Issues In Managing Documentation Entries in Sierra Leone

Issues  In  Managing  Documentation Entries in Sierra Leone

Issues In Managing Documentation Entries in Sierra Leone

The persevering with progress in science, technical and human endeavors have develop into a significant attribute of up to date society, as this constitutes the ‘info explosion’. Society wants every kind of data regardless of provenance and type which may be utilized inside organized social, financial and scientific and technical actions to website however a number of examples (Usherwood,1989).

In Sierra Leone, nevertheless the issue of data providers includes amongst others the educationist, jurist, economist, industrialist, administrator, well being service officer, agriculturist technician and scholar. This demand face librarians with the issues of easy methods to arrange, course of, disseminate and management info. Probably the most tough facet thus far is that of dissemination of data. If that is to be achieved it’s important to make sure that the correct info on the proper time and with the suitable measures reaches the individuals that want to make use of it (Had been, 1990).

Behind this want ought to be somebody answerable for defining and holding the system going. This requires the gathering and collection of knowledge, their discount to suitably temporary however succinctly clear messages, their storage and transmission to the place wanted for simple location and use. The conclusion of such a system wants the providers of a gaggle of specialists in several fields and however its use requires that clientele are educated of the working strategies and the principal ideas which the system is constituted. Documentation specialists play a significant function on this respect.


The proliferation of various sources of data and the ensuing ‘info explosion’ makes it crucial for each nation to have well-functioning providers. Data depends on paperwork, which in flip type the primary keep of documentation facilities. Along with official publications documentation facilities draw upon specialised literature corresponding to books, collection, journals and different scientific publications. Such paperwork name for systematic, dynamic and extremely specialised evaluation.

The necessity for organizations to provide paperwork associated to their actions is simply one of many elements of their info insurance policies. Paperwork subsequently, are for customers, an enter of primary significance. The worth of this enter varies on the clientele served. The transmission of concepts by means of the written phrase and the institution of facilities to arrange these paperwork in Sierra Leone is just not a brand new phenomenon because it origins could possibly be traced from the colonial period. At this time there are over thirty (30) such establishments sparsely situated in authorities departments, libraries and non governmental organizations within the nation though most of those are discovered within the capital metropolis, Freetown.

Included are the Ministry of Overseas Affairs and Worldwide Cooperation Documentation Middle, the Ministry of Labor Documentation Middle, the Ministry of Improvement and Financial Planning Documentation Middle (MODEP), Nationwide Agriculture Documentation Middle (NADOC), Meals and Agriculture Group Documentation Middle (FAODOC), the Gender and Analysis Documentation Middle (GRADOC), and the Sierra Leone Assortment on the Fourah Bay Faculty library.

Quite a lot of paperwork are housed in these establishments corresponding to:

i. these involved with numerous features of the group’s inner administration like monetary funds, personnel, infrastructure and logistics;
ii. these involved with the precise functioning of the mum or dad group with the implementation of its targets and packages corresponding to decision-making, resolutions, suggestions, information of conferences, minutes, studies in addition to seminar, workshop and convention proceedings;
iii. paperwork offering specialised info however of common curiosity corresponding to statistical books, yearbooks, assortment of texts, pamphlets, glossaries and technical literature; and
iv. These supplying info on one specific facet or general actions of the group to a wider public corresponding to press releases, brochures, folders and periodicals.

The perform of those documentation facilities is five-fold: to assemble related supply knowledge documentation and preserve analysis assortment of such paperwork; to comparatively purchase exterior supplies in response to particular wants; to selectively disseminate recorded information in accordance with consumer wants; to categorise, catalogue and index publications obtained; and to avail acceptable supplies for administrative and monetary functions. Staffs managing these facilities vary between one and 5.


Sierra Leone has simply skilled a decade lengthy civil struggle (1991-2001) and the federal government is confronted with quite a few duties; developmental packages are subsequently, prioritized and underneath such circumstances documentation facilities rank low in authorities’s precedence checklist. Therefore issues abound within the administration of documentation facilities which vary from lack of a survey to establish the variety of documentation facilities within the nation, restricted house, insufficient employees, incapacity of mum or dad organizations to re-build and exchange destroyed documentation facilities and supplies throughout the struggle.

Anticipating documentation specialists to reinforce the present standing of their establishments requires ample monetary help. The price of supplies, gear and data switch is rising as a result of escalating overseas trade and the growing dependence upon costly know-how (Patridge,1994). It turns into subsequently, all of the extra pressing to get ample monetary help from mum or dad group operating these establishments. That is but to be executed.

The effectiveness of documentation providers is predicated not solely upon the gear used but additionally on the standard of employees manning these establishments, who within the strategy of their work ought to concentrate on the most recent developments in science and know-how in addition to the wants of the nationwide financial system. The crux of the matter is that solely certified and competent info specialists that may guarantee a fast, complete and up-to-date info service to clientele, thus contributing to the success of many analysis and developmental packages.

Regrettably there’s a dearth of skilled and certified employees to run documentation facilities within the nation; most documentation facilities are run by both para-professional or non-professional employees, a few of whom have solely on-the-job expertise. The situations of service of such employees are appalling with bleak future for self-advancement. Therefore there may be huge employees turnover as certified employees at all times depart unceremoniously for higher paid up jobs.

Documentation facilities could make efficient financial contribution to nationwide improvement plans by selling schooling and analysis at completely different ranges and by supporting financial and social endeavors of varied sorts (Isaak, 2000). Nevertheless, to be efficient these establishments ought to be organized inside an integral system, which is conceived in return to, and as a part of nationwide plans for financial and social developments. Authorities is but to give you a nationwide coverage on the function documentation facilities ought to play within the improvement of the nation, particularly within the put up struggle period.

Many documentation facilities have been destroyed throughout the civil struggle and priceless paperwork have been misplaced. Though a number of live on most of those are comparatively small in measurement with restricted supplies. The dearth of appropriate infrastructure particularly designed to function documentation facilities is a significant impediment in offering ample providers to the neighborhood. Additional documentation providers are hampered by lack of such bodily services as appropriate furnishings and lodging, stacks, good lighting and spacious studying rooms to be used by clientele particularly throughout peak durations.

Documentation specialists ought to settle for the truth that lately the fast improvement of science and know-how calls for brand new methods of classification, processing and retrieval and dissemination of data and that what they’ve achieved through the years in operating their respective facilities is insufficient. The acquisition and dealing with of supplies is one among a collection of issues envisaged by employees. This is because of lack of ample bibliographical management instruments, complicated collection, distribution delays and the large amount of supplies produced yearly for which the variety of employees in these facilities is just not commensurate.

Additional there are issues with the group of paperwork in these establishments as a result of employees’s lack of technical know-how. The doc assortment is just not saved in labeled order in a number of the facilities; the place a doc image exists it’s used for shelving significantly so for paperwork of governmental and non-governmental organizations. In some publications the image used is just not proven on the catalog entries and this makes it tough for clientele to find wanted paperwork with out employees help.

In different phrases the image system in use in a number of the documentation facilities is complicated for clientele’s understanding as non-specialists. Most clientele are baffled whether or not a doc labeled RESTRICTED or FOR LIMITED DISTRIBUTION ONLY is so executed as a result of the fabric is indirectly confidential or relatively as a result of the funds allocation doesn’t allow greater than a restricted variety of copies to be acquired.

As well as some documentation facilities corresponding to NADOC and FAODOC have automated providers however the rising complexity of data know-how is typically creating issues for clientele. The place as some clientele are pc literate and do perceive what to do with printed materials no such acquaintance or competence exists for computer-readable info packages for a overwhelming majority of non pc literate clientele. Since clientele are those served by info providers a well-organized pc schooling system is indispensable. To achieve this requires a continuing examine of consumer wants and their conduct, which documentation employees are but to do.


The nation’s reinstated democracy has an obligation to its residents of offering a constant and managed circulation of data failing which it deprives them of their spirit of initiative. Invariably it stands to purpose that the management of the assets of data, its storage and dissemination can develop into a actuality provided that there may be exact political dedication. The know-how of data will need to have a spot within the nation’s planning actions, extra so on this put up struggle period. Authorities ought to set up a nationwide coverage reflecting the data wants of teams in respective departments and of the nationwide neighborhood.

Such a nationwide info coverage ought to be applied by means of the preparation of nationwide plans for the event of documentation facilities. These plans ought to type an integral a part of the over-all nationwide plans for socio-economic improvement and ought to be carried out by a central physique established at acceptable governmental stage with clear duty and authority for planning on this area (Line, Mackenzie and Prytherch, 1994).

In view of the truth that a radical information of the present state of documentation facilities and library providers is crucial for nationwide planning for the event of nationwide info infrastructures, a complete survey of those establishments within the nation is crucial. The survey ought to cowl the monetary and legislative foundation of the operation of those info providers along with all features of their construction and features, employees provision, technical providers and co-operative agreements. Knowledge for the survey could possibly be used to forecast future wants and the preparation of long run plans for the event of acceptable info infrastructure.

Duty lies with the nation’s politicians, these males of presidency and public directors for the analysis of the benefits that may be accrued from such an innovation and for the elaboration of crucial insurance policies and packages, and for the funding wanted to maintain and improve these facilities. Due to this fact, long-term planning can’t be evaded. If potential a Fee ought to be created to research the choices to be taken. This physique ought to be supplied with enough diploma of autonomy and funds though working in instant management with authorities authorities.

Departments operating documentation facilities ought to critically re-think of enhancing the standard of employees manning these facilities. Present developments in science and know-how name for well-trained and competent employees in a variety of disciplines in order to construct up self-confidence and train authority over the facilities they handle. These calls for subsequently, requires coaching in various routines in info processing corresponding to accumulating, classifying and cataloguing, indexing, retrieval strategies, thesauri and topic evaluation.

To achieve these the coaching of employees ought to be central in mum or dad organizations’ developmental plans. Workers ought to be allowed to attend seminars, workshops, and conferences and pursue examine programs in related fields. On this gentle the nation’s library faculty ought to introduce particular programs in documentation and encourage college students to make it a profession. Graduates ought to be awarded certificates and accorded related standing and situations of providers as these accorded to professionals of equal academic ranges in different fields.

To alleviate the issue of technical processing every documentation middle ought to preserve in good order an entire assortment of its paperwork with environment friendly indexing and cataloging procedures corresponding to cumulative and topic indexes. Given the scattered nature of data wanted by documentation specialists of their acquisition procedures, they need to think about the manufacturing of a repeatedly up-dated handbook that would come with a listing of bibliographical management device, checklist of libraries, reference items and data programs with a sign of their holdings, insurance policies and protection of personal paperwork, phone quantity, e-mail deal with, if any, description of trade agreements, lists of really useful requirements and entry rights to those organizations. Such a publication could possibly be a helpful medium wherein to promote new publications. For the reason that nation is confronted with Data Expertise challenges critical ideas ought to be given to automate documentation providers for elevated effectivity (Inglis, Ling & Josten,1999).

Orientation to selective use of documentation facilities is crucial. The current under-utilization of the facilities is attributable to an absence of behavior to seek the advice of them. A consumer schooling service in these establishments is subsequently, important. Elevated consciousness by means of this schooling will result in two outcomes: allocation of better funds and assets to enhance procurement, choice and use; and a better benefit from accessible documentation. By so doing there can be enchancment in strategies of doc retrieval by clientele.

With the intention to avail assets to clientele co-ordination of all elements of documentation facilities and libraries within the nation by means of networking is essential. Such features as cooperative acquisition of supplies, trade, manufacturing of union catalogs, interlibrary loans and if potential centralized processing particularly for documentation facilities present in authorities departments, ought to be explored to supply each employees and clientele a foundation for entry to those facilities. Help ought to be sought from donor businesses and worldwide organizations like UNESCO and Worldwide Federation for Documentation (FID) for materials, human and monetary assets, capability constructing and data dissemination strategies.


Documentation facilities could make environment friendly social and financial contributions to nationwide improvement plans by selling info dissemination, schooling and analysis at completely different ranges. Nevertheless to be efficient these establishments ought to be organized inside an integral system that’s itself conceived in relation to, and as a part of nationwide plans for financial and social improvement. It is just by means of this manner that such service establishments could make significant contribution to nationwide targets and acquire monetary help for his or her improvement and sustenance.

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