Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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This study attempts to fill an essential knowledge gap on the information needs of the mathematicians in Sri Lankan universities. As the indispensability of the teaching and research of the university mathematicians towards all the other disciplines and various sectors of the country is widely understood, it is essential for the university libraries to methodically learn the characteristics of their information requirements for their academic endeavours. However, the unavailability of any such research output on the mathematicians of Sri Lanka led to this study with the objectives of examining the purposes of information, frequency of information seeking and the factors influencing the information needs of the mathematicians. This quantitative research made use of questionnaires to collect data from 145 mathematicians, and found out that the mathematicians primarily perform tasks of three work roles namely educator, researcher and student, all of which trigger information needs. They seek information almost daily for their teaching and research work, besides for regularly keeping them up-to-date. Their information needs are highly influenced by demographic factors such as age and experience, beside their academic tasks. These results would be useful in selectively disseminating information for mathematicians, and in further exploration towards information sources and seeking behaviour.