Troubles In Handling Documentation Entries in Sierra Leone

The continuing progress in science, complex and human endeavors have grow to be a big characteristic of modern modern society, as this constitutes the ‘information explosion’. Society wants all kinds of details irrespective of provenance and type that may perhaps be utilized in arranged social, economic and scientific and specialized functions to site but a couple of examples (Usherwood,1989).

In Sierra Leone, having said that the dilemma of information expert services consists of between many others the educationist, jurist, economist, industrialist, administrator, health assistance officer, agriculturist technician and student. This need face librarians with the challenges of how to manage, system, disseminate and management information and facts. The most tricky component to date is that of dissemination of information. If this is to be reached it is important to assure that the ideal information and facts at the suitable time and with the acceptable steps reaches the people that want to use it (Have been, 1990).

Guiding this want ought to be another person accountable for defining and preserving the system going. This involves the selection and choice of knowledge, their reduction to suitably transient but succinctly distinct messages, their storage and transmission to the place desired for simple place and use. The realization of these types of a system demands the expert services of a team of specialists in different fields and on the other hand its use requires that clientele are educated of the doing work techniques and the principal concepts which the system is constituted. Documentation professionals participate in a vital job in this respect.


The proliferation of different resources of details and the resulting ‘information explosion’ will make it vital for every place to have properly-working companies. Info is dependent on files, which in change variety the key keep of documentation facilities. In addition to official publications documentation centers attract on specialized literature such as books, sequence, journals and other scientific publications. These documents phone for systematic, dynamic and extremely specialized examination.

The want for corporations to generate files related to their things to do is only a person of the elements of their data insurance policies. Files as a result, are for buyers, an enter of fundamental value. The value of this enter varies on the clientele served. The transmission of concepts through the prepared term and the institution of centers to arrange these paperwork in Sierra Leone is not a new phenomenon as it origins could be traced from the colonial era. Currently there are around 30 (30) these establishments sparsely located in authorities departments, libraries and non governmental companies in the region despite the fact that most of these are discovered in the funds city, Freetown.

Integrated are the Ministry of International Affairs and Worldwide Cooperation Documentation Centre, the Ministry of Labor Documentation Centre, the Ministry of Enhancement and Economic Preparing Documentation Center (MODEP), Nationwide Agriculture Documentation Heart (NADOC), Foods and Agriculture Group Documentation Centre (FAODOC), the Gender and Investigate Documentation Heart (GRADOC), and the Sierra Leone Collection at the Fourah Bay School library.

A assortment of documents are housed in these institutions this sort of as:

i. all those anxious with many facets of the organization’s inside administration like monetary budget, staff, infrastructure and logistics
ii. people anxious with the precise working of the guardian group with the implementation of its targets and courses these as conclusion-creating, resolutions, tips, documents of conferences, minutes, studies as effectively as seminar, workshop and conference proceedings
iii. files providing specialized details but of normal interest such as statistical guides, yearbooks, selection of texts, pamphlets, glossaries and specialized literature and
iv. Individuals supplying information and facts on just one distinct element or total pursuits of the firm to a wider community this kind of as press releases, brochures, folders and periodicals.

The function of these documentation centers is five-fold: to assemble appropriate source knowledge documentation and retain investigate selection of these kinds of files to fairly get exterior materials in reaction to distinct requirements to selectively disseminate recorded awareness in accordance to consumer requirements to classify, catalogue and index publications gained and to avail acceptable products for administrative and economical reasons. Staffs managing these facilities vary involving a person and 5.


Sierra Leone has just experienced a 10 years prolonged civil war (1991-2001) and the authorities is confronted with a lot of tasks developmental applications are for that reason, prioritized and under these conditions documentation facilities rank low in government’s priority list. As a result challenges abound in the management of documentation facilities which assortment from absence of a survey to establish the number of documentation centers in the region, limited place, inadequate team, lack of ability of father or mother companies to re-create and swap wrecked documentation facilities and supplies through the war.

Anticipating documentation specialists to enrich the latest standing of their establishments calls for adequate money guidance. The charge of elements, machines and information and facts transfer is growing due to escalating foreign exchange and the escalating dependence on high-priced technologies (Patridge,1994). It turns into consequently, all the additional urgent to get adequate economic assist from father or mother organization working these establishments. This is nevertheless to be completed.

The success of documentation providers is based not only on the tools applied but also on the good quality of workers manning these institutions, who in the course of action of their work really should be mindful of the most up-to-date developments in science and technological know-how as perfectly as the wants of the countrywide financial system. The crux of the matter is that only certified and skilled information experts that can guarantee a rapid, extensive and up-to-day details assistance to clientele, hence contributing to the good results of many investigation and developmental systems.

Regrettably there is a dearth of experienced and competent employees to run documentation facilities in the nation most documentation facilities are operate by either para-qualified or non-professional team, some of whom have only on-the-position experience. The conditions of support of such team are appalling with bleak upcoming for self-development. For this reason there is large personnel turnover as certified employees always leave unceremoniously for far better paid out up work opportunities.

Documentation facilities can make helpful financial contribution to nationwide improvement options by advertising schooling and research at distinctive concentrations and by supporting financial and social endeavors of numerous kinds (Isaak, 2000). Nonetheless, to be effective these establishments should be structured within just an integral process, which is conceived in return to, and as component of nationwide strategies for financial and social developments. Federal government is nevertheless to arrive up with a nationwide plan on the part documentation facilities ought to engage in in the growth of the nation, especially in the publish war period.

Several documentation centers had been ruined during the civil war and important paperwork were being misplaced. While a several go on to exist most of these are relatively small in sizing with constrained supplies. The absence of suited infrastructure specifically designed to provide as documentation facilities is a important obstacle in offering suitable solutions to the group. Even more documentation solutions are hampered by lack of such bodily facilities as appropriate home furnishings and accommodation, stacks, very good lighting and roomy examining rooms for use by clientele primarily throughout peak durations.

Documentation professionals should accept the truth that in modern many years the quick improvement of science and technological know-how calls for new ways of classification, processing and retrieval and dissemination of data and that what they have attained in excess of the decades in managing their respective centers is inadequate. The acquisition and dealing with of materials is one particular of a series of difficulties envisaged by staff members. This is owing to absence of ample bibliographical management equipment, complicated sequence, distribution delays and the large amount of components produced yearly for which the variety of personnel in these centers is not commensurate.

Further there are problems with the organization of files in these establishments due to staff’s lack of technological know-how. The document collection is not stored in categorized get in some of the centers in which a doc symbol exists it is applied for shelving particularly so for paperwork of governmental and non-governmental companies. In some publications the image utilized is not shown on the catalog entries and this can make it hard for clientele to identify wanted paperwork with no employees help.

In other text the image procedure in use in some of the documentation centers is sophisticated for clientele’s being familiar with as non-experts. Most clientele are baffled regardless of whether a document labeled Restricted or FOR Confined DISTRIBUTION ONLY is so performed simply because the material is in some way confidential or rather for the reason that the funds allocation does not allow much more than a minimal variety of copies to be acquired.

In addition some documentation facilities this kind of as NADOC and FAODOC have automatic products and services but the escalating complexity of details know-how is occasionally producing issues for clientele. Exactly where as some clientele are personal computer literate and do fully grasp what to do with printed material no these types of acquaintance or competence exists for laptop-readable information and facts deals for a large majority of non personal computer literate clientele. Given that clientele are the types served by info companies a effectively-arranged laptop education program is indispensable. To achieve this needs a continuous examine of consumer wants and their conduct, which documentation personnel are yet to do.

Strategies FOR Improvement

The country’s reinstated democracy has a obligation to its citizens of furnishing a regular and controlled flow of info failing which it deprives them of their spirit of initiative. Invariably it stands to reason that the regulate of the means of details, its storage and dissemination can come to be a reality only if there is specific political determination. The technological know-how of data have to have a place in the country’s planning actions, far more so in this publish war period. Govt must build a countrywide coverage reflecting the facts needs of groups in respective departments and of the countrywide local community.

This kind of a nationwide details plan should really be executed by the planning of countrywide plans for the growth of documentation facilities. These designs must sort an integral section of the above-all national programs for socio-economic improvement and should be carried out by a central overall body founded at appropriate governmental level with apparent responsibility and authority for preparing in this field (Line, Mackenzie and Prytherch, 1994).

In view of the simple fact that a extensive know-how of the existing condition of documentation centers and library services is vital for nationwide arranging for the enhancement of countrywide information infrastructures, a comprehensive study of these institutions in the nation is necessary. The study ought to cover the economic and legislative basis of the operation of these info providers together with all features of their framework and capabilities, workers provision, technological services and co-operative agreements. Info for the survey could be utilized to forecast potential demands and the preparing of extended time period plans for the improvement of ideal facts infrastructure.

Accountability lies with the country’s politicians, those adult males of federal government and community directors for the evaluation of the strengths that can be accrued from these an innovation and for the elaboration of essential insurance policies and applications, and for the funding necessary to maintain and enrich these centers. For that reason, lengthy-expression scheduling can not be evaded. If doable a Commission ought to be designed to examine the conclusions to be taken. This system need to be delivered with ample diploma of autonomy and resources while operating in quick management with authorities authorities.

Departments functioning documentation facilities should really very seriously re-think of enhancing the high-quality of employees manning these facilities. Recent developments in science and know-how contact for properly-trained and knowledgeable personnel in a wide assortment of disciplines so as to create up self-confidence and exercise authority over the centers they take care of. These needs therefore, requires training in various routines in information and facts processing these types of as collecting, classifying and cataloguing, indexing, retrieval procedures, thesauri and subject matter evaluation.

To achieve these the teaching of team should be central in guardian organizations’ developmental ideas. Workers ought to be allowed to show up at seminars, workshops, and conferences and go after study programs in suitable fields. In this gentle the country’s library school should really introduce specific programs in documentation and motivate college students to make it a career. Graduates must be awarded certificates and accorded similar status and situations of expert services as all those accorded to professionals of equal educational concentrations in other fields.

To relieve the challenge of technical processing just about every documentation heart really should continue to keep in good purchase a complete selection of its documents with successful indexing and cataloging methods such as cumulative and subject matter indexes. Provided the scattered mother nature of facts required by documentation professionals in their acquisition treatments, they need to take into account the manufacturing of a on a regular basis up-dated handbook that would involve a checklist of bibliographical control device, record of libraries, reference units and details programs with an indication of their holdings, guidelines and coverage of possess documents, telephone variety, e-mail address, if any, description of trade agreements, lists of suggested expectations and accessibility legal rights to these organizations. This sort of a publication could be a handy medium in which to market new publications. Due to the fact the place is confronted with Facts Know-how issues really serious feelings must be specified to automate documentation services for enhanced effectiveness (Inglis, Ling & Josten,1999).

Orientation to selective use of documentation centers is necessary. The present beneath-utilization of the facilities is caused by a lack of practice to seek advice from them. A consumer education assistance in these establishments is consequently, critical. Greater recognition by way of this education will deliver about two success: allocation of larger money and methods to improve procurement, selection and use and a larger advantage from obtainable documentation. By so executing there will be enhancement in strategies of doc retrieval by clientele.

In order to avail means to clientele co-ordination of all elements of documentation facilities and libraries in the region as a result of networking is critical. This kind of factors as cooperative acquisition of components, trade, output of union catalogs, interlibrary loans and if feasible centralized processing in particular for documentation centers uncovered in govt departments, must be explored to offer the two workers and clientele a basis for access to these facilities. Support must be sought from donor agencies and worldwide businesses like UNESCO and Worldwide Federation for Documentation (FID) for substance, human and economic sources, potential constructing and data dissemination procedures.


Documentation centers can make efficient social and financial contributions to national advancement designs by advertising facts dissemination, education and learning and investigate at distinct ranges. Even so to be efficient these establishments should really be arranged in an integral method that is by itself conceived in relation to, and as element of countrywide designs for financial and social development. It is only as a result of this way that these types of company establishments can make meaningful contribution to nationwide aims and attain monetary support for their growth and sustenance.

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