Problems In Managing Documentation Entries in Sierra Leone

Problems  In  Managing  Documentation Entries in Sierra Leone

The continuing development in science, complex and human endeavors have turn into a main characteristic of contemporary society, as this constitutes the ‘information explosion’. Modern society needs all forms of details irrespective of provenance and kind that may perhaps be used in just organized social, economic and scientific and complex routines to website but a number of illustrations (Usherwood,1989).

In Sierra Leone, nonetheless the trouble of details expert services includes among other individuals the educationist, jurist, economist, industrialist, administrator, wellbeing assistance officer, agriculturist technician and college student. This need experience librarians with the troubles of how to organize, system, disseminate and handle information and facts. The most hard component to day is that of dissemination of information and facts. If this is to be attained it is vital to guarantee that the appropriate data at the suitable time and with the suitable measures reaches the persons that need to use it (Have been, 1990).

Guiding this will need must be another person dependable for defining and holding the procedure heading. This calls for the assortment and selection of facts, their reduction to suitably brief but succinctly apparent messages, their storage and transmission to exactly where desired for straightforward spot and use. The realization of this sort of a technique requires the solutions of a group of specialists in different fields and on the other hand its use necessitates that clientele are knowledgeable of the functioning approaches and the principal principles which the system is constituted. Documentation specialists participate in a crucial position in this respect.


The proliferation of diversified resources of information and facts and the resulting ‘information explosion’ makes it required for each country to have perfectly-performing solutions. Data is dependent on paperwork, which in convert kind the major continue to be of documentation facilities. In addition to formal publications documentation facilities draw on specialized literature these as books, series, journals and other scientific publications. Such paperwork get in touch with for systematic, dynamic and highly specialised evaluation.

The need to have for companies to generate documents related to their routines is only a single of the components of their data guidelines. Files thus, are for buyers, an input of essential importance. The worth of this enter differs on the clientele served. The transmission of tips via the written phrase and the establishment of facilities to manage these documents in Sierra Leone is not a new phenomenon as it origins could be traced from the colonial period. Now there are over thirty (30) this sort of establishments sparsely situated in government departments, libraries and non governmental organizations in the state although most of these are discovered in the funds metropolis, Freetown.

Provided are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Intercontinental Cooperation Documentation Heart, the Ministry of Labor Documentation Center, the Ministry of Advancement and Financial Planning Documentation Center (MODEP), Countrywide Agriculture Documentation Centre (NADOC), Food stuff and Agriculture Business Documentation Heart (FAODOC), the Gender and Exploration Documentation Heart (GRADOC), and the Sierra Leone Selection at the Fourah Bay Faculty library.

A selection of documents are housed in these institutions these kinds of as:

i. those people anxious with different elements of the organization’s interior administration like economic finances, personnel, infrastructure and logistics
ii. these worried with the genuine functioning of the mother or father firm with the implementation of its targets and applications these as conclusion-generating, resolutions, suggestions, documents of conferences, minutes, reports as effectively as seminar, workshop and convention proceedings
iii. paperwork supplying specialized details but of common fascination this sort of as statistical textbooks, yearbooks, assortment of texts, pamphlets, glossaries and specialized literature and
iv. All those giving details on a single certain element or in general routines of the organization to a wider community this kind of as press releases, brochures, folders and periodicals.

The purpose of these documentation facilities is 5-fold: to assemble related resource details documentation and preserve investigation selection of this kind of paperwork to somewhat purchase exterior materials in response to particular needs to selectively disseminate recorded understanding in accordance to person demands to classify, catalogue and index publications obtained and to avail ideal elements for administrative and financial uses. Staffs managing these facilities array among a single and five.


Sierra Leone has just seasoned a decade very long civil war (1991-2001) and the governing administration is confronted with quite a few responsibilities developmental programs are consequently, prioritized and under these types of situation documentation centers rank small in government’s priority listing. That’s why complications abound in the management of documentation centers which array from absence of a study to identify the amount of documentation centers in the nation, restricted place, insufficient personnel, incapability of dad or mum organizations to re-make and substitute destroyed documentation facilities and supplies through the war.

Expecting documentation experts to increase the present-day standing of their institutions involves enough financial assist. The charge of components, products and facts transfer is mounting due to escalating overseas trade and the escalating dependence upon expensive technologies (Patridge,1994). It will become for that reason, all the additional urgent to get adequate monetary guidance from mother or father firm operating these establishments. This is but to be completed.

The effectiveness of documentation providers is centered not only on the equipment utilised but also on the excellent of personnel manning these establishments, who in the course of action of their function ought to be aware of the most up-to-date developments in science and know-how as effectively as the requires of the countrywide economy. The crux of the make a difference is that only experienced and skilled details experts that can guarantee a brief, thorough and up-to-date data service to clientele, consequently contributing to the achievement of quite a few investigation and developmental applications.

Regrettably there is a dearth of qualified and skilled staff to operate documentation centers in the nation most documentation facilities are run by possibly para-experienced or non-qualified personnel, some of whom have only on-the-position encounter. The conditions of provider of these kinds of staff members are appalling with bleak upcoming for self-improvement. As a result there is enormous employees turnover as experienced workers constantly go away unceremoniously for much better compensated up work.

Documentation facilities can make successful economic contribution to countrywide development ideas by advertising and marketing training and investigation at distinctive amounts and by supporting financial and social endeavors of different forms (Isaak, 2000). However, to be powerful these establishments should really be structured inside of an integral technique, which is conceived in return to, and as component of countrywide ideas for financial and social developments. Govt is nevertheless to arrive up with a national plan on the job documentation centers ought to perform in the enhancement of the nation, primarily in the put up war era.

Numerous documentation facilities were being destroyed in the course of the civil war and useful files ended up misplaced. Even though a several keep on to exist most of these are rather little in measurement with limited resources. The deficiency of acceptable infrastructure specifically developed to serve as documentation facilities is a main obstacle in offering satisfactory companies to the local community. Even further documentation providers are hampered by lack of this sort of physical facilities as appropriate household furniture and lodging, stacks, great lighting and spacious studying rooms for use by clientele specifically in the course of peak intervals.

Documentation specialists should really settle for the truth that in modern several years the immediate advancement of science and technological innovation phone calls for new techniques of classification, processing and retrieval and dissemination of facts and that what they have realized above the many years in managing their respective facilities is insufficient. The acquisition and dealing with of elements is a single of a collection of difficulties envisaged by employees. This is because of to absence of satisfactory bibliographical control applications, complicated series, distribution delays and the massive amount of products manufactured every year for which the variety of staff in these facilities is not commensurate.

More there are complications with the firm of paperwork in these institutions due to staff’s lack of specialized know-how. The document assortment is not held in categorised buy in some of the facilities where a doc image exists it is utilized for shelving specially so for documents of governmental and non-governmental organizations. In some publications the image utilised is not demonstrated on the catalog entries and this helps make it challenging for clientele to identify required files with no team aid.

In other phrases the image system in use in some of the documentation facilities is sophisticated for clientele’s understanding as non-specialists. Most clientele are baffled no matter if a doc labeled Restricted or FOR Confined DISTRIBUTION ONLY is so performed since the material is in some way private or somewhat for the reason that the finances allocation does not permit extra than a minimal selection of copies to be acquired.

In addition some documentation centers these as NADOC and FAODOC have automatic expert services but the expanding complexity of info technological know-how is in some cases making difficulties for clientele. Where by as some clientele are computer literate and do have an understanding of what to do with printed product no this kind of acquaintance or competence exists for computer system-readable data offers for a wide majority of non pc literate clientele. Due to the fact clientele are the ones served by info expert services a effectively-arranged laptop education and learning method is indispensable. To achieve this requires a consistent analyze of user requirements and their conduct, which documentation employees are nonetheless to do.

Suggestions FOR Improvement

The country’s reinstated democracy has a obligation to its citizens of supplying a regular and controlled circulation of data failing which it deprives them of their spirit of initiative. Invariably it stands to motive that the manage of the means of details, its storage and dissemination can turn out to be a fact only if there is precise political commitment. The know-how of data have to have a location in the country’s planning things to do, extra so in this write-up war era. Government really should establish a nationwide policy reflecting the information and facts wants of teams in respective departments and of the nationwide group.

These types of a nationwide details policy should be applied by means of the preparation of nationwide programs for the growth of documentation facilities. These plans should really kind an integral aspect of the above-all nationwide ideas for socio-financial enhancement and must be carried out by a central overall body set up at ideal governmental degree with obvious duty and authority for preparing in this subject (Line, Mackenzie and Prytherch, 1994).

In check out of the fact that a complete information of the existing condition of documentation centers and library providers is crucial for national preparing for the development of national info infrastructures, a thorough study of these establishments in the nation is crucial. The study must go over the economic and legislative basis of the operation of these info solutions jointly with all factors of their framework and functions, staff provision, specialized products and services and co-operative agreements. Details for the study could be employed to forecast potential needs and the preparing of very long expression designs for the improvement of ideal facts infrastructure.

Obligation lies with the country’s politicians, these gentlemen of govt and general public directors for the analysis of the rewards that can be accrued from this sort of an innovation and for the elaboration of necessary procedures and courses, and for the funding essential to sustain and increase these facilities. Thus, very long-expression preparing cannot be evaded. If achievable a Fee should be produced to look into the choices to be taken. This human body need to be furnished with ample diploma of autonomy and funds whilst doing work in speedy regulate with federal government authorities.

Departments working documentation centers ought to severely re-imagine of bettering the high quality of staff manning these facilities. Present-day developments in science and technological know-how simply call for perfectly-skilled and proficient staff in a vast assortment of disciplines so as to build up self-self-confidence and workout authority more than the centers they take care of. These requires hence, requires education in varied routines in details processing these as amassing, classifying and cataloguing, indexing, retrieval approaches, thesauri and subject investigation.

To attain these the schooling of staff really should be central in parent organizations’ developmental options. Workers should be permitted to show up at seminars, workshops, and conferences and pursue examine courses in related fields. In this light-weight the country’s library school ought to introduce distinctive classes in documentation and really encourage students to make it a vocation. Graduates must be awarded certificates and accorded comparable status and problems of expert services as all those accorded to specialists of equal educational amounts in other fields.

To relieve the dilemma of technical processing every single documentation centre must continue to keep in great get a comprehensive assortment of its files with efficient indexing and cataloging methods such as cumulative and topic indexes. Presented the scattered nature of facts required by documentation professionals in their acquisition techniques, they really should think about the output of a frequently up-dated handbook that would include things like a listing of bibliographical control device, list of libraries, reference units and details units with an indicator of their holdings, guidelines and protection of have paperwork, telephone selection, e-mail handle, if any, description of exchange agreements, lists of advisable standards and obtain rights to these organizations. These types of a publication could be a practical medium in which to advertise new publications. Because the country is faced with Data Technologies issues really serious views should be presented to automate documentation products and services for elevated performance (Inglis, Ling & Josten,1999).

Orientation to selective use of documentation centers is necessary. The existing under-utilization of the centers is caused by a deficiency of pattern to seek advice from them. A person education company in these institutions is consequently, important. Increased consciousness as a result of this schooling will provide about two final results: allocation of greater cash and resources to make improvements to procurement, variety and use and a bigger benefit from obtainable documentation. By so executing there will be improvement in strategies of doc retrieval by clientele.

In purchase to avail means to clientele co-ordination of all parts of documentation facilities and libraries in the state through networking is essential. These types of facets as cooperative acquisition of products, exchange, production of union catalogs, interlibrary loans and if probable centralized processing specifically for documentation facilities uncovered in governing administration departments, should really be explored to deliver both of those employees and clientele a foundation for obtain to these centers. Assist should be sought from donor organizations and global companies like UNESCO and International Federation for Documentation (FID) for materials, human and financial methods, potential developing and facts dissemination methods.


Documentation facilities can make economical social and economic contributions to countrywide advancement strategies by endorsing data dissemination, education and learning and analysis at distinct concentrations. Having said that to be effective these establishments need to be structured in an integral method that is by itself conceived in relation to, and as part of countrywide options for economic and social advancement. It is only by this way that these company establishments can make meaningful contribution to countrywide aims and receive economic help for their advancement and sustenance.