The Need For Digitising Fourah Bay College Library

The Need For Digitising Fourah Bay College Library


In this Data Age, Details Technological know-how has revolutionized each facet of human lifetime to an extent that the present generation could be referred to as digital natives. This Info Technological innovation has brought the environment to a stage of getting a global in conditions of info dissemination. It is towards this history that Sutton(2008) envisaged “Details Technological innovation has promptly transformed the globe now.” This is evidenced in the improve of cultural, social, economic and academic aspects of lifetime. In this regard, the influence of Details Technological innovation has been felt in the home, education, well being protection and safety, finance and commerce, the market and in the place of work. This technological improvement has also experienced an affect on standard data institutions this sort of as libraries.

Information Technology’s influence on libraries in academia has been on things to do anxious with in-household preserving routines these types of as acquisition, cataloguing, serials handle, circulation of library resources, managing studies and retrieval of data. Tutorial libraries are now furnishing their clientele with significantly superior and helpful information and facts solutions by means of the use of Information and facts Technology. The application of Information Engineering to info management functions has resulted in the total improvement in the effectiveness of educational libraries.

An academic library is the nerve centre of its guardian institution thus conference the educating and research demands of that institution. It is set up with the primary target of offering efficient information and facts provider shipping and delivery for learners, teaching employees, administrative and specialized staff of an academic establishment. In this regard, existing and suitable textbooks and journals as perfectly as reference materials represent the assortment of an academic library to match with the data requires of the curricula. In an academic library, an adequate and conducive reading through ecosystem ought to be delivered for buyers and it should be thoroughly staffed. In a nutshell, an educational library supports study function and complements the teaching/learning programme of the institution.

FOURAH BAY College or university LIBRARY

Fourah Bay College or university Library is a 3-storey building positioned in the centre of the campus housing various sections/departments. The capabilities/operations of the distinct departments of the Library are all geared in direction of 1 objective, thus the provision of productive company shipping and delivery in assembly the information and facts requires of its clientele. Each and every department is headed by a educated and capable skilled personnel supported by para-experienced and non-professional staff who are all answerable to the Acting Librarian.

The lessen ground ground of the Library properties the Sierra Leone Assortment and Bindery. The Sierra Leone Selection properties elements penned on Sierra Leone and the neighbouring nations around the world components created by Sierra Leoneans couple copies of dissertations and theses manuscripts, pamphlets and pamphlets-information chosen titles of nearby newspapers, Sierra Leone Gazette Fourah Bay University and College publications periodicals these kinds of as Sierra Leone Research, Africana Exploration Bulletin, Sierra Trade Journal, Sierra Leone Language Evaluate, Historic Journal of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Geographical Journal Sierra Leone Chambers of Commerce Yearly Reviews Sierra Leone Functions/Expenditures CSM Reports, Parliamentary Debates and Proceedings Annual Stories of the numerous Govt ministries and departments and Presidential Addresses. Attaching such relevance to this section for study operate, the Sierra Leone Selection is referred to as our nationwide heritage. Located on this flooring also is the Bindery which is the Conservation and Preservation Device of the Library for the preservation of library supplies to prolong their existence span. It also operates commercially as a way of generating revenue for the Faculty.

On the floor flooring of the developing on moving into the Library are the Circulation and Cataloguing departments, American Shelf, the Librarian’s Business, the Reference Part of number of stocks with a conducive reading spot and a Photocopying Unit. The Circulation/Lending office of Fourah Bay Faculty Library like all academic libraries is responsible for lending components specifically publications for use outside the building or property-looking through. The Circulations Desk which is adjacent to the Librarian’s Office and Reference Collection handles all lending techniques, so charging and discharging. The Circulations employees also sign-up new pupils and people wanting to come to be users by issuing them well prepared library playing cards for the use of the library and its facilities. Recalling overdue publications and reserving needed textbooks returned type element of the routines of the Situation Desk. The Difficulty Desk personnel also keep information of all resources issued for household-reading.

The operations of the Cataloguing Section which is also located in the floor floor involve the classification, cataloguing and accessioning of all newly obtained resources primarily publications prior to placed on the cabinets for accessibility by people. Typing and filing of catalogue cards and stamping of catalogue textbooks with Library’s ownership stamp is also accomplished by the staff members of the Cataloguing Division. The American Shelf developed by the American Embassy in collaboration with the Fourah Bay Faculty Library is a collection of American literature, history and handful of titles of international journals and gives a small looking through area. Photocopying, printing, laminating as very well as comb binding work opportunities are done on business foundation in a rented place. This Photocopying Part situated at the floor ground of the constructing. The complete initially flooring of the library properties the Periodicals Department which houses current and back again troubles of periodicals in just about all disciplines. These incorporate journals, abstracts, indexes and magazines.

Lecturers, students and researchers locate the Periodicals Office useful for getting ready lecture notes, executing assignments and endeavor research functions. This Office also homes journals for leisure looking through as they have info these types of as news goods, bulletins, statistical info, and ads about solutions and solutions. The routines carried out in the Periodicals Division include things like subscribing to journals, saying back again problems paid out for but not nevertheless to be acquired as nicely as lacking difficulties, coming into of acquired journals on kardex, getting ready products to be certain.

The Textbook Assortment is partly situated in the second floor of the Library and as the identify implies, this division shares recommended texts by the different faculty teaching team in conference the information and facts desires of the curricula. Past evaluation problem papers, dissertations and theses as very well as well prepared lecture notes by some departments form portion of the Textbook Collection. This department is extremely patronised by learners and lecturers in improving instructing/studying programmes.


Tutorial libraries need to move along with the international tendencies of facts technological progress. I is thus viewed with substantially optimism that digitizing Fourah Bay School Library will significally enhance its operations and improve its facts provider shipping. A digitized library makes sure an accurate and swift facts processing, storage, retrieval and accessibility. The use of desktops in collecting, processing, examining, retrieving of information and facts and facts for dissertation to users could be viewed as a terrific privilege enjoyed by academic libraries in this Data Aged. In accordance to Birdsall (2009) a digitised library operates within just an electronic collaborative setting to accessibility information and facts no matter its locale. This implies that straightforward obtain to digital publications of guides and journal is possible and attainable by means of a digitized library procedure. Digitised library permits data to be accessed by an unrestricted audience at the same time and everywhere.

According to the fifth maxim of Library Science asserted by S. R. Ranganathan (1931) “The library is a growing organism”. That means that libraries specially academic libraries in 3rd Earth nations around the world in this Information and facts Age need to not keep on being static but be dynamic and transfer together with the global developments of technological advancement in conditions of facts processing, preservation, retrieval and dissemination. Justifiably, Fourah Bay School Library needs to undertake and adapt this development as a way of strengthening the services it gives in seeking to meet the desires of information seekers.

The dire want to digitize Fourah Bay Higher education library stems from the truth a electronic is a single that harnesses electronic technologies and infrastructure to research, gather, organise and distribute cultural, historical and scientific information and facts no matter if it is text, visual photos or seem. Digital libraries make it feasible for electronic publications of publications and journals to be accessed by an limitless viewers at the identical time and everywhere. In this regard, digitising educational libraries this kind of as Fourah Bay School Library is a necessity. Justifiably, there is dire need to have to digitise Fourah Bay College or university Library as the routines carried out manually are time-consuming as opposed to the digitised method which is pretty a great deal more rapidly and it is therefore important to digitize Fourah Bay College or university Library as a way of effectively enhancing its operations. With out controversy, a digitize Fourah Bay School Library technique is incredibly significantly in its operations and retrieval of data and research techniques involve a lot less labour, techniques and practical experience as nicely specialist competence in reference queries posed by facts seekers.

Digitising Fourah Bay Higher education Library is justifiable as efficiency and usefulness in info provider shipping is ensured about the guide. A digitised library method will increase speed in accomplishing duties and subsequently improves productiveness. Indisputably, these kinds of a library areas the complete sources it includes at the quick disposal of the person. Realistically, improvement in the services delivered by a digitised library will be on a scale extremely hard to attain by guide treatments. Another issue of justification in digitising Fourah Bay Higher education Library is that the existing manual method is incapable of handling the operate-load taking into account the latest state of the collection in phrases of dimensions and improve in the variety of consumers. It must be mentioned with worry that materials in particular textbooks are added to the assortment on a daily basis and the pupil population of the college or university increases just about every calendar year.

Preserving speed with the existing tendencies in this Information and facts Age, it is required to digitise Fourah Bay College or university Library so that it will get some prestige. It is a universally acknowledged phenomenon that libraries that have initiated a mechanised programme have attracted consideration and enhanced their status accordingly. In this working day and age, there is surely improvement in the currency of searchable data, enhancement in the currency and manufacturing of Current Consciousness Bulletin, and capability to search and manipulate facts in a number of distinctive techniques as a end result of digitisation. In this regard, there is a have to have to digitise Fourah Bay Higher education Library as the program enhances its Recent Awareness Companies in retaining buyers abreast of most current developments in their parts of desire.

As no library is self-adequate in data assets, info sharing is facilitated as a result of digitisation. It is fairly feasible with the use of the pc to share the methods of Fourah Bay Faculty Library with other libraries and information units devoid of the difficulties and constraints represented by the catalogue. By digitising Fourah bay College or university Library, team can learn new expertise primarily based on this new technological innovation tiresome work opportunities can be delegated to machines less complicated and faster access to info a lot easier indicates of remedying typing errors availability of shorter doing work hours thereby delivering more earnings for the team.


Digitised tutorial libraries stand to gain among the other point elevated output and extra effective duties in documentation and facts processing, details community enhancement and perfect command of documents management and retrieval.

Having into account the size of the Fourah Bay College or university Library collection, its digitisation requires suitable financing by the school administration. On the other hand, if not the Sierra Leone Assortment which retains unusual and vital paperwork of historic and investigation value, some of which are out of print require to be digitised. By digitising the Sierra Leone Collection, the country’s cultural heritage will be nicely preserved for posterity. Area newspapers and some essential files housed in the Selection are so flimsy that if they are not digitised, as several years go by, there is each individual inclination for them to dress in out and turn into unreadable.

The Cataloguing Office of the Library which processes freshly obtained products before positioned on the shelves for accessibility requirements a computerised cataloguing technique that will exhibit a distinct superiority over its guide counterpart. A digitised cataloguing system involves the output of catalogue playing cards as nicely as the availability of higher speed printers. Not like handbook cataloguing, a digitised cataloguing procedure makes certain enhancement in function circulation much more economical do the job area and increased productiveness is also envisaged. Based on the availability of required funds to embark on this all-crucial task, the Sierra Leone Collection and the Cataloguing Department must be prioritised in digitising Fourah Bay College or university Library.

Team and consumers will very enjoy the immense positive aspects to be derived in digitising Fourah Bay University Library new skills are uncovered dependent on this new technology. As for the workers, tiresome job can be delegated to equipment and typing errors can be easily remedied. Customers have much easier and more rapidly entry to information and facts therefore eliminating intermediary with a digitised library technique. Some gains of digitising educational libraries incorporate boosting enhanced output a lot more productive jobs in documentation and data processing, information network enhancement and great command of records management and retrieval. According to Tedd (2009), educational librarians will purchase superior manage and manipulation of their function atmosphere by the use of digitised library procedure. In this regard, Library demands to be suitably and adequately stocked with pertinent products to satisfy the information desires of the curricula, a digitised technique will make certain effortless assortment and acquisition of products from publishers and their suppliers. The invest in of products particularly guides and journals can be completed online and less paper is included in this workout. And a major gain of a digitised library program specially the Acquisition Section is the skill to abide by up fantastic orders the identification of publications expected to develop the assortment ordering publications from ideal suppliers their recording on arrival the settlement of invoices and in-depth retaining of acquisition accounts.

In conditions of accuracy and pace, the deserves of a digitised cataloguing process far outweigh its guide counterpart. Productive work house and elevated productivity especially in the production of catalogue playing cards is ensured via a digitised cataloguing technique. The digitisation of Fourah Bay Faculty Library boost its graphic as a credible resource of applicable, well timed and latest data in satisfactorily meeting the requirements of its clientele. In a nutshell, the digitisation of Fourah Bay Higher education Library boosts efficient information and facts service supply therefore attracting substantial patronage.


Notwithstanding the rewards derived in digitising Fourah Bay University Library, there are challenges similarly involved with this new know-how. It should really be famous with good concern that as a end result of fiscal constraints confronted by the Higher education, there has been a drastic lower in the Library spending plan and this has adversely affected the operations of the Library and its administration. In opposition to this back again-fall, digitising Fourah Bay College Library will not be an easy enterprise as the program demands to be thoroughly managed and sustained.

A different problem to be taken into thought in digitising Fourah Bay College or university Library is that most end users and personnel absence standard education in the use of this new engineering and as this sort of, they will need to be sufficiently proficient for the successful functions of this method. And it need to hence be borne in head that the schooling of customers and workers to come to be laptop literate and proficient involves funds which the Library are not able to conveniently afford. This implies that for the programme to succeed, it have to be built-in into the doing the job life of end users and staff of the Library. Unquestionably, the Library will have to have help from process analysts to be certain the features of the method. Contracting the expert services of computer specialists fees funds which need to be regarded as monetary burden on the Library. In addition to, the Library will also require to receive and maintain all needed products for the technique to be operational.

A tough undertaking in taking care of digitised library devices is that personal computers are elaborate, immediately shifting, fragile and usually incompatible. In addition to, electronic information are difficult to maintain because of quick adjustments in pc components and software program. There will generally be a new or enhanced process obtainable that is even bigger, greater or considerably less high priced than the one just bought. The time and effort and hard work required to transform handbook knowledge to equipment readable type is also a dilemma in utilizing the method. Regular energy-cuts as properly as irregular electricity provide pose a serious issue in digitising Fourah Bay College Library as it does not have a stand by generator to work the program.

It really should be also taken into account that a serious challenge in the course of the rainy time is the threat of large intensity lightning strikes. The safety of the equipment towards injury is also viewed as a obstacle if end users and team do not purchase adequate competencies in managing this know-how. One more challenge involved with digitising Fourah Bay School Library is the drastic reduction of its employees therefore developing unemployment which finally gets to be a social problem.


Digitising Fourah Bay University Library is a excellent idea having into account the improved companies which the system would deliver to it. The college or university administration consequently, should really fully guidance this initiative as people and team of the library as nicely as the administration will immensely reward from it. Exact and fast details retrieval so as to get the ideal data to the appropriate person is realised when the library is digitised. In essence, enterprise these a undertaking is really worth-although notwithstanding the pending problems that it will bring with it. The school librarian need to hence advocate with justification so that the administration manifests substantial desire in funding this all-critical project. In addition, the school librarian ought to solicit money from other organisations, ask for donor organizations and be actively engaged in fund-raising activities and money-generating programmes for the realisation of this aspiration.


Birdsall, Margaret O. (2009). Managing digital information and facts. New York: Prentice Hall.

Chinney, Victor M. (2007). Picking an automated library program: a arranging guideline. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Findlay, George R. (2009). Handling periodicals in college libraries. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Suttan, Milton S. (2008). A computerised library: outcomes and problems. London: Routledge

Tedd, Lucy A. (2009). An introduction to laptop-primarily based library technique. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.