Topic 1: Introduction to Dissemination Of Information

1.1. Introduction to Dissemination Of Information

Dissemination is a service that takes information to the user preferably before he formulates a demand for it. Dissemination is also the distribution or the sending of information whether specifically requested for or not members of an organization by a librarian or an information officer.
Information dissemination includes all the activities that take information to users. It ensures that the clientele get the most relevant. Comprehensive desirable and reliable information on a regular basis. It involves specific activities which include: – reference, circulation, bibliographic services, and current awareness services among others.

As part of information dissemination functions, a library establishes and maintains a collection of reference sources. Provides answers to simple factual reference queries directs users who need research information to possible sources of information. Publicize new issues and communicates directly with the users. It also routes information sources to users whose interests are known particularly in research and special libraries, directs information seekers to relevant information in the library or obtains such information from other libraries using knowledge of their collection and systematically gathers research information sources pertinent to research queries and conveys them to persons who need them. It also compiles selective bibliography based on users requests. The library/Information center also lists current literature received including the copying of abstracts in abstracting journals and distributing them to users, locates, synthesizes, evaluates information and provides it in a written summarized form. It also translates articles written in other languages into the language understood by users and provides current information relevant to user’s interest on an individual and users basis i.e. Selective dissemination of information – SDI. It also identifies the resource persons who could be consulted in response to queries received from users using previously acquired knowledge of the community.

1.2. Methods Of Disseminating Information

The following are the methods used in dissemination information

1.2.1. Through circulation services- Circulation of periodicals and original documents. It also entails the circulation periodical table of content lists.
1.2.2. Reprographic services- Photocopying and distributing tables of contents and other information to users.
1.2.3. Compilation of bibliographies and reproduction of guides and catalogues- these are either general guides or subject guides.
1.2.4. Indexing and Abstracting
1.2.5. Literature searching.

Revision Exercise 1.

1. Explain briefly the meaning of “Dissemination of information” in regard to a library or an information center.
2. State reasons why libraries undertake dissemination of information and its relevance.
3. Discuss the methods used to disseminate information and the role of computers and other information technology in the entire process.
4. Distinguish between current awareness services and selective dissemination of information.

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