Reference Companies in Academic Libraries in Sierra Leone

Reference Companies in Academic Libraries in Sierra Leone


Culture is getting far more stratified and polarized, with the abundant and the poor, the educated and uneducated, acquiring minimal cognitive competencies wider apart than in any time in our heritage. In this interval of rising stratification by cash flow and capacity, the library in tutorial establishments may functions as a bridge among the entrenched social poles.

Reference libraries have the longest background of any style of library. They existed in the times of clay tablet and from this sort of tablets, information was consulted and a list of issues is becoming regarded as the primitive forerunners of current library catalogues. From their beginnings in historic moments, the features of libraries have not altered substantially. Nonetheless the format, quantity and articles of the products generating up their inventory and the resultant companies have progressively been reworked to the position wherever the scientists currently have entry to a community of sophisticated details means. The major role of the library is educational and this has been the frame of mind if not the realisation of reference librarians (Higgens, 1988).

Educational libraries are individuals developed to meet up with common studies at the undergraduate and graduate ranges and which also assist their dad or mum establishments in offering their programmes for an effective teaching and implementation of sensible capabilities. Higgens (1988) defined an tutorial library as that connected to help academic institutions over secondary level serving the training and investigation requires of learners, staff and researchers. In accordance to Harrods (2000) educational libraries are those identified in universities, polytechnics, schools and all other institutions forming element of or associated with the academic establishments.

Reference Services at the Fourah Bay School Library

Fourah Bay Faculty library was set up in 1827. It is found at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone in the Michael Jollife Making which was named soon after the late Mr. Michael Jollife, an expatriate who served as Faculty librarian from 1961-1970.

The to start with floor of the library residences the reception desk photocopying place problem desk Sierra Leone Selection (incorporating the United Nations Selection) the American Shelf Standard Reference Selection Cataloguing Section Acquisition Department Circulation Department and the School Librarian’s office. The 2nd ground retains the Textbook Collection. The 3rd ground consists of the General Lending Selection.

The decrease ground floor houses the Bindery employees rooms and retailers. The library has Qualified, Para-specialist and other assist workers. It works by using the Dewey Decimal Classification Plan and the Triplicate Issuing Program with Card catalogue.

Fourah Bay Faculty library is a person of the superb educational libraries in Sierra Leone proven with the mission statement “to develop a comprehensive collection of recorded info to assistance productive training, analysis and schooling in the Liberal Arts, Pure and Utilized Sciences, Engineering and Technological know-how, Social Sciences and Law and connected fields to aid speedy obtain to information, and to enhance the use of collection by prospective library customers of Fourah Bay College and other establishments.”

Reference Services is the peak of library action job. It consists of the servicing of a resource lender from which responses to queries are offered and elements needed by customers are produced offered.Davidson (1979) outlined reference support as the provision of information and facts and components to individuals coming into a reference library and requesting assist from the library team. Katz (1997) seen reference support as the at the rear of-the-scene activities of the reference library in the selection, acquisition and routine maintenance of the library inventory and its mindful recordings and administration.

When we speak of reference provider in educational libraries, we suggest these functions undertaken by librarians and involved types of workers from the reference department in tutorial libraries. This is achieved by means of the use of selection of guides, and other resources stocked in the reference office for reference reasons distinct from assortment manufactured for home looking at or other use exterior the library. The reference method in tutorial libraries will involve the next:

• The consumer recognises his need for information
• The person places his dilemma to the librarian
• The librarian engages the questioner in a reference dialogue
• The librarian refines and restates the query
• The librarian formulates the lookup tactic
• The librarian identifies and exploits his own and/or exterior info assets
• The librarian presents his tentative conclusions
• The user assesses the relevance of these in relation to his prerequisites and
• The user accepts an authorized response.

Reference supplies at the Fourah Bay College Library involve:dictionaries, encyclopedias, summary journals, directories, yearbooks, biographies periodicals/serials, indexes to periodicals, newspapers, maps and charts, technological stories, patents, standard requirements, dissertations, theses, meeting proceedings and the educational and administrative calendar of gatherings or the procedure of the university.

In addition to these materials the library offers the following expert services:

Reference Services: This refers to the personalized support given to users in getting specific info no matter whether direct or indirect. At Fourah Bay University Library, a resource lender is taken care of from which solutions to thoughts are furnished and resources desired by consumers are manufactured out there.

Bibliographic Provider: The library prepares guide lists and bibliographies for its customers, particularly submit-graduate pupils which serve as a good aid in their exploration pursuits especially in the producing of their theses and dissertation.

Photocopying Services: This provider is presented for students who wish to photocopy their notes as well as lecturers who want to reproduce many copies of beneficial products to make their lecture notes. Users fork out a charge for this support.

Internet Company: This is the hottest amid the services provided at the Fourah Bay School Library. The Library supplies an prospect for employees and college students to entry info online through the use of the Web. However, to use the technique, the clientele must have some competencies in the use computers and a charge is also charged for the support.

Binding Support: Mutilated references products are despatched to bindery to be sure. Nevertheless it is not a free of charge for all provider as some price is billed for the providers rendered specially to students and for personalized work of staff members customers.

The reference office at the Fourah Bay Faculty library is a unique one from which resources simply cannot be borrowed for home studying. It is served by special librarians known as Reference Librarians or Info Officers, who help and suggest patrons in their exploration and other literature wants. They deliver bibliographic or mental access and present specific providers and programmes with the mission of educating, informing and entertaining a wide variety of audiences and the objective of stimulating unique mastering and advancing society as a total.

Reference Queries:are also answered in the library. These thoughts posed by the library patrons to the reference librarians with the intention of having the ideal information and facts to fulfill their requires. These queries are divided into:

Directional Queries: These are queries in which the reference librarian is questioned basically for instructions.

All set Reference Queries: These are referred to as speedy reference queries. They are queries in which the reference librarians have to have to talk to only a single supply, and that adjacent to the enquiry position, in order to offer with the user’s requires. This is distinguished from the purely directional stage of function by the point that the librarians want to consult some information instead than simply reply from particular information.

Specific Research Queries: These are described as people in which reference librarians may need to have to seek the advice of several resources to make sure finish the gratification of consumer needs. They are the variety which are obviously recognized devoid of also significantly dialogue and the sources expected are noticeable and fairly elementary.

Analysis Queries: These are queries that have to have prolonged lookups, maybe in excess of various days and perhaps involving a amount of library staff concurrently. The marshalling of details and figures from a broad selection of sources, together with the have to have to create in depth track record notes and explanations, and likely to borrow supplies from other libraries and make a phone call to tips or obtaining guidance from other libraries will be a characteristic of this type of question

Troubles of Reference Solutions at the Fourah Bay College Library

Tutorial Libraries in Sierra Leone, specially Fourah Bay University Library are not with no difficulties. These vary from scarcity of funds by way of deficiency of suitable professionally qualified workers to erratic electric power source.

The library is wholly and entirely dependent on the college administration for funding. An evaluation of funding at Fourah Bay College or university Library reveals that a pretty very low priority is presented to the institution’s academic nerve centre. The library is gravely underfunded. Online games and Sports activities Division is presented a bigger quotation than the library. This economical problem has thus confined the library in the provision of an fantastic reference provider to its shoppers. The library also lacks the needed current reference resources to deal with reference queries. This financial constraints has minimal the library in getting the most new reference resources.

Further the selection of specialist team is small in comparison to the number of para-specialist and other support staff members. The reference area does not have ample team to deal with the quantity of reference queries from the bulk of the consumers of the library specifically for the duration of peak periods.

Energy outages also pose a critical obstacle. The difficulty, while a nationwide 1, has afflicted the functions of the library. The 21st century library is supposed to be a digital library which have to thrive on electricity offer. Unfortunately energy source in Sierra Leone is erratic and this has handicapped the Fourah Bay Higher education library tremendously. As these team and buyers could not make use of this sort of amenities as computer, hunting the World wide web for latest reference materials and data or photocopying elements which are unable to be employed exterior the library or even have accessibility to automatic reference materials.

The reference section at the library does not have Internet amenities to assist in answering reference queries that involve present response. Also the seating lodging in the reference division at the library is inadequate and can not accommodate the huge number of learners in the school who appear in for reference providers. The reference division also lacks Present Recognition Expert services (CAS), Selective Dissemination of Info (SDI) all of which type the foundation for reference services. In addition the reference sources and assets obtainable at the reference division are not very well publicised or marketed which could serve as a strong connection in between the department and the consumers.

In truth, reference services is just one of the most significant providers that a library takes advantage of to fulfill its aims and aims. There is substantial possible in the use the university library of reference providers but there are also several worries. There should be for that reason motivation on the section of the librarians, library administration, people and the school administration in buy to obtain excellent and sustainability in the growth and enhancement of reference services. Only through their energetic participation will reference services renovate the educating and studying approach, change the character of information in search of, organising and applying conduct at Fourah Bay Faculty.