Information needs and information seeking behaviour of women refugees in Uganda; Public Libraries’ Role
Akullo, Winny Nekesa
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Information is an important resource for individual growth and survival. Libraries support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by closing gaps in access to information and helping government, civil society and business to understand local information needs better. With the war in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somali and other countries, a number of refugees have sought shelter in Uganda. This paper examines the information needs and the information seeking behaviour of the women refugees and the role of public libraries. The objectives of the research were to; examine the information needs and information seeking behaviour of the women refugees; the challenges they face in accessing information; the role of public libraries in providing information to refugees; propose measures on improving access of information by refugees. Twenty women refugee and two public librarians were purposively sampled. A semi-structured questionnaire and interview schedule were administer to solicit for responses. Ms. Excel was used for data analysis and simple tables used for presentation. The research found out that 75% of women refugees were in the age group (31-40) and 45% of them were from South Sudan. The most needed information is on health services (95%) and the majority of the women refugees relied on local authorities for information because they are not aware of availability of information in public libraries. The major challenge they face is lack of money to acquire gadgets to access information. The recommendation therefore was that public libraries should be able to provide information in their locations as well as sensitise them on their services.