Information Overload: A Case for the Developing Countries

Susan Nnadozie Umeozor


This paper discusses information overload with particular reference to the developing countries. Information overload depicts a situation in which the speed of information generation far exceeds the rate of information usage as is the case especially in the developed countries and it is caused by the advancement in Information Communication Technology (ICT). It also depicts a limited access to available information which is the case especially in the developing countries. This later aspect of information overload is caused by limited funds to subscribe to the internet resources by individuals and Internet servers by commercial Internet providers. It is also caused by lack of trained technical experts to man the systems and by irregular electricity supply. In the libraries, limited access to available information is caused by misshelving of books, misfiling of catalogue cards, delays in processing acquired materials, inappropriate signing of subject headings at the processing stage, unfriendly attitude of some library staff towards users, and lack of skills of the users to locate materials in the library. Information overload results in information anxiety, frustration, time and energy wasted, stress, and tension for the users. This problem can be minimized as the number of Internet providers increases and the cost of subscription to the Internet is reduced. Regular electricity supply and more trained technical experts to man the systems will also minimize the problem. Library staff can assist in minimizing the problem through the provision of efficient information retrieval systems and guides, processing of materials as soon as they are acquired, being more friendly and ready to assist users, and by embarking on users’ education to enhance their access to available information in the library.

Keywords: information overload, information communication technology, information storage and retrieval system, library, user education, inaccessibility of information

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5758 ISSN (Online)2224-896X

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