Marketing Public Library Services in Sierra Leone


The abstraction of instituting business attack to non-profit institutions such as library and advice Casework is no best a controversy. Organisations accomplish in an ambiance of change. Today we reside in a all-around bazaar for abounding appurtenances and casework in which technology, purchasing ability and abounding factors change on a approved basis. One of the key functions of business is to acquisition out how these changes affect clientele’s wants and needs and to advance organisational strategies and affairs that will ensure that the library meets these challenges (Dransfield and Needham, 1995). It is accordingly not hasty that accessible librarians are abutting the business bandwagon. This commodity explores the business activities in the operations of the Sierra Leone Accessible Library services.

Public Libraries

A Accessible Library is adjourned wholly and partly from accessible funds and the use of which is not belted to any chic bodies in the association but advisedly accessible to all. It is a above bureau of broad-mindedness for adults, accouterment for accouchement the recorded adventures of others which will advice them abound into adults.

Usherhood (1981) authentic Accessible Library as an alignment established, accurate and adjourned by the community, either through local, bounded or civic government or through some anatomy of or added association organization. It provides admission to knowledge, advice and works of acuteness through a ambit of assets and casework and appropriately accessible to associates of the accessible association behindhand of race, nationality, bread-and-butter and application cachet and educational attainment.

The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB)

The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) was accustomed by Ordinance in June, 1959. The ambience up of the Board was envisaged in the Government’s White Paper on Educational Development in 1958 and its functions categorical therein as follows:

• To accommodate a national/public library Service;

• To abutment and reinforce programmes of developed and axiological education;

• To accommodate able casework for accouchement and adolescent adults including requisite casework to schools;

• To accommodate abundant bare advice and references services;

• To accommodate area bare able casework for adapted groups, that is women and girls, accent groups.

The Central Library is advised to accord accessible casework to Freetown and aswell to activity as headquarter of the National/Public Library casework and to accommodate adaptation for a growing accumulating of book and non-book abstracts in the country. It does all abstruse processing of banal for the Bounded and Branch Libraries and has an Developed Lending Reference and a Children’s department.

Libraries are answerable with albatross to accommodate advice account to abutment educational, amusement and claimed endeavours of the associates of their corresponding communities and the Sierra Leone Library Board is not an barring to that. The afterward casework are provided at the Sierra Leone Library Board to Clientele:

Children Services

The Sierra Leone Library Board provides advice casework to accouchement by the accouterment of books and added abstracts for accouchement which are generally housed in a adapted area accepted as the Children’s Library. A adapted account for accouchement accepted as adolescent orientated educational programme distinctively advised for adolescent library users is included in the children’s library services. They aswell accommodate casework to accouchement through storytelling, drama/play and account aloud.

Book Borrowing and Lending Service

The capital assignment of Sierra Leone Library Board is to accommodate the accessible with admission to books and periodicals. The Sierra Leone Library Board about offers admission to a array of books which are accessible for borrowing by anyone with the adapted library card.

Current Acquaintance Service

At the Sierra Leone Library Board, accepted acquaintance account is aimed at bringing to the apprehension of abeyant users, anew accessible abstracts and advice services. This is done by allegory advice and bearing new accessory sources, circulating accepted periodicals or added abstracts acquired and bearing and distributing one or added forms of bulletins.

Selective Dissemination of Information

A added claimed advice account is getting run at the Sierra Leone Library Board in which the library consistently notifies library users about accurate information/materials analogous them in a contour of the advice needs and analysis pre-occupation of their clientele. This is done by either bringing references to accordant items to the apprehension of their audience and by accepting copies and again accumulation the abstracts themselves to library users.

Outreach Services

The Sierra Leone Library Board provides beat advice casework which is committed to developing library beat programmes for non-users, the undeserved, and humans with adapted needs in the communities in belted areas.

Computer and Internet Services

In an attack to arch the agenda divide, advice assets and government casework are getting provided online by the Sierra Leone Library Board. This is done by accouterment admission to the Internet and accessible computers for users who contrarily would not be able to affix to these services.

Library Marketing

Marketing is generally beheld as a set of strategies and techniques that belongs to administrators alfresco of librarianship. But, librarians are aswell circuitous in the business process. The aspect of business involves award out users needs and want, again ambience out to accommodated these needs.

Marketing according to Weingand (1995) “can be beheld as a activity of barter and a way to advance affiliation amid the library and its community” (p.296). In adjustment to advance the accord amid the accessible library and the community, business strategies accept to be active as able tool.

Marketing in the accessible library agency added than artlessly advance or selling. It is added anxious about user needs. Business the Accessible Library is a amusing and authoritative activity by which articles and casework as able-bodied as ethics are exchanged in adjustment to accomplish individuals or accumulation needs. Business refers to those instruments through which information, both raw and processed, are transmitted to its members. Advance or advancement is but two activities in the broader exercise of marketing

Planning Library Business Programmes

The connected actuality of libraries, if not their survivals, may able-bodied depend aloft the use of business and planning strategies, announced through able accessible relations, to decidedly adapt the perceived role and position of the library in society.

In a absolute sense, Accessible Affiliation is the advance basal of a abounding business plan of library programmes. It can be apparent as the announced bore which serves the advance function; conversely, it may be calmly depicted as a abstract accord amid library and association which serves as a allegorical ablaze for advance activities.

Both advice and analysis abilities serve able-bodied in the business planning activity of which Accessible Relations is an important component. Specific abilities and ability are aswell bare in business planning programs for libraries. It goes after adage that both advancing business planning and programmes, and in particular, how the needs of altered groups of users alter from anniversary other. Library and advice casework are circuitous entities, as are the animal users and abeyant users of these services.

Planning, advance and advancement are but all activities in the boarder exercise of marketing. User studies therefore, accept a actual advanced ambit of uses in affiliation to the planning of library business programmes of a service. They accord in the planning, advance and development of library services. In their addition they advice in the compassionate of altered user accumulation behaviour and their needs, and can abetment in able advancement and planning process.

Three accomplish to planning library business programmes are:

• Knowing what your behavior are and accordingly what you wish to achieve;

• Communicating these behavior as applied objectives to the humans with whom you work, in adjustment that these objectives can be fulfilled; and

• Creating a car which allows this to happen. This can alone be accomplished by defining the basal apparatus and through organization.

Methods of business in Sierra Leone Library Board

Book Displays and Exhibitions

Displays and exhibitions are broadly acclimated in a lot of accessible libraries as a business activity to advertise their articles or items. The SLLB displays jackets of new books which are not yet included in the lending administering for simple admission by users and to access usage. It is aswell a agency of cartoon the absorption of users and non-users to accurate aspects of library assets and services.

Printed abstracts and Publications

In adjustment to accomplish a actual acceptable angel of the accessible library and for accessible librarians to authorize bigger advice amid the library and users, publicity programmes are put in abode by the administering of the Sierra Leone Library Board through account release. The administering aswell considers anniversary letters and newspapers as basal publicity techniques. Publications such as bibliographies, guides and brochures are acclimated by the library to acquaint with the added public.

Public Relations Office

Public relations according to Usherhood (1981) is anxious with accepting of accessible abutment for an activity, cause, movement or institution. It is a activity that furthers brainy compassionate and cooperation amid a government; or any organisation and its assorted publics. The Sierra Leone Library Board has a Accessible Relations Office answerable with the albatross to enhance a bland arrangement of communication.

User Education/Readers Advisory Service

This could be declared as training a accumulation of users in the able use of the library and its resources. It is acclimated to activate the users to accomplish greater use of the library and introduces library agents to audience who ability be afraid to seek their assistance. This is the arch agency through which library agents can apprentice about readers’ needs, opinions and habits. Acceptable advice with readers enables agents to acquaint and access readers.

The Media

These absorb printed and acoustic forms of advice and any all-important accessories to cede them usable. The Press, radio and television are important agency of publicising advice service, back they activity abeyant of extensive abounding humans from all walks of life. The media are able so that letters are broadcast with regularity. Publicity apparatus such as account releases, adapted contest and brochures can aswell be employed.

The Amusing Media Groups (SMG)

The Sierra Leone Library Board makes use of the Amusing media groups such as ‘Facebook’ and ‘Watsapp’ as an able way for publicity in adjustment to put their letters beyond to users of their services.

Challenges of Business Library and Advice Casework at the SLLB

A lot of challenges accept militated adjoin the able planning and accomplishing of library business programs at SLLB. The afterward are some of the challenges:

• Inadequate Staff: Although agents numbers accept been maintained, the arrangement of able agents is actual low. The library is manned mostly by paraprofessionals who mostly abridgement the abilities to plan and apparatus business programmes.

• Finance: The library depends heavily on government subsidy. The government has no specific or abundant funds for the active of the library appropriately the library administering has to bottom a lot of of the bills that accept to do with marketing. The aberrant breeze of funds has served as a barrier to the advance of business library and advice casework at the SLLB.

• Abridgement of accepted printed abstracts and publications: The SLLB lacks a lot of accepted printed abstracts and publications due to poor planning of business programmes. This apathy has fabricated the library bedridden of accessible relations accoutrement in the anatomy of printed abstracts and publications such as newsletters, questionnaires, affidavit and calendars.

• Displays are abnormal and exhibitions assume about absent: The library depends mostly on donations and a lot of of the books are acquired after jackets. Accordingly announcement book jackets in inconsistent. In actuality exhibition programmes are yet to survive as they are alone afresh introduced. The library lacks accordant affectation and exhibition abstracts to arise these activities.

• Inability to adapt common Radio Programs: The SLLB lacks media advice facilities. The library cannot frequently organise radio programmes on its own because of abridgement of funds. The absence of radio programmes stands out as an astute botheration to the advance of business programs in the library.

Conclusively, business is the apparatus that libraries use to transform their aims and objectives into operational affairs of action. In a lot of developing countries’ accessible libraries such as the SLLB, business strategies cannot accomplish appropriately due to the actuality of bottlenecks in planning programmes. Acceptable business programmes actualise the affairs and measures all-important for the accomplishment of goals and objectives.