Information Needs and Behaviours of Theology Students at the International Baptist Theological Seminary

Katharina Penner
2009 Theological Librarianship  
The study analyses information needs and behaviours of master's and doctoral theology students currently studying at the International Baptist Theological Seminary (IBTS) in Prague, Czech Republic. The aim is two-fold: first, to extend understanding of the information behaviour of theologians working as distance learners in a cross cultural setting; and secondly, to provide guidance for the development of library information services for this group. The study follows a quantitative research
more » ... tative research approach with a survey design and attempts to replicate in a modified way studies by Gorman (1990) and Stieg Dalton and Charnigo (2004). The findings suggest that theology students at IBTS use many and varied types of materials in their interdisciplinary studies while giving clear preference to books, periodicals and theses. Most of the participants have, partly successfully, embraced information technology as a tool and use it extensively. To satisfy their research needs they employ a variety of methods to find relevant information and fall back on "typical" humanists' research behaviours when "usual" channels do not work: engage their networks, expand their personal library, and browse. While the humanist profile is evident throughout the diverse group, there are also notable differences. Theologians increasingly work interdisciplinary and integrate approaches considered typical for other disciplines. Partly differences are caused by the fact that the group under consideration are students who still experiment with research approaches. Many differences are caused by technological developments and contextual aspects.
doi:10.31046/tl.v2i2.99 fatcat:kyumtogwbjgexdkihrsqfl3h2e