Problems In Managing Government Publications In Academic Libraries In Sierra Leone

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Problems In Managing Government Publications In Academic Libraries In Sierra Leone


In Sierra Leone the phrases ‘official courses’, respectable files’, and ‘public files’ are synonymous with authorities guides. Government publications, definitely positioned, are files created by using government and nearby and quasi-authorities our bodies explaining and integrating views and polices. They represent the historical and current improvement government of presidency and offer facts on a wide kind of subjects to include Political Science, Economics, Finance, Statistics, Labor, Industry, History, International Relations, Agriculture, Geology and Meteorology. Kate (1997) classed those guides into: (1) facts of presidency management (2).Studies documents for specialists which includes a giant wide variety of information and data of cost to technology and enterprise (three).Popular assets of information. Their physical form being either a e-book, pamphlet, magazine, file monograph or digital, in particular CD-ROM (p.387).

Bibliographic control in lots of components of the world is outwardly unsatisfactory due largely to lack of knowledge of the importance of bibliographic equipment in research in government guides. The United States of America, as an instance, became for a long term a pioneer on this area. As some distance back as 1895 the Printing Act of January 12 of that yr (28 statute, 601-624) no longer most effective set up centralized printing and distribution of federal documents however also told the Superintendent of Documents to offer suitable equipment for bibliographic manage of the documents published. Great Britain is an top notch exception for as a ways again as 1807 collections of parliamentary papers had been printed. Countries germany mailing address format consisting of Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Japan commenced keeping apart government report bibliographies especially within the 1920s and 1930s (Panic,1975). However a exquisite need for the usage of government publications was felt following World War 11 (1939-1945), whilst there was an extended interest in the authoritative facts contained in such courses as posited via baby’s (1942) in his introductory notes that ‘more and more the importance of government documentation is being recognized notwithstanding the refractory nature of some of these substances’

In parallel the emphasis made at the usefulness of presidency publications in Sierra Leon is related to the improvement of printing which can be traced as far back as the founding of the Colony of Sierra Leon in 1787. Although the industry didn’t live to tell the tale the French assault of 1794 the foundation stone of what later became known as the Government Printing Department was laid in 1925 while it became charged with the production of small notices for official use. Currently the Department prints all government courses and supplies stationery and office device of government departments. It additionally undertakes a honest amount of commercial printing as income producing measures.


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Government publications usually have the benefit of being most of the quality of their concern fields regularly no longer without difficulty to be had to others (Smith, 1993). In lieu of the extent and complexity of presidency sports there may be a want for the vast dissemination of facts about these activities and for popular integration of presidency coverage. No marvel why authorities courses have special cost to academic library collections and their authority is everlasting. In instructional libraries in Sierra Leon those courses are put apart into a special series manned through a curator as at Fourth Bay College Library. Some are kept in vertical documents; others are placed in pamphlet boxes, while those like maps and surveys are given specialized garage. These courses are obtained specially by buy, deposit, donation, alternate and photocopying. The Government Printing Department is liable for their e-book


The enlargement of presidency in Sierra Leon’s publish-conflict reconstruction era at nearby, national and global stages has ended in growing her have an effect on on the existence of the citizenry. Simultaneously with this enlargement is the proliferation of authentic and semi legit groups, commissions and bureaus which hold to submit works which include directories, guidelines, reports, bills, Acts and technical literature which many a researchers, educators, public carrier functionaries, welfare recipients and the unemployed can’t do with out reference to such publications. Since librarians serve as interface among users and government they’ve for long recognized the troubles which this kind of plethora of series can pose and were making exceptional strides to cope with the problem. The essence right here is to provide systematic controls to avoid the disappearance, into oblivion, of essential legit guides.

In Sierra Leon government guides fall inside 3 trendy classes: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The Executive guides consist of the ones issued with the aid of the Offices of the President and the Vice President, and numerous unbiased workplaces and institutions consisting of National Commission for Social Action (NASA), National Revenue Authority (NRA), Anti Corruption Commission (AC), National Commission for Privatization (NIP) and the Office of the Ombudsman. Also blanketed are government ministries together with the Ministries of defense; Education, Youth and Sports; Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation; Tourism and Cultural Affairs; Local Government and Community Development; Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security; Trade and Industry; Internal Affairs; hard work and Industrial Relations; and Development and Economic Planning.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, as an instance, is chargeable for each inner and international change and the merchandising of exports. It has powers over customs and excise, tariffs, insurance, patents, logos, requirements, weights and measures. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is chargeable for Sierra Leone’s courting with overseas and Commonwealth nations at the same time as the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security is chargeable for administrating authorities policy on agriculture, horticulture and food safety. This Ministry gives sensible guidance to farmers, business manufacturers of horticultural crops and research.The Ministry of Internal Affairs offers with the renovation of regulation and order, the Police and Fire Forces, management of the prisons and the treatment of offenders. Other miscellaneous topics treated by means of this ministry include explosives, firearms, risky capsules, prisons, stores, public safety, leisure, cremation, bylaws and proper rule and formal commercial enterprise. The aforementioned capabilities and comparable ones done through other ministries require the creation and upkeep of courses. There is also documentation of press briefings given by the numerous heads of ministries and newsletters, which might be channels for respective ministries there-by way of making them more public-members of the family conscious.

Legislative publications include the statistics and debates of Parliament and the reviews of hearings of the various Parliamentary Committees. Included here also are more than one policy statements in respond to parliamentary questions. The Hansard is any other rich source for public subjects as it offers official information and views about parliamentary debates.

Publications from the Judiciary department of presidency consist commonly of reports of government choices by using the Magistrate, Appeals and Supreme Courts. Found on this arm of government are law books, ‘annual registers’, country trials and rulings, the charter, worldwide treaties, protocols, peace accords, Acts, bills and digests of neighborhood newspapers. These publications offer the judiciary with pertinent facts on multifarious criminal subjects. Such statistics is required to be authentic and politically impartial.

The City and District Councils, being quasi-government establishments, provide files categorised as authorities courses. These include constructing codes, instructional development, health and sanitation, guidelines on waste disposal, use of firearms and fireplace machines. Also there are government departments which provide statistical statistics on a widespread variety of monetary, commercial and social demographic data. Of valuable importance are Statistics Sierra Leone (formerly Central Statistics Office-CSO), responsible for countrywide populace census and home surveys; the Office of Births and Deaths which registers and produces annual records of births and deaths within the united states; the Office of the Registrar General answerable for statutory registration of marriages, patents and trademarks; the Chamber of Commerce which specializes on enterprise statistics. These workplaces bring collectively crucial financial and social statistics supplied by means of government departments. Other essential authorities departments are the Meteorological Office, which maintains to offer pertinent weather statistics, and the National Archives, which serves as repository of all non-current government guides such as countrywide newspapers. The afore-mentioned government guides range in size and length. Written by experts inside the challenge, authorities courses aren’t only authoritative however additionally timely published and deal with subjects of cutting-edge hobby. Their purpose, according to Katz (1969), is to offer statistics and answer questions and now not to initiate dialogue or organizational cataloging and administration. They are useful primary reference assets.


Academic libraries in Sierra Leone are the ones within the constituent gadgets that form the u . S . A .’s universities, specifically the University of Sierra Leone and the University of Njala. These libraries constitute the bibliographic foundation of the nation’s research interest. They take part actively inside the distribution and change of ebook and non-ebook materials to sister institutions everywhere in the country. Collectively those establishments serve students, faculty, scholars and researchers which might be engaged in paintings in the sciences and arts as well as most of the people. These libraries have combined resources of over 500,000 volumes, maximum of which are of specific scope and fine. Included in these large collections are government guides such as treaties, Acts, statistical tables and compilations, conventions and information of diplomatic family members, reports of government departments, committees, bureau and commissions, census schedules, proclamations and laws. The maintenance, protection and improvement of these courses are responsibilities shared via instructional librarians as their libraries maintain to function national sources.


Varied reasons have been advanced for the inclusion of presidency courses in instructional libraries in Sierra Leone. The purposes of the us of a’s universities are teaching, carrier, research and interpretation and dissemination of research. Society perspectives authorities as a dependable and unbiased source of authoritative data that have to be available to its citizens thru its numerous guides. Since instructional institutions address students who in turn could be destiny citizens those must be knowledgeable consequently. Government’s stance must be known when there’s public dialogue on fitness, international relations, training, agriculture, social protection and change, to quote some examples. Thus the want for the improvement of presidency courses in academic libraries as such substances should speak for the authorities in numerous sports. Further educational libraries have the objectives of preservation, conservation and service. And government courses shape part of society’s cultural heritage which need conservation and upkeep no longer most effective for research functions but also for posterity as tangible primary sources of statistics which academics can constantly talk over with. Little wonder why as a degree of bibliographic control of these guides librarians preserve to offer catalog’s, checklists, publications, indexes, accessions lists and selected general bibliographies containing substantial data on authorities publications.

1991-2001 turned into a duration of doom in Sierra Leone because it marked the civil struggle. Fought because of bad governance, nepotism and huge corruption it caused the un-wanton destruction of lives and residences. Essential government buildings0 destroyed to reckless abandon blanketed the National Treasury, Sierra Leone Police premises, regulation courts and the workplaces of the Freetown City Council all of which housed vital documents constantly consulted with the aid of researchers, government functionaries and the general public. Not withstanding the usa is step by step recuperating with the re-establishment of local government, multi-celebration democracy, progressed human, ladies and infant rights, the availability of a conducive atmosphere to investment, and a new gadget of schooling (6-3-three-4), to quote however some developments, the powerful operation of which calls for constant use of government guides.

The vast applications in educational institutions consist of many areas of life with the teaching of ancient and geographic principles; clinical research are undertaken for stepped forward fitness and meals security; global relations and inter-religious information are fostered. Also present day community lifestyles and the philosophy of democracy, peace and conflict decision, excellent governance, human rights and different ideologies are taught just so intelligent decisions may be drawn. These designed instructional applications bring enrichment and information to students in such fields as economics, authorities, fitness and sanitation, agriculture, worldwide family members, human rights and international relations. In support of those numerous disciplines instructional libraries offer big collections to encompass neighborhood materials some of which can be inside the shape of presidency courses whereby students, school and researches ought to percentage their reports and pastimes and expand high-quality non-public adjustment with regard various authorities functionaries in society. By so doing students are furnished the possibility to grow in social usefulness and develop their highbrow pastimes and competencies a good way to grow to be accountable individuals of society. This in turn should assist promote nationalism. In lieu of these factors educational libraries try to offer liberal collections to consist of books, serial guides, audio-visuals and authorities guides.


Government publications are most of the most useful substances in instructional libraries in Sierra Leone. Apart from the general public library, the country wide information and parliament library which function repositories for such publications instructional libraries preserve to increase these publications in their huge collection. However such movements are not bereft of problems. These variety from poor formats thru lack of trade bibliographies to unsatisfactory strategies of distribution. The fundamental trouble to a majority of these libraries is the quantity of courses received, a lot of which is not anything however uncooked statistics and data used to assist arguments or amassed more for the sake of gathering as opposed to for any specific motives. Since those libraries have limited area to house their severa collections the continuing acquisition of government publications poses issues to workforce.

Academic libraries collect government publications especially by donations although a few are obtained by way of buy, alternate and photocopy. Once those materials are acquired they’re predicted to be processed and organized for use inside the library. Sadly there has been no fixed pattern in classifying and organizing these materials in those libraries. Their employer is either via government ministry/branch, concern or format that’s often complicated to users. At Fourah Bay College library, as an instance, those guides are located separately from the general series which frequently constrains users in having to go away their reading vicinity to consult those substances with restricted sitting accommodation. Libraries at Njala University College, Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMHAS), which might be noticeably small in length combine the publications of their wellknown collection thereby posing retrieval issues to users.

Keeping track of government guides is any other trouble as there aren’t any trade bibliographies printed out to help hint them. Hardly are these courses noted in the country wide bibliography, Sierra Leone Publications, organized by way of the general public/national library. Besides the Government Printing Department answerable for the manufacturing of presidency courses does no longer have any comprehensive lists of its publications. Most times those guides are either again without delay to the respective ministries/departments owning them upon finishing touch or sent to the Government Bookshop on the market or bought by means of the Government Printing Department upon crowning glory, thus making it tough to find retrospective guides. Worse nevertheless both the Government Printing Department and the Government Bookshop are not interested in publicizing these courses and as such many customers such as academic librarians are not privy to the supply of applicable authorities courses for acquisition accordingly inflicting lapses inside the development of those substances in instructional libraries. In parallel one would expect educational libraries to collect complete lists of such courses but this has not been the case due to the restrained number of staff manning this series and the quantum of labor they need to carry out especially for the duration of peak durations while libraries are heavily used which is time ingesting.

There also are troubles of collection improvement. Academic libraries are underneath-funded and consequently librarians prioritize their collection improvement wishes. Purchasing authorities guides has now not been a concern for educational librarians as they constantly sit up for the Government Printing Department for donations which are often not approaching. Hence many applicable authorities publications aren’t observed in academic library collections. What is greater this restrained series is grossly misused and abused by customers (mainly undergraduate student users) in their academic interests. Thus most of these guides have dingy covers; others have a couple of pages both written on or pilfered even as some are intentionally mis-shelved to deprive colleagues of the use of them.


The incorporation of presidency guides inside the mainstream of instructional library offerings ought to be taken into consideration a priority through college authorities and academic librarians in supplying access to government-produced facts in Sierra Leone. Representing a vast and necessary part of the countrywide sources authorities courses are important sources of statistics in almost every area of undertaking and are important to informed public-decision making. Academic librarians must therefore review their series development strategies and processing and organisation strategies of those substances if they may be to be persistently utilized by their numerous clients. Especial idea have to accept to expanded funding, useful resource sharing, compilation of lists and ok staffing, sitting accommodation and storage area if they’re to preserve standards in serving their severa clients.

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