Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Winter 2022

Document Type



The ability to provide consistent and authoritative information during an emergency is crucial. Hence the role of libraries to curate online resources that is accessible during the pandemic is very important. This paper conducted an information needs assessment of the library’s electronic resources as sources of critical information. The pandemic was a pivotal moment for the libraries to serve as sources of valid reference sources and provide continued information. The paper conducted a qualitative assessment of 23 university students in order to understand their sources of critical information. Google's online survey platform was used to gather written interviews. The finding revealed electronic sources were the only sources of information and the internet played a significant role in accessing this information. The findings also showed that besides the internet as a source of critical information, family and friends were the sources of their critical information needs. None of the respondents uses radio as their source of critical information. Only 2 (9.1%) use the library as their source. This finding indicated that academic libraries and city libraries were not considered sources of critical information. The study encourages libraries to intensify efforts to become the main source of people’s critical information sources. The government too could assist in making internet access a priority and improve the bandwidth of the internet to enable access to critical information.