Issues In Managing Authorities Publications In Tutorial Libraries In Sierra Leone

Issues In Managing Authorities Publications In Tutorial Libraries In Sierra Leone

Issues In Managing Authorities Publications In Tutorial Libraries In Sierra Leone


In Sierra Leone the phrases ‘official publications’, official paperwork’, and ‘public paperwork’ are synonymous with authorities publications. Authorities publications, merely put, are paperwork created by authorities and native and quasi-government our bodies explaining and integrating views and polices. They signify the historic and present improvement authorities of presidency and supply information on all kinds of topics to incorporate Political Science, Economics, Finance, Statistics, Labor, Trade, Historical past, Worldwide Relations, Agriculture, Geology and Meteorology. Katz (1997) classed these publications into: (1) data of presidency administration (2).analysis paperwork for specialists together with a substantial variety of statistics and information of worth to science and enterprise (3).fashionable sources of knowledge. Their bodily type being both a e-book, pamphlet, journal, report monograph or digital, particularly CD-ROM (p.387).

Bibliographic management in lots of elements of the world is seemingly unsatisfactory due largely to lack of information of the significance of bibliographic instruments in analysis in authorities publications. The US of America, for instance, was for a very long time a pioneer on this area. Way back to 1895 the Printing Act of January 12 of that 12 months (28 statute, 601-624) not solely established centralized printing and distribution of federal paperwork but additionally instructed the Superintendent of Paperwork to supply applicable instruments for bibliographic management of the paperwork revealed. Nice Britain is an impressive exception for way back to 1807 collections of parliamentary papers had been printed. Nations akin to Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Japan started separating authorities doc bibliographies primarily within the Twenties and Thirties (Palic,1975). Nonetheless a terrific want for the usage of authorities publications was felt following World Struggle 11 (1939-1945), when there was an elevated curiosity within the authoritative info contained in such publications as posited by kid’s (1942) in his introductory notes that ‘an increasing number of the significance of presidency documentation is being acknowledged regardless of the refractory nature of a few of these supplies’

In parallel the emphasis made on the usefulness of presidency publications in Sierra Leone is related to the event of printing which might be traced way back to the founding of the Colony of Sierra Leone in 1787. Though the business did not survive the French assault of 1794 the inspiration stone of what later grew to become referred to as the Authorities Printing Division was laid in 1925 when it was charged with the manufacturing of small notices for official use. At present the Division prints all authorities publications and provides stationery and workplace tools of presidency departments. It additionally undertakes a good quantity of economic printing as revenue producing measures.

Authorities publications often have the benefit of being among the many greatest of their topic fields typically not simply obtainable to others (Smith, 1993). In lieu of the extent and complexity of presidency actions there’s a want for the widespread dissemination of details about these actions and for fashionable integration of presidency coverage. No marvel why authorities publications have particular worth to educational library collections and their authority is everlasting. In educational libraries in Sierra Leone these publications are put apart right into a particular assortment manned by a curator as at Fourah Bay Faculty Library. Some are saved in vertical recordsdata; others are positioned in pamphlet bins, whereas these like maps and surveys are given specialised storage. These publications are acquired primarily by buy, deposit, donation, change and photocopying. The Authorities Printing Division is chargeable for their publication


The growth of presidency in Sierra Leone’s post-war reconstruction period at native, nationwide and worldwide ranges has resulted in rising her affect on the lifetime of the citizenry. Concurrently with this growth is the proliferation of official and semi official companies, commissions and bureaus which proceed to publish works akin to directories, laws, stories, payments, Acts and technical literature which many a researchers, educators, public service functionaries, welfare recipients and the unemployed can’t do regardless of such publications. Since librarians function interface between customers and authorities they’ve for lengthy acknowledged the issues which such a plethora of assortment can pose and have been making large strides to deal with the problem. The essence right here is to supply systematic controls to keep away from the disappearance, into oblivion, of important official publications.

In Sierra Leone authorities publications fall inside three normal courses: Government, Legislative ands Judicial. The Government publications embody these issued by the Workplaces of the President and the Vice President, and numerous unbiased workplaces and institutions akin to Nationwide Fee for Social Motion (NaCSA), Nationwide Income Authority (NRA), Anti Corruption Fee (ACC), Nationwide Fee for Privatization (NCP) and the Workplace of the Ombudsman. Additionally included are authorities ministries such because the Ministries of protection; Training, Youth and Sports activities; International Affairs and Worldwide Co-operation; Tourism and Cultural Affairs; Native Authorities and Group Growth; Agriculture, Forestry and Meals Safety; Commerce and Trade; Inside Affairs; labor and Industrial Relations; and Growth and Financial Planning.

The Ministry of Commerce and Trade, for instance, is chargeable for each inner and worldwide commerce and the promotion of exports. It has powers over customs and excise, tariffs, insurance coverage, patents, logos, requirements, weights and measures. The Ministry of International Affairs and Worldwide Cooperation is chargeable for Sierra Leone’s relationship with international and Commonwealth international locations whereas the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Meals Safety is chargeable for administrating authorities coverage on agriculture, horticulture and meals safety. This Ministry provides sensible steerage to farmers, business producers of horticultural crops and analysis.The Ministry of Inside Affairs offers with the upkeep of regulation and order, the Police and Fireplace Forces, administration of the prisons and the remedy of offenders. Different miscellaneous issues handled by this ministry embody explosives, firearms, harmful medicine, prisons, retailers, public security, leisure, cremation, bylaws and good rule and formal enterprise. The aforementioned features and comparable ones carried out by different ministries require the creation and upkeep of publications. There’s additionally documentation of press briefings given by the numerous heads of ministries and newsletters, that are channels for respective ministries there-by making them extra public-relations aware.

Legislative publications embody the data and debates of Parliament and the stories of hearings of the numerous Parliamentary Committees. Included right here are also a number of coverage statements in reply to parliamentary questions. The Hansard is one other wealthy supply for public issues because it offers official info and views about parliamentary debates.

Publications from the Judiciary department of presidency consist largely of stories of presidency selections by the Justice of the Peace, Appeals and Supreme Courts. Discovered on this arm of presidency are regulation books, ‘annual registers’, state trials and rulings, the structure, worldwide treaties, protocols, peace accords, Acts, payments and digests of native newspapers. These publications present the judiciary with pertinent info on multifarious authorized issues. Such info is required to be factual and politically neutral.

The Metropolis and District Councils, being quasi-government establishments, present paperwork categorised as authorities publications. These embody constructing codes, academic improvement, well being and sanitation, laws on waste disposal, use of firearms and fireplace machines. Additionally there are authorities departments which give statistical info on an unlimited vary of financial, industrial and social demographic information. Of central significance are Statistics Sierra Leone (previously Central Statistics Workplace-CSO), chargeable for nationwide inhabitants census and residential surveys; the Workplace of Births and Deaths which registers and produces annual statistics of births and deaths within the nation; the Workplace of the Registrar Normal chargeable for statutory registration of marriages, patents and logos; the Chamber of Commerce which specializes on enterprise info. These workplaces convey collectively vital financial and social statistics equipped by authorities departments. Different vital authorities departments are the Meteorological Workplace, which continues to present pertinent climate info, and the Nationwide Archives, which serves as repository of all non-current authorities publications inclusive of nationwide newspapers. The afore-mentioned authorities publications differ in measurement and size. Written by consultants within the topic, authorities publications usually are not solely authoritative but additionally well timed revealed and take care of subjects of present curiosity. Their goal, in line with Katz (1969), is to supply info and reply questions and to not provoke dialogue or organizational cataloging and administration. They’re helpful main reference sources.


Tutorial libraries in Sierra Leone are these within the constituent models that type the nation’s two universities, particularly the College of Sierra Leone and the College of Njala. These libraries signify the bibliographic basis of the nation’s analysis curiosity. They take part actively within the distribution and change of e-book and non-book supplies to sister establishments all around the nation. Collectively these establishments serve college students, school, students and researchers which can be engaged in work within the sciences and humanities in addition to most people. These libraries have mixed assets of over 500,000 volumes, most of that are of distinctive scope and high quality. Included in these huge collections are authorities publications akin to treaties, Acts, statistical tables and compilations, conventions and data of diplomatic relations, stories of presidency departments, committees, bureau and commissions, census schedules, proclamations and legal guidelines. The upkeep, preservation and improvement of those publications are tasks shared by educational librarians as their libraries proceed to function nationwide assets.


Different causes have been superior for the inclusion of presidency publications in educational libraries in Sierra Leone. The needs of the nation’s universities are educating, service, analysis and interpretation and dissemination of analysis. Society views authorities as a dependable and neutral supply of authoritative info that needs to be accessible to its residents via its quite a few publications. Since educational establishments take care of college students who in flip will likely be future residents these needs to be knowledgeable accordingly. Authorities’s stance needs to be identified when there may be public dialogue on well being, worldwide relations, schooling, agriculture, social safety and commerce, to quote just a few examples. Thus the necessity for the event of presidency publications in educational libraries as such supplies might communicate for the federal government in different actions. Additional educational libraries have the targets of preservation, conservation and repair. And authorities publications type a part of society’s cultural heritage which want conservation and preservation not just for analysis functions but additionally for posterity as tangible main sources of knowledge which teachers can continuously confer with. Little marvel why as a measure of bibliographic management of those publications librarians proceed to supply catalog’s, checklists, guides, indexes, accessions lists and chosen normal bibliographies containing substantial info on authorities publications.

1991-2001 was a interval of doom in Sierra Leone because it marked the civil conflict. Fought on account of unhealthy governance, nepotism and large corruption it led to the un-wanton destruction of lives and properties. Important authorities buildings0 destroyed to reckless abandon included the Nationwide Treasury, Sierra Leone Police premises, regulation courts and the workplaces of the Freetown Metropolis Council all of which housed vital paperwork continuously consulted by researchers, authorities functionaries and the general public. Not withstanding the nation is regularly recovering with the re-establishment of native authorities, multi-party democracy, improved human, ladies and youngster rights, the availability of a conducive environment to funding, and a brand new system of schooling (6-3-3-4), to quote however just a few developments, the efficient operation of which requires fixed use of presidency publications.

The broad packages in educational establishments embody many areas of life with the educating of historic and geographic ideas; scientific research are undertaken for improved well being and meals safety; worldwide relations and inter-religious understanding are fostered. Additionally trendy neighborhood life and the philosophy of democracy, peace and battle decision, good governance, human rights and different ideologies are taught so that clever selections could possibly be drawn. These designed academic packages convey enrichment and knowledge to college students in such fields as economics, authorities, well being and sanitation, agriculture, worldwide relations, human rights and diplomacy. In assist of those different disciplines educational libraries present large collections to incorporate native supplies a few of that are within the type of authorities publications whereby college students, school and researches might share their experiences and pursuits and develop passable private adjustment with regard different authorities functionaries in society. By so doing college students are supplied the chance to develop in social usefulness and develop their mental pursuits and capabilities so as to grow to be accountable members of society. This in flip might assist promote nationalism. In lieu of those components educational libraries try to supply liberal collections to incorporate books, serial publications, audio-visuals and authorities publications.


Authorities publications are among the many most helpful supplies in educational libraries in Sierra Leone. Aside from the general public library, the nationwide archives and parliament library which function repositories for such publications educational libraries proceed to develop these publications of their large assortment. Nonetheless such strikes usually are not bereft of issues. These vary from poor codecs via lack of commerce bibliographies to unsatisfactory strategies of distribution. The essential downside to all these libraries is the quantity of publications obtained, a lot of which is nothing however uncooked information and statistics used to assist arguments or gathered extra for the sake of gathering fairly than for any particular causes. Since these libraries have restricted area to accommodate their quite a few collections the continued acquisition of presidency publications poses issues to workers.

Tutorial libraries purchase authorities publications primarily by donations though just a few are acquired by buy, change and photocopy. As soon as these supplies are obtained they’re anticipated to be processed and arranged to be used within the library. Sadly there was no fastened sample in classifying and organizing these supplies in these libraries. Their group is both by authorities ministry/division, topic or format which is usually complicated to customers. At Fourah Bay Faculty library, for instance, these publications are positioned individually from the overall assortment which frequently constrains customers in having to depart their studying space to seek the advice of these supplies with restricted sitting lodging. Libraries at Njala College Faculty, Institute of Public Administration and Administration (IPAM) and the Faculty of Medication and Allied Well being Sciences (COMHAS), that are comparatively small in measurement combine the publications of their normal assortment thereby posing retrieval issues to customers.

Maintaining monitor of presidency publications is one other downside as there aren’t any commerce bibliographies printed out to assist hint them. Hardly are these publications talked about within the nationwide bibliography, Sierra Leone Publications, ready by the general public/nationwide library. In addition to the Authorities Printing Division chargeable for the manufacturing of presidency publications doesn’t have any complete lists of its publications. Most occasions these publications are both returned instantly to the respective ministries/departments proudly owning them upon completion or despatched to the Authorities Bookshop on the market or bought by the Authorities Printing Division upon completion, thus making it tough to find retrospective publications. Worse nonetheless each the Authorities Printing Division and the Authorities Bookshop usually are not keen on publicizing these publications and as such many shoppers together with educational librarians usually are not conscious of the provision of related authorities publications for acquisition thus inflicting lapses within the improvement of those supplies in educational libraries. In parallel one would anticipate educational libraries to compile complete lists of such publications however this has not been the case as a result of restricted variety of workers manning this assortment and the quantum of labor they should carry out particularly throughout peak durations when libraries are closely used which is time consuming.

There are additionally issues of assortment improvement. Tutorial libraries are under-funded and subsequently librarians prioritize their assortment improvement wants. Buying authorities publications has not been a precedence for tutorial librarians as they all the time sit up for the Authorities Printing Division for donations that are incessantly not forthcoming. Therefore many related authorities publications usually are not present in educational library collections. What’s extra this restricted assortment is grossly misused and abused by customers (particularly undergraduate scholar customers) of their educational pursuits. Thus most of those publications have dingy covers; others have a few pages both written on or pilfered whereas some are deliberately mis-shelved to deprive colleagues of utilizing them.


The incorporation of presidency publications within the mainstream of educational library providers needs to be thought-about a precedence by college authorities and educational librarians in offering entry to government-produced info in Sierra Leone. Representing a major and integral a part of the nationwide assets authorities publications are main sources of knowledge in virtually each area of endeavor and are essential to knowledgeable public-decision making. Tutorial librarians ought to subsequently assessment their assortment improvement methods and processing and group strategies of those supplies if they’re to be persistently utilized by their quite a few clientele. Especial thought needs to be given to elevated funding, useful resource sharing, compilation of lists and sufficient staffing, sitting lodging and cupboard space if they’re to keep up requirements in serving their quite a few clientele.


John Abdul Kargbo is Senior Lecturer on the Institute of Library, Data & Communication Research at Fourah Bay Faculty, College of Sierra Leone. Mail might be despatched to him on

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