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International Journal of Libraries and Information Studies

Editor-in-Chief: Albright, Kendra S. / Bothma, Theo J.D.

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Information Environment of Artisans in Botswana

Neo Mooko / L. O. Aina

1Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

Neo Mooko is a lecturer in the Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Botswana. E-mail: .

L.O. Aina is Professor of Library and Information Studies at the University of Botswana. Department of Library and Information Studies, University of Botswana, P/Bag 0022, Gaborone, Botswana. E-mail: .

Citation Information: Libri. Volume 57, Issue 1, Pages 27–33, ISSN (Print) 0024-2667, DOI: 10.1515/LIBR.2007.27, January 2008

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A survey of 439 artisans in Botswana was carried out with a view to determining their information needs, information seeking behaviour and sources of information used for meeting their daily needs. The study reveals that about 70% of the respondents were 21–40 years old. The artisans were involved in a variety of vocations, dressmaking, welding and hair dressing being the most prominent. A significant number of the artisans (11.7%) had no formal education. The greatest job-related information needs were in finding sources for raw materials (55.6%), locating government tenders (46.2%) and improving their knowledge (44%). Health (59.9%) and sports (32.1%) were the major general areas of information needs. The artisans sought information mainly through informal conversations (65.8%) and listening to radio (62.6%). The most used information sources were radio (50.3%), colleagues (49%) and newspapers (47.4%). Only 28% of the respondents were computer literate. The paper recommends that the government of Botswana should provide continuing education programmes for the artisans, as this would improve their skills in their vocations, as well as their computer literacy competence. Also, information providers, such as libraries should be involved pro-actively in the provision of information to artisans. They should also equip the artisans with information literacy competence.

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