Problems In Managing Government Publications In Academic Libraries In Sierra Leone


In Sierra Leone the conditions ‘official publications’, established documents’, and ‘public documents’ are synonymous with federal government publications. Government publications, to put it simply, are documents created by government and local and quasi-government bodies explaining and integrating views and plans. They represent the historical and current development specialists of presidency and provide data on a wide selection of content to include Political Research, Economics, Finance, Statistics, Work force,, labor force, Industry, History, International Relationships, Agriculture, Geology and Meteorology. Katz (1997) classed these publications into: (1) information of government administration (2). research documents for specialists together with an extensive number of statistics and data of value to science and business (3). popular sources of information. Their physical form being either a book, pamphlet, magazine, report monograph or electronic, especially CD-ROM (p. 387). provincie wonersbelangen

Bibliographic control in many parts of the earth is seemingly poor due largely to shortage of awareness of the value of bibliographic tools in research in government guides. The United States of America, for example, was for years a pioneer in this field. As considerably back as 1895 the Printing Act of January 12 of that season (28 statute, 601-624) not only established centralized printing images and distribution of federal government documents but also commanded the Superintendent of Records to provide appropriate tools for bibliographic control of the documents published. Wonderful Britain is an spectacular exception for as much back as 1807 series of parliamentary papers were printed. Countries such as Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines and Japan commenced isolating government document bibliographies mainly in the 1920s and 1930s (Palic, 1975). On the other hand a great need for the employment of government guides was felt following Universe War 11 (1939-1945), when there was a heightened interest in the authoritative information presented in such magazines as posited by children’s (1942) in his initial notes that ‘more and more the value of obama administration documentation is being identified inspite of the refractory nature of many of these materials’

In seite an seite the emphasis made on the usefulness of authorities publications in Sierra Leone is linked to the development of printing which is often traced as far again as the founding of the Colony of Serranía Leone in 1787. Also though the industry did not survive french attack of 1794 the building blocks stone of what later became known as the Government Creating Department was laid in 1925 when it was charged with the development of small notices for official use. Currently the Department prints all govt publications and supplies letter head and office equipment of government departments. It also undertakes a fair amount of commercial printing as income making measures.

Federal government publications usually have the good thing about being among the best in their subject matter fields often not easily available to others (Smith, 1993). In lieu of the extent and complexness of government activities there is a need for the widespread dissemination of information about these activities and for popular incorporation of presidency policy. Zero wonder why government magazines have special value to academic library collections and their authority is long lasting. In academic libraries in Sierra Leone these guides are put aside into an exclusive collection manned by a curator as at Fourah Bay College Collection. Some are kept in vertical files; others are put in pamphlet containers, while those like maps and surveys get particular storage. These publications are acquired mainly by purchase, deposit, donation, exchange and photocopying. The Government Impress Department is in charge of their publication


The expansion of presidency in Sierra Leone’s post-war renovation era at local, state and international levels has resulted in increasing her influence on the life of the citizenry. Concurrently with this expansion is the proliferation of formal and semi official firms, commissions and bureaus which carry on and publish works such as directories, regulations, studies, bills, Acts and technological literature which many a researchers, educators, public service functionaries, welfare recipients and the unemployed can not do regardless of such publications. Since librarians provide as interface between users and government they have for long recognized the problems which such a plethora of collection can cause and have recently been making tremendous strides to address the issue. The essence here is to provide systematic controls to avoid the disappearance, into oblivion, of essential established publications.

In Sierra Leone government publications fall within three general classes: Business, Legislative ands Judicial. The Executive publications include those issued by the Office buildings of the President and the Vice President, and various independent offices and establishments such as Domestic Commission for Social Actions (NaCSA), National Revenue Power (NRA), Anti Corruption Commission payment (ACC), National Commission for Privatization (NCP) and work of the Ombudsman. Included as well are federal government ministries including the Ministries of defense; Education, Youth and Sports; Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation; Tourism and Cultural Affairs; Local Authorities and Community Development; Culture, Forestry and Food Secureness; Trade and Industry; Interior Affairs; labor and Commercial Relations; and Development and Economic Planning.

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