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Challenges In Taking care of Documentation Entries in Sierra Leone

The continuing development in science, specialized and human endeavors have come to be a significant characteristic of present-day society, as this constitutes the ‘information explosion’. Society requirements all kinds of info irrespective of provenance and kind that may be utilized inside arranged social, financial and scientific and specialized things to do to web site but a number of illustrations (Usherwood,1989).

In Sierra Leone, nevertheless the problem of info companies entails amongst many others the educationist, jurist, economist, industrialist, administrator, health and fitness company officer, agriculturist technician and university student. This demand experience librarians with the troubles of how to manage, course of action, disseminate and command information. The most complicated element to date is that of dissemination of details. If this is to be accomplished it is crucial to ensure that the suitable information at the proper time and with the suitable actions reaches the individuals that need to have to use it (Were being, 1990).

Behind this will need need to be somebody accountable for defining and trying to keep the method likely. This needs the selection and assortment of data, their reduction to suitably transient but succinctly obvious messages, their storage and transmission to the place needed for straightforward place and use. The realization of these a technique wants the companies of a group of professionals in unique fields and on the other hand its use calls for that clientele are knowledgeable of the working strategies and the principal ideas which the technique is constituted. Documentation specialists participate in a critical part in this regard.


The proliferation of diverse sources of facts and the ensuing ‘information explosion’ can make it needed for each and every nation to have very well-operating products and services. Information is dependent on files, which in switch form the primary keep of documentation centers. In addition to formal publications documentation facilities draw upon specialised literature these kinds of as textbooks, collection, journals and other scientific publications. Such files contact for systematic, dynamic and hugely specialised examination.

The need for organizations to make files linked to their functions is only a single of the components of their data guidelines. Documents hence, are for buyers, an enter of standard significance. The value of this input differs on the clientele served. The transmission of strategies by means of the prepared phrase and the institution of facilities to manage these files in Sierra Leone is not a new phenomenon as it origins could be traced from the colonial era. These days there are in excess of thirty (30) such institutions sparsely situated in govt departments, libraries and non governmental organizations in the state despite the fact that most of these are located in the cash city, Freetown.

Incorporated are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Intercontinental Cooperation Documentation Middle, the Ministry of Labor Documentation Centre, the Ministry of Progress and Financial Arranging Documentation Middle (MODEP), National Agriculture Documentation Centre (NADOC), Food items and Agriculture Organization Documentation Middle (FAODOC), the Gender and Study Documentation Heart (GRADOC), and the Sierra Leone Selection at the Fourah Bay University library.

A assortment of documents are housed in these establishments this kind of as:

i. these involved with many facets of the organization’s inside administration like economic funds, staff, infrastructure and logistics
ii. people worried with the real performing of the mother or father corporation with the implementation of its aims and plans this kind of as selection-creating, resolutions, recommendations, documents of conferences, minutes, stories as effectively as seminar, workshop and meeting proceedings
iii. documents giving specialized data but of standard curiosity these kinds of as statistical books, yearbooks, collection of texts, pamphlets, glossaries and technological literature and
iv. Those people supplying information on just one distinct factor or all round activities of the group to a wider public this sort of as push releases, brochures, folders and periodicals.

The operate of these documentation facilities is five-fold: to assemble suitable supply details documentation and keep research selection of this kind of paperwork to reasonably purchase exterior elements in response to particular requirements to selectively disseminate recorded information according to user requirements to classify, catalogue and index publications received and to avail proper elements for administrative and monetary applications. Staffs handling these facilities assortment among one and 5.


Sierra Leone has just experienced a 10 years extended civil war (1991-2001) and the federal government is faced with quite a few tasks developmental applications are hence, prioritized and less than these kinds of situations documentation facilities rank minimal in government’s precedence checklist. Consequently troubles abound in the management of documentation facilities which vary from deficiency of a study to discover the selection of documentation centers in the place, constrained room, inadequate employees, incapacity of dad or mum organizations to re-develop and swap destroyed documentation facilities and products all through the war.

Expecting documentation professionals to enrich the current status of their establishments needs satisfactory financial aid. The price of materials, machines and facts transfer is mounting owing to escalating overseas trade and the raising dependence on expensive know-how (Patridge,1994). It becomes thus, all the more urgent to get enough economical assist from dad or mum corporation jogging these institutions. This is however to be carried out.

The performance of documentation companies is based not only upon the devices applied but also on the quality of employees manning these establishments, who in the process of their get the job done should be informed of the most up-to-date developments in science and technological innovation as perfectly as the requires of the countrywide economy. The crux of the make any difference is that only qualified and capable information and facts experts that can assure a swift, comprehensive and up-to-date info services to clientele, thus contributing to the results of quite a few investigate and developmental programs.

Regrettably there is a dearth of properly trained and skilled team to operate documentation centers in the state most documentation centers are operate by possibly para-professional or non-skilled employees, some of whom have only on-the-work experience. The situations of services of these types of team are appalling with bleak long term for self-advancement. For this reason there is huge team turnover as competent personnel often go away unceremoniously for greater compensated up positions.

Documentation facilities can make helpful financial contribution to nationwide growth options by endorsing instruction and exploration at distinctive stages and by supporting economic and social endeavors of different varieties (Isaak, 2000). Nonetheless, to be powerful these establishments ought to be organized in just an integral program, which is conceived in return to, and as section of national plans for economic and social developments. Government is yet to occur up with a countrywide plan on the purpose documentation facilities ought to engage in in the growth of the nation, specially in the put up war era.

Numerous documentation facilities were wrecked for the duration of the civil war and beneficial paperwork ended up lost. While a few keep on to exist most of these are somewhat tiny in sizing with limited products. The absence of suited infrastructure precisely designed to provide as documentation centers is a main obstacle in furnishing suitable products and services to the neighborhood. More documentation companies are hampered by absence of this kind of physical amenities as acceptable furniture and lodging, stacks, fantastic lights and spacious looking through rooms for use by clientele primarily all through peak periods.

Documentation experts need to acknowledge the truth that in new several years the fast advancement of science and technological innovation calls for new approaches of classification, processing and retrieval and dissemination of info and that what they have attained above the a long time in jogging their respective centers is insufficient. The acquisition and managing of resources is one particular of a collection of problems envisaged by employees. This is due to absence of ample bibliographical handle instruments, sophisticated sequence, distribution delays and the big amount of materials developed on a yearly basis for which the range of staff in these facilities is not commensurate.

Further more there are issues with the business of files in these establishments due to staff’s lack of technological know-how. The doc collection is not kept in categorized buy in some of the facilities in which a doc image exists it is used for shelving specially so for documents of governmental and non-governmental corporations. In some publications the image utilised is not revealed on the catalog entries and this can make it complicated for clientele to find wanted paperwork with out staff members help.

In other words the image procedure in use in some of the documentation centers is complicated for clientele’s understanding as non-specialists. Most clientele are baffled irrespective of whether a document labeled Restricted or FOR Minimal DISTRIBUTION ONLY is so done for the reason that the material is in some way private or fairly simply because the spending budget allocation does not allow much more than a restricted quantity of copies to be acquired.

In addition some documentation centers this kind of as NADOC and FAODOC have automatic solutions but the escalating complexity of info technologies is in some cases making issues for clientele. Where by as some clientele are laptop or computer literate and do understand what to do with printed materials no this kind of acquaintance or competence exists for computer-readable data packages for a wide greater part of non pc literate clientele. Given that clientele are the kinds served by data providers a effectively-structured pc training system is indispensable. To achieve this demands a regular research of user needs and their actions, which documentation workers are however to do.

Tips FOR Advancement

The country’s reinstated democracy has a obligation to its citizens of furnishing a dependable and controlled stream of information and facts failing which it deprives them of their spirit of initiative. Invariably it stands to cause that the management of the assets of data, its storage and dissemination can develop into a reality only if there is precise political motivation. The technological innovation of data have to have a spot in the country’s arranging things to do, more so in this article war era. Authorities should build a national plan reflecting the facts wants of teams in respective departments and of the countrywide neighborhood.

Such a national details plan should really be applied through the preparing of national strategies for the improvement of documentation centers. These designs should type an integral component of the over-all countrywide plans for socio-economic development and should really be carried out by a central physique proven at ideal governmental degree with distinct responsibility and authority for organizing in this subject (Line, Mackenzie and Prytherch, 1994).

In see of the simple fact that a thorough expertise of the current condition of documentation facilities and library companies is important for national organizing for the advancement of national details infrastructures, a thorough survey of these establishments in the country is critical. The survey must cover the fiscal and legislative foundation of the procedure of these information and facts expert services collectively with all factors of their structure and functions, team provision, specialized expert services and co-operative agreements. Facts for the survey could be utilised to forecast upcoming requires and the preparation of extensive term strategies for the progress of acceptable information infrastructure.

Accountability lies with the country’s politicians, people adult males of government and public administrators for the analysis of the pros that can be accrued from this kind of an innovation and for the elaboration of important procedures and systems, and for the funding desired to sustain and boost these facilities. As a result, lengthy-phrase preparing simply cannot be evaded. If possible a Fee really should be made to investigate the decisions to be taken. This overall body should be furnished with enough diploma of autonomy and funds whilst performing in quick control with federal government authorities.

Departments running documentation facilities ought to severely re-feel of strengthening the high quality of staff members manning these centers. Recent developments in science and technological innovation call for nicely-qualified and knowledgeable staff members in a vast assortment of disciplines so as to create up self-assurance and physical exercise authority above the centers they deal with. These demands therefore, needs training in diverse routines in facts processing this sort of as amassing, classifying and cataloguing, indexing, retrieval procedures, thesauri and matter analysis.

To achieve these the coaching of staff members really should be central in parent organizations’ developmental plans. Workers really should be authorized to show up at seminars, workshops, and conferences and go after analyze classes in applicable fields. In this mild the country’s library college ought to introduce specific courses in documentation and encourage pupils to make it a vocation. Graduates must be awarded certificates and accorded identical standing and situations of products and services as people accorded to professionals of equivalent academic degrees in other fields.

To relieve the issue of specialized processing every single documentation center should really preserve in fantastic get a finish assortment of its paperwork with successful indexing and cataloging processes this sort of as cumulative and matter indexes. Provided the scattered character of info wanted by documentation experts in their acquisition techniques, they should look at the creation of a frequently up-dated handbook that would include things like a list of bibliographical management device, checklist of libraries, reference units and information and facts systems with an sign of their holdings, procedures and protection of very own documents, telephone range, e-mail handle, if any, description of trade agreements, lists of advised requirements and obtain rights to these companies. This kind of a publication could be a handy medium in which to advertise new publications. Due to the fact the nation is faced with Data Know-how worries severe ideas really should be specified to automate documentation providers for enhanced efficiency (Inglis, Ling & Josten,1999).

Orientation to selective use of documentation facilities is essential. The existing under-utilization of the facilities is induced by a deficiency of routine to talk to them. A user education company in these institutions is thus, vital. Improved awareness by means of this training will deliver about two effects: allocation of larger resources and resources to enhance procurement, assortment and use and a greater gain from out there documentation. By so doing there will be advancement in strategies of doc retrieval by clientele.

In buy to avail methods to clientele co-ordination of all parts of documentation facilities and libraries in the region as a result of networking is essential. These aspects as cooperative acquisition of resources, trade, production of union catalogs, interlibrary loans and if possible centralized processing primarily for documentation centers discovered in federal government departments, ought to be explored to offer both of those team and clientele a basis for accessibility to these centers. Help should be sought from donor organizations and global organizations like UNESCO and International Federation for Documentation (FID) for product, human and economic means, potential making and information and facts dissemination approaches.


Documentation facilities can make successful social and economic contributions to countrywide advancement plans by advertising and marketing facts dissemination, training and exploration at diverse stages. However to be helpful these establishments should really be organized in an integral program that is by itself conceived in relation to, and as component of nationwide designs for financial and social advancement. It is only by way of this way that this kind of provider institutions can make meaningful contribution to national aims and acquire economical assistance for their advancement and sustenance.