Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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A Survey of the Information Needs of Four Professional Occupational Groups and a Survey of New Special Libraries

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posted on 2021-11-11, 21:14 authored by Stephen-Smith, Helen Margaret

This thesis consists of two surveys. The first attempts to identify the information needs of accountants, consulting engineers, lawyers and pharmacists in an effort to provide direction for the development of library and information services to those professions. A personal interview survey was conducted among a random sample of practitioners from each profession in the Wellington district. It was concluded that all four professions need continuing education opportunities to assist them to obtain improved access to both professional and general information. This need has arisen in part because librarians have not adequately marketed their services. It was further concluded that co-operation from each professional body, practitioners, society as a whole, and librarians is needed so that information centres to meet the needs of practitioners can be established. The second survey attempts to establish a methodology that can be used by librarians of special libraries in the conduct of user surveys which will provide them with evidence of the effect of their services. It also attempts to demonstrate the benefits found by staff in firms where special librarian positions had been established for less than five years. Self-completed questionnaires were distributed to professional staff in six Wellington firms. It was concluded that there are some basic patterns common to the development of new special libraries, and that the employment of a librarian can be of tangible benefit to a firm. Guidelines for those setting up new special libraries are suggested. It is further concluded that application of the user survey methodology established in this thesis would assist librarians of special libraries to assess their existing services, and to change emphases where necessary to meet expressed needs. It is also shown that librarians need to market their services, and understand their role in educating staff to exercise their individual and collective responsibilities as part of a firm's network of information resources.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Library and Information Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management


Cave, Roderick