An explanatory study into the information seeking-behaviour of Egyptian beggars

Essam Mansour
  • Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, July 2016, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0961000615622679

What is it about?

The key purpose of this study is to provide first-hand information about beggars in Egypt, especially from the perspective of their information-seeking behaviour including their information needs. It tries to investigate the information-seeking behaviour of Egyptian beggars with regard to their thoughts, perceptions, motivations, attitudes, habits, preferences as well as challenges that may impede their use of information. The research methods used were an adapted form of snowball sampling of a heterogeneous demographic group of participants in the beggary activity in Egypt. This sampling was used to select focus groups to explore a range of relevant issues. Data on the demographic characteristics of Egyptian beggars showed that they tend to be men, mostly with no formal education, with an average age around 30s, labelled as low-income persons, mostly single and mostly Muslims. A large number of Egyptian beggars were seeking for information to meet their basic daily needs, although some of them were not able to identify their information needs clearly. The information-seeking behaviour profile of a very large number of Egyptian beggars indicated a preference for informal sources of information over formal sources to solve different problems and meet the challenges faced during their beggary depending on assistive devices, predominantly mobile phones. The illiteracy and the lack of awareness about the basic rights of information as well as information needs were the most important difficulties Egyptian beggars face during accessing information. The study recommended that beggars’ awareness about their information rights should be promoted through educational programs that help them value the role of information in their life.

Perspectives

Professor Essam Mansour
South Valley Univeristy (SVU)

Prof. Dr. Essam Mansour Associate professor Headman of Department of Library & Information Science (DLIS) South Valley University (SVU) Qena , Egypt Ph. D in library & information science, the University of Pittsburgh, USA. MLIS in Library & Information Science, the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA. BA in Library & Information Sciences, Cairo University, Egypt.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0961000615622679

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Essam Mansour