School Library Provision and Services in Sierra Leone
Harrod’s (2000), defined school library being an organized assortment of books placed in a school for the use of teachers and pupils, but usually for pupils. It may comprise books of reference and or books for home reading and in the care of a specialist librarian, or teacher-librarian. It is variously call “Instructional Materials Centre”, “Learning Centre or Media centre.”
THE INSTITUTION library serves as a service agency which supports the schools’ objectives and provides materials for several subjects and all interest of pupils and teachers. The school library is really a supportive resource of the school curriculum, its provisions, services, and development is directed at aiding school programmes (Kinnel, 1994).
Libraries generally have as their main purpose acquiring, processing, storing and disseminating information to which school library is not an exception. The school library includes a vital role to play in the info service. They offer materials relevant to the curricular needs of everybody with the institution community. The significance of providing such resources can’t be overemphasized if the institution library is usually to be an instigator of and support for resource based learning in the school.
Also, with regards to information skills, the library and its librarian, make available materials and services in different varieties to permit both pupils and the institution community to utilize these skills to find the information they want.
The purpose and philosophy of school library service are rapidly being understood and accepted by school administrators and teachers. The actual fact necessitates that the institution librarian be thoroughly acquainted with those purposes such as for example guidance, the reading programme and the enrichment programme for pupils and teachers. However, Albert Academy library has no trained and qualified librarian, who understands and performs those purposes as a way to ensure that the service provision is fully attained.
Albert Academy School Library
The Albert Academy was inaugurated on the 4th October 1904. 九龍城 n班 It had been until 1975 when the Albert Academy Alumni Association in their meeting thought it wise that such a reputable institution must not go with out a library as the development of school libraries was at its highest peak at that time. A concept to erect a library building was created with the collaboration of the alumni association and the owners of the school this is the United Methodist Church. The library was established with the purpose of having a place where pupils could go and explore new suggestions to further strengthen their school curriculum activities and leisure aswell.
The library was officially opened to the entire school community by His Excellency the late Dr. Siaka P. Stevens on 4th October 1976, then President of the Republic of Sierra Leone in addition to a person in the Albert Academy Alumni Association class of 1922. The library was named after him following the immense contribution he made towards establishing the library for the school community. The Albert Academy Library has a mission to “Support school curriculum activities by giving materials of relevance in the school process also to introduce new and improved information sources to help make the school to be in line with modern standards of education.”
The objectives of the Albert Academy school library are as follows:
I. To supply pupils with library materials and services best suited and most meaningful in their growth and development;
ii. To participate fully in school programmes as it strikes to meet the requirements of pupils, teachers, parents among others community members;
iii. to stimulate and guide pupils in every phases of their reading that they could find increasing enjoyment and satisfaction and may grow in critical judgment and appreciation;
iv. To offer new development and keep pupils up to date with modern trends in education recognize reader’s needs and keeping them well informed in order to develop a well dynamic educational environment;
v. To utilize the teacher in the choice and production of educational materials that meet the aims of the curriculum, offer guidance in the usage of collection, evaluation of education programmes and materials, facilitates the location, organisation and maintenance of materials efficiently; and
vi. To greatly help pupils to become skilled users of libraries and of printed and audio-visual materials.
Library Provision at Albert Academy School Library
A significant role in the info service provided by modern school library is in the provision of materials relevant to the curricular needs of pupils and teachers. In recent years, the curriculum activities have moved to another level, where in fact the school being supportive resource of this movement, must endeavor to house a number of print and non-print materials and also have access where possible to electronic sources of information which are also section of the information resources in the library.
Given the demands of the present day school curriculum, the institution library must now house a multitude of print and non-print materials and have access, where possible, to electronic sources of information. The Albert Academy School provides printed materials, book, fiction and non-fiction and also pamphlets, newspapers, chart, pictures, monographs, manuals, handbooks, textbooks along with other reference books the library also provides non-books materials such as audio and audio-visual materials, slides, tape-slides, video cassettes, and CD ROM’s. Although these are not materials in the traditional sense, they still constitute resources for use by pupils and teachers. Use of electronic sources help school libraries to provide pupils and teachers with a concept of a School Information Centre which is not continued to the school but is a link to an unending supply of information (Herring, 1988).
Albert Academy School Library Services
The objective of establishing Albert Academy School Library would be to provide services for both pupils and teachers in a bid to satisfy among its major purposes, which is to aid curriculum goals by providing services that are indispensably from the fulfillment of this purpose.
Among the principal services of the Albert Academy School library is to become back-up to the under resourced school programme. Even advanced countries cannot easily stock materials ranging from five thousand (5,000) to twenty thousand (20,000) in a small room to provide help to school programmes. Therefore, they see the need for central stock of materials and this can be borrowed for differing lengths of time (lending service) and in addition for reading and consultation services. That is done to be able to augment the school curriculum at the Albert Academy that is inclusive of the essential Sciences and Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities and the Fine Arts.
Albert Academy School library also provides inter-library loan services requests. That is particularly valuable to senior pupils studying topics across subjects offered in depth. Pupils who cannot afford to purchase or access such expensive materials reap the benefits of this sort of library service. Through inter-library loan services, materials are sourced from other schools libraries for the advantage of both pupils and teachers.
A reference service can be provided at Albert Academy School library. The School Librarians spend a sizeable proportion of their own time providing what in other libraries term would be termed as reference service. In providing a reference service, school Librarians perform a similar role to that of other librarians. In a reference interview in school, each pupil is treated as important because the other and given the Librarian’s full attention. That is achieved by personal assistance given to the pupils and teachers in finding specific information whether direct or indirect. Some of the reference materials at the Albert Academy School Library are dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, yearbooks, biographies newspapers, maps and charts, and the academic and administrative calendar of events or the operation of the school.
The most valuable services supplied by Albert Academy School library is that of information provision. The Albert Academy School library keeps the teachers and pupils informed about new educational resources and development in the fields of interest in their mind by displaying the jackets of books that just arrived. The Albert Academy School library uses Current Awareness Services (CAS) to do this goal. This is done by identifying the info needs of both teachers and pupils and meeting these needs. Linked to the CAS may be the Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) which is more particular with teachers. This ranges from keeping individual teachers informed about new resources in the library or about newly published materials, to alerting teachers to meetings and course demands or event linked to their curricular interest.