School Library Provision and Services in Sierra Leone


Harrod’s (2000) described a school library as an organized collection of books that is placed in a school for the use of teachers and pupils typically for students. It may comprise books of reference and or books for reading at home, and is under the custody of a professional librarian or teacher librarian. It’s often referred to as “Instructional Materials Centre”, “Learning Centre or Media centre.” Visit:-

The School library serves as an organization of service which assists in achieving the school’s goals and provides materials for all subjects and every interests of teachers and pupils. The library at school is an integral part of the curriculum for schools, and its offerings, services, and development is directed at aiding school programmes (Kinnel, 1994).

Libraries generally have as their primary function acquiring storage, processing, and disseminating the information. The school library is not an exception. The library in schools has an important role to play as an information provider. They are able to provide material that meets the educational needs of all who is part of the school community. The importance of having these sources cannot be overemphasized when schools’ libraries are to serve as an instigator and enabler of resource-based learning within the school.

Also, in terms of information skills, the library and its librarians make available materials and services in different forms to enable pupils and the school community to benefit from these skills by finding the information they require.

The purpose and philosophy of school libraries are quickly being accepted by teachers and administrators of schools. The fact necessitates that the librarian of the school be fully aware of these goals, including guidance, the reading programme and the enrichment programme for pupils and teachers. The problem is that the Albert Academy library has no certified and trained librarian who can comprehend and carry out these tasks to ensure that the service provision is fulfilled to the highest degree.

Albert Academy School Library

Albert Academy was founded in 1904. Albert Academy was inaugurated on the 4th of October 1904. It wasn’t until 1975 that students from the Albert Academy Alumni Association in their meeting thought it wise that such a reputable institution should not be without a library since the development of libraries for schools was at their highest point in the year 1975. The idea of constructing the library was born by the alumni association as well as the school’s owners which is now The United Methodist Church. The library was established with the aim of having the possibility for students to discover new ideas to further strengthen the curriculum at school and enjoy entertainment as well.

The library was officially opened to all the students by the school’s principal, His Excellency Dr. Siaka P. Stevens on the 4th October of 1976. the then president of the Republic of Sierra Leone and also a member of the Albert Academy Alumni Association class of 1922. It was named in honor of his remarkable contribution that he made to the creation of an institution for library use by the school community. Albert Academy Library was established in the year 2000. Albert Academy Library has a goal of “Support school curriculum activities by providing materials of relevance in the school process and 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 library at the Albert Academy school library are as follows:

I. To provide students with the library resources and services most appropriate and most meaningful for their development and growth;

ii. To fully participate in school-related activities when they are able to meet the requirements of students, teachers, parents and others in the community;

iii. to encourage and guide students throughout the process of reading that they may find increasing enjoyment and satisfaction and improve their the ability to judge and appreciate;

IV. to make available the latest developments and keep pupils abreast of current trends in education. the reader’s needs and keep them informed to provide a dynamic educational environment

v. to assist the teacher to select and produce of educational resources that are compatible with the aims of the curriculum, provide guidance in the use of collecting, evaluating and assessing educational programs and resources, and facilitates the location, organisation and maintenance of material efficiently; and

vi. To help pupils to become proficient users of libraries and audio-visual and printed materials.

Library Provision at Albert Academy School Library

The main function of the service offered by the modern school library is providing materials appropriate to the curriculum needs of teachers and pupils. In recent times, the activities of the curriculum have been elevated to a new level, and the school , as a supportive resource of this development, has to strive to provide a range of non-print and printed materials as well as have access to online sources of information which also form part of the information resources of the library.

With the increasing demands of the contemporary school curriculum and the demands of modern schooling, the library at school must contain a range of non-print and print materials and have access, where is feasible, to online sources of information. Albert Academy School Albert Academy School provides printed materials, including fiction, books and non-fiction as well as pamphlets, newspapers, charts pictures, monographs manuals, handbooks, textbooks and other reference books . The library also has non-books materials which include audio and audio-visual materials like slides, tape slides, video cassettes, as well as CD ROM’s. Although these aren’t considered materials strictly speaking, they provide resources to students and teachers. Utilizing electronic sources helps schools to provide pupils as well as teachers with the concept of an School Information Centre which is not extended to the school, but serves as an interface to a never-ending source of information (Herring 1988).

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