Parliamentary Librarianship in Sierra Leone
The Library of the Parliament of Sierra Leone, the official repository of the archives of Parliament, is liable for the gathering, group and dissemination of bibliographic supplies and data obligatory for the development of legislative work. The Homes of Parliament, which homes the library, is situated on the prime of Tower Hill on the second ground. It was inaugurated on the eve of the nation’s independence, April 26, 1961. The proximity of the library to the hemicycle ensures the proximity of its existence and its providers to parliamentarians and parliamentary directors.
The scope and complexity of presidency actions create a necessity for vast dissemination of details about these actions and for widespread interpretation of presidency coverage. Invariably, the overriding goal of the library is to supply data that may allow parliamentarians, parliamentary directors and help employees to hold out their duties successfully. Its goals are:
o The availability of data and data assets important to parliamentarians and the parliamentary administration within the train of their day by day features.
o Function an archive for parliamentary publications and different very important authorities publications.
o Purchase materials from parliaments of different international locations that might be helpful to parliamentarians and parliamentary directors for routine operations.
Provisions and administration
In step with these goals and goals, the library has a small assortment of holdings on philosophy, sociology, political science, economics, legislation, army administration, and historical past. Additionally included are Payments, Acts, Agendas and Notices, Hansard/Parliamentary Debates, State Opening Packages, Presidential Speeches, Price range Speeches, Election Chronicles and parliamentary developments, parliamentary debates of the Home of Commons and Lords of Nice Britain, courting again to the colonial interval, Indian parliamentary debates and related debates of Tanganyika (Tanzania), Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and paperwork from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Commonwealth. Additionally, a set of reference works similar to encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, parliamentary manuals, yearbooks, public notices, protocols and treaties. These supplies are acquired by buy, present, alternate and deposit, specifically by the Authorities Printing Division liable for the printing of all authorities publications within the nation. Supplies are categorised and arranged in accordance with the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme (nineteenth Version).
A librarian, an assistant librarian and some workplace staff maintain the library. The Librarian is accountable to the Clerk of Parliament, the Chief Administrator and Voting Comptroller, and the Chief Common of the Unit. The duties of the librarian, along with administering the library, embody compiling bibliographies and studying lists, researching literature, summarizing details and printed data, and acquiring data from authorities departments. The assistant librarian performs duties similar to buying, classifying and cataloging paperwork, responding to reference requests, writing correspondence, shelving and basic supervision of help employees. It additionally calculates the parliamentary index of all parliamentary paperwork and debates, the index of public payments after which the index of worldwide affairs with references drawn from the day by day and periodical press, authorities notices and the index of commissions of inquiry. These indices are collected and reproduced photographically. The federal government primarily helps the library financially.
The clientele of the Sierra Leone Parliament Library are primarily parliamentarians and parliamentary directors. The library additionally extends its providers to school professors and college students, authorities officers and guests. It has a readership of over 5 hundred (500). The library is open from 8:30 a.m. to five:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and is closed on weekends and public holidays. It affords reference and lending providers to its clientele as a part of its guide providers. To permit a person to lend tools, an software kind is issued to be accomplished. As much as three books will be loaned for 2 weeks. Customers can renew their books for a further two weeks, supplied no different person requests them. Nonetheless, paperwork similar to reviews, convention proceedings, parliamentary proceedings, debates and gazettes usually are not lent however solely consulted on the library. The library has an Writer/Title and Categorised catalog.
Reader Companies and Reference Desk employees deal with all reference requests. Reference providers are supplied in 3 ways: individually to parliamentarians in response to a request for a “memorandum” on any topic associated to their official duties; getting ready basic ‘background papers’ on earlier debates, particularly when a Member was absent and desires an summary of what was mentioned; and advert hoc providers to Home committees.
To complement library provisioning, data providers and selective dissemination of data are supplied on a modest scale. The information service consists of offering the most recent periodical articles, reviews and paperwork akin to particular subjects of curiosity to every member. Photocopying service of desired publications similar to information articles from latest press clipping recordsdata, reviews and content material pages of required paperwork can also be supplied. There may be additionally a phone service for inside and worldwide calls. To be able to meet the challenges of ICT, computer systems have been put in within the library with web facility. To be able to protect and preserve the gathering, library employees regularly fumigate the gathering whereas the assistant librarian makes repairs to broken supplies. Worn supplies are taken to the federal government printing division for restore. To assist patrons use the library, person coaching is supplied together with shelf guides.
However the library’s preparations and providers, issues abound and pose challenges for workers. Observe the dearth of employees, poor working circumstances, inadequate and out of date assortment, inadequate and premature funding, the failure to hold out a survey to evaluate the wants of customers and the absence of a coverage for the event of assortment. It’s no marvel that skilled and certified employees are hardly retained to function the library. Nonetheless, it’s hoped that the present Parliament will revive the state of affairs.
Sierra Leone Parliament Library Guide, 1986 (unpublished)
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