The Standing of Fourah Bay College Library Since Its Inception to Current Minute


Fourah Bay College library arrived into existence in 1827 and it was affiliated with Durham in 1876. This affiliation plan enlarged the higher education polices, and as a consequence of this, new phases of development have been released and bundled in the enhancement in the situation of the library. Its to start with Board of Curators was appointed and a standard offer of standard newspapers and other publications ended up provided. Professor Richards was appointed Librarian-In-Demand with Mr. T. Taylor as Library Assistant.

Advancement OF FOURAH BAY University LIBRARY

Fourah bay School Library management was virtually founded, and attracted precious donations these types of as a exclusive assortment donated in 1881 by Rev. H. Wright who served as Honorary Secretary to the Church Missionary Modern society. Later in 1917 Bishop James Johnson bequeathed his set of 24 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica to the School Library.

All through the Entire world War II interval, that is 1939-1945, tiny was finished about the enhancement of the University Library. By then the library was located at Mabang, and ongoing to maintain a library which was at first supposed to be an Agricultural Higher education. The College or university had couple instructors and a modest college student inhabitants of about 20 pupils. The disorders of the war in the 1940’s brought on the library to be managed by university student librarians. The library was generally confronted with lack of means in the war yrs. In these a long time the library minimal collections consisted primarily of theological and literary functions which was transferred to Mount Aureol. The products was housed in numerous properties such as the pupil eating corridor, the faculty Chapel, the College Bookshop, shops and Video games and Sports Office environment.

The library amenities of the college or university at this phase formed section of the larger education and learning improvement programme. The most area of precedence at Fourah Bay faculty was the progress of Library. With the establishment of a stable information Centre, Fourah Bay Faculty grew to become an appealing location for overseas resources. In 1954, adhering to a pay a visit to to the Fulton Fee which improved the position of the college or university, the library was awarded a grant of $8,000 by the Carnegie Company of New York, to be utilized for the invest in of vital reference and bibliographic supplies. The British complemented this donation in 1955 with a grant of £15,000 from the Colonial Advancement Welfare Funds. Two-thirds of individuals donations (£10,000) have been used on textbooks and periodicals and the relaxation on equipment. These grants and other donations led to an accelerated progress of the library and formed the foundation of a steady development throughout the 60s. It was at this critecal interval that the library was assigned its rightful position as a priority affiliated higher education of the University of Durham.

In 1961, the next expatriate Mr. R.S. Burkett, relinquished his appointment as College Librarian following a interval of 4 and the 50 % yrs. The third expatriate librarian, the late Mr. Michael Jollife (right after whom the library has been named), was appointed in 1961. He was to begin with involved with the advancement of the actual physical facilities of the library. In 1968, the university acquired comprehensive university standing and with this elevation, the library also played leadership part in the progress of other librarians in Sierra Leone. In the library by itself, Mr. Jollife recognized the Reprographic and Micrographic sections. In his 1961/1962 once-a-year report, Mr. Jollife made the decision to the give cash below the British Complex Support Programme for the purchase of bindery products and Mr. W.J Askew, a British Guide Binder was assigned this accountability. He arrived in Sierra Leone in August 15, 1964. By then, there ended up ten thousand (10,000) guides and periodicals for binding and rebinding. Mr. S.T Browne, a Sierra Leonean craftsman succeeded Mr. Askew right after his a few decades tenure in April 1966 as Head E-book Binder. Currently, the Bindery is headed by Mr. Patrick James. At the end of March, 1970, Mr. Michael Jollife resigned his put up to come to be Librarian at Royal Halloway School, London and was succeeded by A.C. Butler who arrived in 1971. Hence, Mrs. Gladys Jusu-Sheriff was the initially Sierra Leonean University Librarian soon after Mr. Butler left in 1972.

Fourah Bay College or university administration reacted to an acute lack of library staff in that time period, and instituted a class for the City and Guilds of London Assistant Certification jointly organised by the school library and the Further-Mural Section. Deficiencies in the library certificate offered an apparent extended-time period need for a library program in Sierra Leone. This programme was a junior assistant’s qualification which was purely western system of library administration and there was an evident hole concerning the City of Guilds and the ALA. There was a have to have to institute a programme regionally to deliver an intermediate qualification to bridge the hole between the junior clerical level employees and whole gurus. This introduced about the reaction for the development of the Institute of Library, Archive and Data Reports in 1986 by means of the dynamic leadership of Mrs. Gladys Jusu-Sheriff who eventually became the 1st director. In November 1999 the Institute was merged with the Mass Communication unit within just the School of Arts to variety the Institute of Library, Information and facts and Communication Studies (INSLICS) presenting certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate qualifications.

The late Mrs. Deanna Thomas succeeded Mrs. Gladys Jusu-Sheriff as librarian of Fourah Bay Higher education library in 1990 but traveled out of the country in June 1997 all through the interregnum of Freetown. Mr. Oliver Harding acted as librarian in her absence till June 1998 when a far more senior officer in the University of Sierra Leone, the late Prof. L.N. M’Jamtu-Sie the then librarian of University of Medication and Allied Well being Sciences (COMAHS) was appointed to supervise routines in the library. She resigned in January 2005 and returned to COMAHS. Mr. Donald Davies acted right until August 2005 and was succeeded in an performing potential by Rev. Oliver Harding who returned to Sierra Leone from Nigeria right after he received a second master degree in Biblical Experiments from West Africa Theological Seminary, Lagos (an affiliate of the College of Nigeria, Nsukka). He is nevertheless the latest Acting Librarian at Fourah Bay College or university Library with only twenty-9(29) staff members. Of the twenty-nine employees, only eight(8) are specialists. This in fact is a huge setback to Fourah Bay University Library which needs to be rectified.

Now the library is composed of a four-storey building composed of the following sections: The decrease floor ground consists of the Bindery and the Sierra Leone Collection. The Floor Ground is made up of the Reception Desk, Librarian’s Office environment, Difficulty Desk, Cataloguing Section and Common Reference selection, photocopying space, the American Cabinets and the United Nations Assortment. The initial ground is the Periodicals/Serials Selection, even though the next ground characterize the lending assortment or the textbook selection and the third ground which at first housed lending library matarials is now not working thanks to licking roof of the developing.

The next are the many sections in the library and their capabilities:

  • Librarian’s Workplace & Acquisitions Office
  • Cataloguing Division
  • Difficulty Desk
  • Textbook Selection
  • Periodicals Department
  • Sierra Leone Assortment
  • United Nations Assortment
  • The American Shelves/Corner and
  • The Bindery

The 1st portion is the Librarian’s Office which usually controls all other locations in the library. The business office also serves as the Acquisition’s Division. This is in which collection of library products is accomplished. Lecturers are encouraged to make assortment of materials to be obtained for their use. The moment the range is created and bibliographic facts are scrutinised, the stock of the library to stay away from avoidable duplication of orders is checked. These elements are despatched to the library, and their specifics are checked against all those of the buy slips following these supplies which are accessioned before passing them about to the Cataloguing Section. There is also availability of audiovisual machines this sort of as projector which the librarian employs during orientation programmes and also used to conduct lectures.

Library products on receipt from the Librarian’s business office/Acquisitions Division are classified and catalogued in the second segment. This next segment is not in sight or it is out of bounds. The organisation of supplies into a established pattern of lessons facilitates the arrangement of these components on the proper shelves with products on precise topics staying housed collectively in the identical spot of the library. The excellence of the Catalogue is the pleasure of the library due to the fact the moment a materials is wrongly labeled and shelved, it does not remain with associates of its class and in some situations, it is like a shed substance. Fourah Bay College or university library at this time utilise the 23rd version of the Dewey Decimal Classification Plan and the AACR2 (Anglo American Cataloguing Principles 2).

The 3rd segment is also identified as the Circulations Office exactly where elements that go out on personal loan are charged to patrons and discharged on return to the library. Info about elements not found on the cabinets could be retrieved from the Circulations Segment. Shelving arrangements are also below the supervision of the Circulations Section staff members. This section also method and situation college students library cards.

The forth section is at this time the most intensely employed segment in Fourah Bay School library. It is a closed entry selection. This indicates that materials are not specifically available to viewers but issued out upon request. Resources in this portion deal with diverse disciplines centered on the curriculum of the university. This assortment also residences past evaluation papers of programs taken on campus. Messengers from the library are sent to evaluation halls with a official letter from the Librarian requesting copies of evaluation papers from invigilators. These are eventually sorted out and sent to the bindery office to be bound into volumes.

The fifth area is also called the Journal/Serials Section. It homes quarterly, bi-quarterly, annually, semi-every year publications. These are publications of many volumes which come about at typical intervals and intended to indefinitely go on. Quite a few authors add articles to them. They also have distinct titles. At the conclusion of the 12 months, again troubles are sent to the bindery to be certain into volumes and stocked in the area for researchers on various disciplines. This segment can also classify and catalogue periodical supplies to relieve get the job done accomplished by the Cataloguing Department.

As the identify indicates, this sixth area homes material about Sierra Leone. Resources in this collection are tricky to weed considering the fact that they sort aspect of the national bibliography of Sierra Leone. The unit also is made up of newspapers which are acquired day-to-day. This gray literature is special as the newspaper collection day-back to the 1930s to existing working day.

The seventh section is found in the Ground Flooring of the library and is presently in a area renovated by the United Nations and stocked with desktops, printers, photocopiers which are used by college students, lecturers and administrative staff members. Nevertheless, this area is managed by a personal proprietor instead of FBC library.

The eighth portion is the American Shelve. This is positioned at the Floor Floor of the library. It was recognized in July 2007, after a “Memorandum of Comprehension” signed by the then U.S. Ambassador and the then Deputy Chancellor of Fourah Bay Faculty. The function was to promote public diplomacy of the Embassy of the United States of America in Sierra Leone, therefore its name the “American Shelves.” Products housed in this selection are purely American. Collections include things like guides, CD-ROM, Posters, Periodicals/publications and other programming resources of the Embassy of the United States of The usa in Sierra Leone. The American Corner has a television established. The book selection is composed of products in historical past, literature, instruction, wellness, economics, administration, organization, lifestyle and regulation of the United States of The us. Money are usually created accessible by the General public Affairs Sections of the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone to the library to undertake joint sensitisation programmes on related troubles to culture these kinds of as black record working day, democracy, human ideal, the woman baby and “Ebola”, in which keynote speakers are either provided by the Embassy or the library from area specialists with regards the subject of dialogue. Video clip reveals are also organised.

The ninth area is situated at the Lessen Floor Ground and is the financial nerve centre of the library. Paperbacks with considerably less than fifty webpages are dealt with as pamphlets and are processed and stocked in packing containers. Supplies with fifty web pages and earlier mentioned are regarded as books and sent to the bindery for difficult covers. Customers desirous of employing this segment of the library will have to notice the adhering to procedures:

  • Secure proforma invoice for binding do the job
  • Settle invoice at Librarian’s business office and collect receipt for sum paid
  • Acquire bound perform from bindery on presentation of a legitimate receipt
  • Departmental work opportunities from FBC need to be accompanied by an purchase from respective heads of departments and paid for in cash or cheque
  • All cheques must be made payable to Fourah Bay University.

Other forms of work opportunities done in the bindery consist of rebinding dissertations/theses, paperbacks, newspapers, engagement Bibles, ledgers and gold lettering. However this sections is minimal with standard bindery gear and services to bind and rebind the library resources.


It is crystal clear that Fourah Bay Faculty Library has some challenges in taking care of the library. Some of the difficulties are as thus: insufficient funding and current resources inadequate sitting down lodging inadequate qualified and competent employees and insufficient provision of photocopying equipment. Of the assorted difficulties, the main becoming the insufficient sitting down accommodation and the insufficient funding and non-current resources.

The current state of Information and facts Management amidst the new administration at Fourah Bay College or university is that there is typical energy offer which is acquired from three (3) resources, that is, the Electrical energy Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) a stand-by generator which is shared with the most important administrative constructing and a solar panel which only supplies the decreased and floor floors of the library. This has a good deal of challenges for the library as the other floors are presently out of electrical energy provide as the full setting up is beneath refurbishment. There is availability of Online connectivity by using hotspots, although its power is quite weak only consumers with refined systems can have access to it. The developments of ICTs have made available Fourah Bay Library existing and difficult possibility that calls for it to respond positively in all sides of their expert services and functions if they are to continue to be applicable in the new info age.


I suggest that:

  • the college administration ought to offer far more sitting down lodging by building additional library buildings.
  • University should employ a lot more skilled and capable professional librarians or quickly advertise the present personnel that have already gone via the librarianship training
  • the college should supply more money so that the aged substance be exchange the currents ones
  • Sierra Leone Assortment which maintain a significance range of grey literature really should be digitised and build on line databases that must be access by researchers. The bindery area should also be offered with modern day devices for printing and binding guides on reasonable cost as is the income making area of library
  • the internet connectivity ought to be stronger that the existing one
  • electricity power source should be constant
  • lecturers-library team partnership should be solid in selecting library supplies foundation on the university curriculum and
  • catastrophe management approach ought to be offered in scenario any fireplace outbreak or flooding.


It is apparent that Fourah Bay College Library over the years has been crippling with inadequate properly trained and experienced library qualified thanks to aging librarian crisis. The remaining expert staff are not promoted immediately soon after retirement of a retiree staff because of extreme bureaucracy/protocol in the administration procedure. Consequently the qualified and expert personnel experienced to wait for years or satisfy particular educational bench marks prior to they are promoted.

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