Setting up the Expert Library Infrastructure in Sierra Leone

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Acquiring international locations are characterised in a person way by shrinking economies. Sierra Leone is 1 this sort of country that even with government and donor support, education and learning has been a important challenge. The condition has been worsened, thanks to the truth that libraries have been neglected. In accordance to the African Development Financial institution (ADB) Sierra Leone Region Place of work (2011), the whole funds provided for education and learning by the ADB/ADF funds up to 2010, was about US$ 22 million. The undertaking supported the design of Ninety 8 (98) principal educational facilities, Fifty Four (54) Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), 8 (8) Vocational Expertise Schooling Centres and Twelve (12) duplex housing blocks for academics. The venture also provided coaching for Four Thousand and Fifty (4,050) teachers. Instructor manuals had been also produced accessible. Nevertheless, nothing at all was at any time made available for library improvement. This neglect of libraries, signifies that libraries in Sierra Leone with limited sources, have to do the job together in buy to fulfill the info requires of their end users. One particular library may well not be equipped to properly and suitably meet up with the data requirements of all its end users. Library cooperation is consequently, urgently needed.

Library Scene in Sierra Leone

The state has all the distinctive sorts of libraries they selection from public, academic, exclusive to faculty libraries. In addition to these are information and facts and useful resource or documentation centres that present library and details products and services. Also, there are museums, these kinds of as the Countrywide and the Peace Museums, and the Countrywide Archive which also deliver details companies.

Nevertheless, the Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) which was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1959 serves as the area of the provision of library and data providers in the state. It functions as both the National and a Community library. To day it has a Central library and headquarters situated in Freetown, Regional branches in Provincial headquarter cities, and branches in all District towns, totaling twenty one particular (21) libraries [One (1) central and headquarter library, three (3) regional libraries, sixteen (16) branch libraries, and two (2) sub-branches].

Libraries in Sierra Leone are hence, establishments for the storage and dissemination of information are for end users they present people with guides and other discovering lists they deliver enough obtain to the documents or information users could desire to seek the advice of they have issue arrangement and they are price-efficient.

Library Cooperation

The phrase cooperation describes the joint action of two or much more parties for mutual reward. Library cooperation signifies exchanging cataloguing records, building complementary collections, exchanging library products by inter-library loan and doc supply services, joint obtaining of library resources or automatic technique, supplying services to each individual others’ people. Library cooperation is also explained as an settlement, blend, or team of libraries formed to undertake an organization past the methods of any 1 member.

There are distinctive forms of cooperative actions and some of the most well-known pursuits are reciprocal borrowing, union catalogues or lists, photocopying expert services, cooperative reference services, shipping products and services, cooperative acquisition preparations, subject matter specialisation in collection progress, centralised cataloguing and card production, as perfectly as central storage of components.

Burgett, Harr and Phillips (2004) asserted that there is proof that cooperation between libraries to share means goes back to a prolonged way, at least to the initial half of the 13th century, when monasteries made what we would today recognise as union catalogs of manuscripts to assist in their scholarly pursuits. Musana (1991) indicated that data resource sharing has been in existence as extended as libraries and other sorts of information products and services. The existence of a library is itself a form of cooperation. Several libraries came into existence for the reason that a team of persons with a frequent wish and aspiration wanted to put a collection of components jointly for use by the group customers. Historically, the driving power behind the evolution of resource sharing principle was the motivation to satisfy the felt requirements of the user population. Before, every library was an entity, serving or striving to provide the needs of its own customers and buying supplies to meet up with their major requires.

Beenham and Harrison (1990) having said that mentioned that a blend of instances produced it significantly tricky for an personal library to be self-enough. These situation consist of:

a incredible boost in information and a corresponding expansion in publishing

the distribute of education from key to university degree which guide to greater and more varied demands on the public library products and services by a considerably extra literate community

the advance of technology with its effect on marketplace and commerce and the requirement for businesses and workforce to build new competencies and strategies and

enhanced options for travel and global financial cooperation, which desire up-to-day data about overseas nations.

Existing Library Cooperation in Sierra Leone

There has been enhanced pressure for libraries in Sierra Leone to cooperate, including strategies to build networks therefore building way for means to be obtainable to customers. As these what has attained is as follows:

Lending of products – libraries lend supplies to just about every other formally and unofficially to assist their customers

Donations – substantial libraries donate to smaller sized libraries materials primarily books for their buyers

Photocopying – these are out there in most libraries. The lending library will copy the desired material and send a copy to the requesting library devoid of acquiring to ship the unique

Trade of cataloguing info – cataloguing facts is specified to other libraries. The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) provides its data to university libraries that are unable to do this specialized do the job correctly.

There have been some gains with these varieties of cooperation current in the region:

Availability and entry to facts – there has been important get to to data by users, considering that other libraries’ means can be tapped from

Lower value – cash are saved because of mostly to the truth that some high-priced components are not obtained as prolonged as they are accessed in a different library

Experience sharing – the exchanging of personnel and info presents a system for finding out from each other, specifically with cataloguing details and

Selection enhancement – each individual library tends to create its selection to the maximum point, narrowing the emphasis, and at the conclusion making a strong assortment.

Notwithstanding, the actual added benefits that this kind of cooperation really should provide about have not been absolutely realised. As a result, there are specific measures that libraries should choose to make this workable.

Creating the Infrastructure of Cooperation

The next are critical techniques to be taken into account for an successful cooperation among libraries in Sierra Leone if major achievements are to be manufactured.

Guarantee common comprehending and have confidence in. There must be an founded far better performing relationship between and among libraries the place common comprehending and have faith in are built up. A continued interaction and publicity of one particular another’s methods will have to be maintained. This can be performed by sharing of abilities and expertise, signing of Memoranda of Knowledge, dialogue to allay fears, and to regard what each individual occasion can provide. Exchange of team if necessary have to be performed.

Understand from highly developed libraries. On top of that, classes can be learnt from how other national and intercontinental cooperation is currently being conducted. Cooperation is not a day party but some thing that must be inspired and designed on. There must be space for trial and mistake as effectively as correction of past blunders.

Management need to supply the management. Each individual library management ought to consider on by itself to guide the method properly. There have to be the political will and the willingness to share means, as perfectly as prioritising the shift in direction of cooperation. Administration need to be ready to make positive compromises to access the desired purpose.

Networking and collaboration. The move in direction of cooperation should really not be a one particular gentleman clearly show. Cooperation can consist of voluntary agreement amongst libraries, or it can be imposed on libraries by Library Regulations or by responsible ministries that fund libraries. It is necessary that the participant libraries be prepared to operate with each other towards popular plans.

Provision of cash. One of the rewards of cooperation is to conserve price. On the other hand, each individual library must present cash for the processes included. This is particularly so for processing and technical services capabilities. These should be taken care by particular person libraries. As these kinds of funding need to be provided.

State intervention. In the context of the acquiring international locations condition intervention would be referred to as for to permit coordination of a nation’s whole library and information sources and be certain sufficient funding. This is specifically vital presented that on the total libraries in Sierra Leone do not have massive enough funds base of their own to spend in these kinds of gear as laptop or computer components and software, and telecommunications. Even so, state management have to not be permitted to exceed co-ordination as this might to some extent have an outcome on the zeal, initiative and the goodwill of collaborating libraries, institutions and the personal professionals.

The Problems in Constructing the Infrastructure of Cooperation

In spite of the advantages accrued in cooperation, there are serious and perceived issues, which, until effectively dealt with, could minimise the chances of even the most effective conceived plan using off. In Sierra Leone, these are:

Overcoming the lifestyle of hoarding – the tradition of greed and selfishness that has eaten up the really fabric of modern society. This has affected even library exercise. Libraries are to amass details for the standard excellent of the modern society.

Minimal collections – in which taking part libraries have not created up their collection to a minimal standard to let for exchange, they are to increase their collections to some measurable position to make certain fair participation.

ICTs infrastructure – the marked deficiency of adequate Details and Interaction Technologies (ICTs) is a worrisome issue for cooperation in this 21st century.
Obtaining and installation of ICTs is pretty essential, as nicely as the education and teaching of staffs for use.

Staffing – some of the taking part libraries have untrained and unqualified staff as a major impediment. Also, most workers are anxious about their position, effectiveness, job stability, salaries, and autonomy or independence, and this has affected the synergy. If the fears of team are to be dispelled via correct sensitisation and education, capacity setting up also have to be undertaken.

Administration – administration need to get decisive steps in direction of cooperation.

In summary, info to libraries is as income to banking institutions it is an indispensable input in the development system of the country. Nevertheless, to be productive it has to be optimally readily available and accessible from each individual corner if doable. Library cooperation if correctly prepared and executed features a option to a ton of challenges faced by libraries, librarians and other information professionals in acquiring nations around the world as Sierra Leone. Valls (1983) has supplied the previous phrases, “cooperation concerning facts centres and the co-ordination of endeavours necessary to efficiently share means indicates the existence of an infrastructure linking the centres to just one another.” This library infrastructure must be built up as it would aid in fostering self-enable, trade info, change modern society, boost productivity and get the job done lifetime, and share methods.

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