the next step for the personnel is to select the relevant information sources from the universe of information. After identification the personnel goes ahead and acquires these resources for the purpose of collection development.
- Publicity and promotion: why promote?
- To make users aware of the service/collection existing.
- To inform users.
- Disseminate information e.g. CAS
- Educate users e.g. user education. To enable to know how to use the centre materials e.g. catalogues.
One of the main reasons for user dissatisfaction with services provided by the libraries to the difficulty they experience when trying to access and retrieval of information sources have to be organized to facilitate access and retrieval of the information.
Organization involves cataloguing classification and assigning subject headings to documents.
Information resources could be effectively organized as follows.
- Books arranged in shelves according to classification schemes chosen at adopted by the personnel.
- Serials particularly periodicals and image lines are often arranged alphabetically by title and by subject etc.
- Discuss 5 methods that can be used to promote information resources and services.
- Discuss the consequences of lack of access tools in a documentation centers.
- Describe any 4 processing work performed by information personnel after materials are received in the information centre.