The African University Librarian In The Details Age


Due to the fact their inception, libraries have managed their sovereignty as the principal storage of awareness in culture. Now, novel data systems equipped with the computer system, telecommunications and optical media are significantly impacting libraries. ICTS, for shorter, is made use of below to include things like personal computer components, program and telecommunication tools. It has been an indispensable software and has good affect globally. Of all the diversified technologies of our time, development in info and interaction technological know-how has no doubt had, and carries on to have substantial affect on the international overall economy. It will make it achievable to acquire, method and transmit facts at spectacular speed and declining expense. It raises productiveness, enhances excellent and performance in all kinds of expert services.

The affect is noticed in varied regions these as well being-treatment, finance and banking, transportation, publishing and administration. Details technologies is currently transforming our lives in different methods. It facilitates communication irrespective of distance, relieves one particular of a terrific deal of tricky, soiled and repetitive do the job and offers management about the natural setting. As Knopp (1984) realistically observed, the library is presently standing on a crossroad and need to attempt to find a handy harmony in between the traditional library features and techniques, and the new troubles. The African university librarian will fork out a tremendously higher rate in preserving traditional products and services and embracing the technological developments. This notwithstanding, it ought to be paid if the African librarian wishes to interpose or continue to be the mediator concerning the consumer and data. It is the librarian’s position to be certain that the resulting use of personal computers and telecommunication and any other appropriate technological know-how contributes in price helpful techniques to the needs of scholarship and analysis because “he librarians have the abilities in acquiring materials in a assortment of formats and make them available for a selection of needs” (Simpson, 1984, p.38).


Two programmes of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the Common Bibliographic Control (UBC) and the Common Availability of Publications (UAP), have contributed immensely to a vast and effortless obtain to print info. One thing related can be accomplished to supply the identical accessibility to digital information. African college librarians could choose the legacy of the aforementioned programmes and tranpose them into a new vision for an digital upcoming.

At the 2nd meeting of the Advert Hoc Committee on College Libraries held in Accra in 1999, the require to give precedence to the enhancement and the difficulties of accessibility to the new facts systems have been stressed. It was emphasised that college management buildings must acknowledge the centrality of the library as a pedagogic tool (AAU, 199). Continuing schooling programmes for African libraries to aid reskilling, which satisfies the dynamic facts environment, have to be supported because there have to be a focus in teaching for know-how no matter of the place of librarianship one specializes in. It is a truism that “librarians have to have to know how to entry and filter what is on the website” (Rosenberg, 2000, p.15).


A college of considered forcefully argues that the positive aspects of info technologies are double-edged. Technological innovation also appears to have enhanced relatively than reduced the woes of African university libraries in the provision of facts. Special tools is required to access and to retrieve details that comes in electronic structure. There are troubles of storage and conservation even when the products is accessible. Know-how can only be set up and utilized if ample and audio funding supports it. It is incontrovertible that the most crucial factor well worth investigating very seriously is the economic side of the problem. In Sierra Leone, the college administration originally centrally budgeted about 6 per cent for its school and institute libraries. Central funding on the other hand has been replaced by collegiate funding which is inadequate (Rosenberg, 1997). Management will have to admit and aid the centrality of its academic nerve centre and make certain the sustainability of the library programmes and companies.

The enhancement of programs for the corporation of expertise and information and facts retrieval has achieved a plateau, with names of basic process traits now sufficiently attempted and examined. Nevertheless, news of the main concepts, the use of inverted information to support in retrieval and the context in which numerous devices work require continual revision. Researchers are pursuing a wide range of strategies in their research for better systems, classified into the following:

1. Process style, the place the common aim is to enhance the effectiveness and effectiveness of the procedure, such as storage and its retrieval speed and

2. The human personal computer interface (human component) wherever the goal is to enhance the quality of conversation involving the person and the laptop so that the former can be a lot more successful in extracting what they require.

THE Countrywide Governing administration

Nationwide governments ought to give more prominence to African college libraries in the space of provision of infrastructure and funding. It is a truism that the governing administration of Sierra Leone like other African governments is seeking approaches and means to curtail the amount of money of revenue put in on tertiary instruction (Duah, 1999). The New Instructional Coverage for Sierra Leone (1995) is committed, in principle, “to build, equip, take care of, maintain and produce an effective library support in the capital, provisional cities and districts” (p.41). Right up until this sort of a policy is executed, the library procedure would go Rip Van Wrinkle. Facts is a factor of production. As a result, the institutions that obtain, arrange, shop, protect in a fashion that facilitates retrieval and give it to prospective users should have government guidance and attention. The Ministry of Instruction in Ghana for occasion introduced a number of initiatives to boost both equally computerization and access to the internet for educational establishments. The Academic Administration Data Method (EMIS) challenge was released in October 1997 to give world wide web expert services/accessibility to instructional administrators throughout the place.


In spite of the novel technological innovation, the mission of the library will continue being unchanged nevertheless the techniques in which librarians satisfy this mission improvements. African librarians should come across a very handy harmony among the traditional/common library functions and the solutions of the new challenges in get to maintain their management position in the info age. The university library should consider working an automated process that will be accessible to learners, lecturers and the basic public in get to aid teaching, finding out, exploration and extension solutions of the college. This process can be labored by way of collaborative efforts of all involved.


AAU Publication (1999). The purpose of the university libraries in Africa, 5(2), pp.1-12.

Duah, V. (1999). The AAU and larger schooling in the future millennium. AAU Publication, 5(2), pp.1-2.

Knopp, W. (1984). The library in a technological entire world: challenges and queries set ahead by the client. IFLA Journal, 10(1), pp.57-62.

New Education Policy for Sierra Leone. Freetown: Office of Instruction.

Rosenberg, D. (1997). University libraries in Africa. London : Intercontinental African Institute.

___________ (2000). Net education for libraries. INASP Newsletter, 15, p.15.

Simpson, D. (1984). Advancing know-how: the secondary impact on libraries and consumers. IFLA Journal, 10 (1), pp.43-48.