In Sierra Leone the terms ‘official publications’, official documents’, and ‘public documents’ are synonymous with government publications. Government publications, basically place, are documents developed by government and neighborhood and quasi-government bodies explaining and integrating views and polices. They represent the historical and present improvement authorities of government and give information on a wide selection of subjects to contain Political Science, Economics, Finance, Statistics, Labor, Market, History, International Relations, Agriculture, Geology and Meteorology. Katz (1997) classed these publications into: (1) records of government administration (two).investigation documents for specialists which includes a considerable quantity of statistics and information of worth to science and enterprise (three).common sources of data. Their physical type getting either a book, pamphlet, magazine, report monograph or electronic, in particular CD-ROM (p.387).
Bibliographic manage in quite a few components of the planet is seemingly unsatisfactory due largely to lack of awareness of the value of bibliographic tools in investigation in government publications. The United States of America, for instance, was for a extended time a pioneer in this field. As far back as 1895 the Printing Act of January 12 of that year (28 statute, 601-624) not only established centralized printing and distribution of federal documents but also instructed the Superintendent of Documents to give suitable tools for bibliographic manage of the documents published. Terrific Britain is an outstanding exception for as far back as 1807 collections of parliamentary papers have been printed. Nations such as Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Japan started separating government document bibliographies primarily in the 1920s and 1930s (Palic,1975). On the other hand a wonderful need to have for the use of government publications was felt following Globe War 11 (1939-1945), when there was an improved interest in the authoritative data contained in such publications as posited by child’s (1942) in his introductory notes that ‘more and far more the value of government documentation is getting recognized in spite of the refractory nature of some of these materials’
In parallel the emphasis created on the usefulness of government publications in Sierra Leone is connected with the improvement of printing which can be traced as far back as the founding of the Colony of Sierra Leone in 1787. While the sector did not survive the French attack of 1794 the foundation stone of what later became recognized as the Government Printing Division was laid in 1925 when it was charged with the production of compact notices for official use. At the moment the Division prints all government publications and supplies stationery and workplace gear of government departments. It also undertakes a fair quantity of industrial printing as earnings producing measures.
Government publications generally have the benefit of getting amongst the most effective in their topic fields generally not very easily obtainable to other people (Smith, 1993). In lieu of the extent and complexity of government activities there is a need to have for the widespread dissemination of data about these activities and for common integration of government policy. No wonder why government publications have particular worth to academic library collections and their authority is permanent. In academic libraries in Sierra Leone these publications are place aside into a particular collection manned by a curator as at Fourah Bay College Library. Some are kept in vertical files other people are placed in pamphlet boxes, though these like maps and surveys are provided specialized storage. These publications are acquired primarily by buy, deposit, donation, exchange and photocopying. The Government Printing Division is accountable for their publication
DIVISIONS OF GOVERNMENT AND THEIR PUBLICATIONS
The expansion of government in Sierra Leone’s post-war reconstruction era at neighborhood, national and international levels has resulted in rising her influence on the life of the citizenry. Simultaneously with this expansion is the proliferation of official and semi official agencies, commissions and bureaus which continue to publish performs such as directories, regulations, reports, bills, Acts and technical literature which quite a few a researchers, educators, public service functionaries, welfare recipients and the unemployed can not do devoid of reference to such publications. Considering the fact that librarians serve as interface among customers and government they have for extended recognized the complications which such a plethora of collection can pose and have been generating tremendous strides to address the problem. The essence right here is to give systematic controls to keep away from the disappearance, into oblivion, of necessary official publications.
In Sierra Leone government publications fall inside 3 basic classes: Executive, Legislative ands Judicial. The Executive publications contain these issued by the Offices of the President and the Vice President, and numerous independent offices and establishments such as National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), National Income Authority (NRA), Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), National Commission for Privatization (NCP) and the Workplace of the Ombudsman. Also integrated are government ministries such as the Ministries of defense Education, Youth and Sports Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Tourism and Cultural Affairs Regional Government and Neighborhood Improvement Agriculture, Forestry and Meals Safety Trade and Market Internal Affairs labor and Industrial Relations and Improvement and Financial Organizing.
The Ministry of Trade and Market, for instance, is accountable for each internal and international trade and the promotion of exports. It has powers more than customs and excise, tariffs, insurance coverage, patents, trademarks, requirements, weights and measures. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is accountable for Sierra Leone’s partnership with foreign and Commonwealth nations though the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Meals Safety is accountable for administrating government policy on agriculture, horticulture and meals safety. This Ministry gives sensible guidance to farmers, industrial producers of horticultural crops and investigation.The Ministry of Internal Affairs offers with the upkeep of law and order, the Police and Fire Forces, administration of the prisons and the therapy of offenders. Other miscellaneous matters dealt with by this ministry contain explosives, firearms, harmful drugs, prisons, shops, public security, entertainment, cremation, bylaws and superior rule and formal enterprise. The aforementioned functions and comparable ones carried out by other ministries need the creation and upkeep of publications. There is also documentation of press briefings provided by the varied heads of ministries and newsletters, which are channels for respective ministries there-by generating them far more public-relations conscious.
Legislative publications contain the records and debates of Parliament and the reports of hearings of the varied Parliamentary Committees. Incorporated right here also are several policy statements in reply to parliamentary concerns. The Hansard is a different wealthy supply for public matters as it supplies official data and views about parliamentary debates.
Publications from the Judiciary branch of government consist largely of reports of government choices by the Magistrate, Appeals and Supreme Courts. Located in this arm of government are law books, ‘annual registers’, state trials and rulings, the constitution, international treaties, protocols, peace accords, Acts, bills and digests of neighborhood newspapers. These publications give the judiciary with pertinent data on multifarious legal matters. Such data is expected to be factual and politically impartial.
The City and District Councils, getting quasi-government institutions, give documents classified as government publications. These contain constructing codes, educational improvement, overall health and sanitation, regulations on waste disposal, use of firearms and fire machines. Also there are government departments which give statistical data on a vast variety of financial, industrial and social demographic information. Of central value are Statistics Sierra Leone (formerly Central Statistics Workplace-CSO), accountable for national population census and dwelling surveys the Workplace of Births and Deaths which registers and produces annual statistics of births and deaths in the nation the Workplace of the Registrar Common accountable for statutory registration of marriages, patents and trademarks the Chamber of Commerce which specializes on enterprise data. These offices bring collectively crucial financial and social statistics supplied by government departments. Other crucial government departments are the Meteorological Workplace, which continues to give pertinent climate data, and the National Archives, which serves as repository of all non-present government publications inclusive of national newspapers. The afore-described government publications differ in size and length. Written by specialists in the topic, government publications are not only authoritative but also timely published and deal with subjects of present interest. Their goal, according to Katz (1969), is to give data and answer concerns and not to provoke discussion or organizational cataloging and administration. They are valuable major reference sources.
ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN SIERRA LEONE
Academic libraries in Sierra Leone are these in the constituent units that type the country’s two universities, namely the University of Sierra Leone and the University of Njala. These libraries represent the bibliographic foundation of the nation’s investigation interest. They participate actively in the distribution and exchange of book and non-book components to sister institutions all more than the nation. Collectively these institutions serve students, faculty, scholars and researchers that are engaged in function in the sciences and humanities as properly as the basic public. These libraries have combined sources of more than 500,000 volumes, most of which are of special scope and excellent. Incorporated in these huge collections are government publications such as treaties, Acts, statistical tables and compilations, conventions and records of diplomatic relations, reports of government departments, committees, bureau and commissions, census schedules, proclamations and laws. The upkeep, preservation and improvement of these publications are responsibilities shared by academic librarians as their libraries continue to serve as national sources.
JUSTIFICATION FOR THE Improvement OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES
Varied factors have been sophisticated for the inclusion of government publications in academic libraries in Sierra Leone. The purposes of the country’s universities are teaching, service, investigation and interpretation and dissemination of investigation. Society views government as a reputable and impartial supply of authoritative data that should really be accessible to its citizens by way of its several publications. Considering the fact that academic institutions deal with students who in turn will be future citizens these should really be informed accordingly. Government’s stance should really be recognized when there is public discussion on overall health, international relations, education, agriculture, social safety and trade, to cite a handful of examples. Therefore the need to have for the improvement of government publications in academic libraries as such components could speak for the government in varied activities. Additional academic libraries have the objectives of preservation, conservation and service. And government publications type element of society’s cultural heritage which need to have conservation and preservation not only for investigation purposes but also for posterity as tangible major sources of data which academics can continuously refer to. Tiny wonder why as a measure of bibliographic manage of these publications librarians continue to give catalog’s, checklists, guides, indexes, accessions lists and chosen basic bibliographies containing substantial data on government publications.
1991-2001 was a period of doom in Sierra Leone as it marked the civil war. Fought as a outcome of undesirable governance, nepotism and huge corruption it led to the un-wanton destruction of lives and properties. Necessary government buildings0 destroyed to reckless abandon integrated the National Treasury, Sierra Leone Police premises, law courts and the offices of the Freetown City Council all of which housed crucial documents continuously consulted by researchers, government functionaries and the public. Not withstanding the nation is steadily recovering with the re-establishment of neighborhood government, multi-celebration democracy, enhanced human, females and youngster rights, the provision of a conducive atmosphere to investment, and a new technique of education (six-three-three-four), to cite but a handful of developments, the helpful operation of which calls for continual use of government publications.
The broad applications in academic institutions contain quite a few regions of life with the teaching of historical and geographic ideas scientific research are undertaken for enhanced overall health and meals safety international relations and inter-religious understanding are fostered. Also modern day neighborhood life and the philosophy of democracy, peace and conflict resolution, superior governance, human rights and other ideologies are taught in order that intelligent choices could be drawn. These developed educational applications bring enrichment and data to students in such fields as economics, government, overall health and sanitation, agriculture, international relations, human rights and diplomacy. In assistance of these varied disciplines academic libraries give massive collections to contain neighborhood components some of which are in the type of government publications whereby students, faculty and researches could share their experiences and interests and create satisfactory private adjustment with regard varied government functionaries in society. By so performing students are supplied the chance to develop in social usefulness and create their intellectual interests and capabilities in order to come to be accountable members of society. This in turn could support market nationalism. In lieu of these variables academic libraries try to give liberal collections to contain books, serial publications, audio-visuals and government publications.
Government publications are amongst the most valuable components in academic libraries in Sierra Leone. Apart from the public library, the national archives and parliament library which serve as repositories for such publications academic libraries continue to create these publications in their massive collection. On the other hand such moves are not bereft of complications. These variety from poor formats by way of lack of trade bibliographies to unsatisfactory techniques of distribution. The standard issue to all these libraries is the volume of publications received, substantially of which is practically nothing but raw information and statistics applied to assistance arguments or gathered far more for the sake of gathering rather than for any particular factors. Considering the fact that these libraries have restricted space to residence their several collections the continued acquisition of government publications poses complications to employees.
Academic libraries obtain government publications primarily by donations though a handful of are acquired by buy, exchange and photocopy. When these components are received they are anticipated to be processed and organized for use in the library. Sadly there has been no fixed pattern in classifying and organizing these components in these libraries. Their organization is either by government ministry/division, topic or format which is generally confusing to customers. At Fourah Bay College library, for instance, these publications are placed separately from the basic collection which generally constrains customers in possessing to leave their reading location to seek advice from these components with restricted sitting accommodation. Libraries at Njala University College, Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and the College of Medicine and Allied Well being Sciences (COMHAS), which are fairly compact in size integrate the publications in their basic collection thereby posing retrieval complications to customers.
Maintaining track of government publications is a different issue as there are no trade bibliographies printed out to support trace them. Hardly are these publications described in the national bibliography, Sierra Leone Publications, ready by the public/national library. In addition to the Government Printing Division accountable for the production of government publications does not have any extensive lists of its publications. Most instances these publications are either returned instantly to the respective ministries/departments owning them upon completion or sent to the Government Bookshop for sale or sold by the Government Printing Division upon completion, as a result generating it hard to find retrospective publications. Worse nonetheless each the Government Printing Division and the Government Bookshop are not interested in publicizing these publications and as such quite a few prospects which includes academic librarians are not conscious of the availability of relevant government publications for acquisition as a result causing lapses in the improvement of these components in academic libraries. In parallel a single would anticipate academic libraries to compile extensive lists of such publications but this has not been the case due to the restricted quantity of employees manning this collection and the quantum of function they have to execute in particular for the duration of peak periods when libraries are heavily applied which is time consuming.
There are also complications of collection improvement. Academic libraries are below-funded and hence librarians prioritize their collection improvement requires. Buying government publications has not been a priority for academic librarians as they normally appear forward to the Government Printing Division for donations which are often not forthcoming. Therefore quite a few relevant government publications are not located in academic library collections. What is far more this restricted collection is grossly misused and abused by customers (in particular undergraduate student customers) in their academic pursuits. Therefore most of these publications have dingy covers other people have a couple of pages either written on or pilfered though some are intentionally mis-shelved to deprive colleagues of making use of them.
The incorporation of government publications in the mainstream of academic library solutions should really be thought of a priority by university authorities and academic librarians in giving access to government-created data in Sierra Leone. Representing a important and integral element of the national sources government publications are important sources of data in virtually each and every field of endeavor and are essential to informed public-selection generating. Academic librarians should really hence critique their collection improvement methods and processing and organization techniques of these components if they are to be persistently applied by their several clientele. Especial believed should really be provided to improved funding, resource sharing, compilation of lists and sufficient staffing, sitting accommodation and storage space if they are to retain requirements in serving their several clientele.