Management of periodic literature in higher education libraries in Sierra Leone

The General Conference of UNESCO, held in Paris, 19 November 1964, agreed that a publication was a periodic if it constituted one of a continuous series with the same title (Norman 2008). This idea is supported by the fact that periodic literature is published at regular intervals for an indefinite time, with individual issues not being numbered. A periodical literature is a publication that has a distinct title and appears at regular or stated intervals, without any prior decision about when the next issue will appear. It may contain articles, stories, and other writings from multiple contributors. The term periodic literature can be used to indicate transactions and percentages of societies as well as daily newspapers magazines, scholarly journal, trade journals, review journals, and scholarly journals. Insufficient funding for higher education libraries in Sierra Leone, like many developing and underdeveloped countries around the world, is a reflection of a poor periodical literature collection. This results in ineffective information services that are not provided to the satisfaction of users. Because of the importance of research in academia, it is essential that higher education libraries in Sierra Leone manage periodical literature.


Sierra Leone has a 6-3-3-4 education system. It is divided into six(6) years at primary level, three(3) year at the Junior Secondary level and three(3) at Senior Secondary level. There are a minimum of four(4) years at tertiary. This division allows for curriculum to be more individualized and adapted to the needs of different students. Education policy in Sierra Leone aims to ensure that every child receives an education that takes into account his character, aptitude, emotional and psychological well-being, the country’s manpower needs and the importance of academic and non-academic education. It also considers the need for literature and numerate citizens. His education should be able to benefit the country while also providing opportunities for his success in life.

Higher education refers to post-secondary education that is given at a college, university or polytechnique. It is also the stage of specialization. Higher education’s objectives will vary depending on the institution and the course of study, but they all include the acquisition of intellectual and physical skills that are necessary for society development. After completing secondary education, Sierra Leone’s higher educational institutions are the foundation of educational advancement. The best way to change people’s outlook is through higher education. The empowerment and development of human resources is a key factor in society’s development. Higher educational institutions play an important role in the development of the human resources to positively and meaningfully contribute to the socio-economic and political development of Sierra Leone.

The University of Sierra Leone and Ernest Bai Koroma University are three of the higher educational institutions in Sierra Leone. Njala University is a state-owned university, while Njala University and University of Makeni are privately owned. Fourah Bay College (FBC), Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences(COMAHS); Bo Campus and Njala University are the constituent colleges of the University of Sierra Leone. Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, Eastern Polytechnigue, Bonthe Polytechnique and Freetown Teacher are all higher education institutions with collegiate status. These institutions offer courses that lead to certificates and diplomas. The private and state-owned universities offer certificates, diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in various fields in their respective faculties. Curricula vary from one institution to the next. Programmes that require periodical literature are available in medicine, law and engineering. The Central Government provides subvention funds to higher education institutions to improve their smooth-running. However, some donor agencies also provide financial assistance to these institutions.


Libraries are information storage and this is a vital resource for national development. Higher education libraries are the nerve centre of academic activities. This means that libraries provide information services to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as researchers and administrative staff. The library plays an important role in providing quality information services that support academic work. Frederick Ken Nicol (2011) states that information is an essential resource used by organizations to provide the right product or service to customers. Higher education libraries use information to meet their clients’ needs. Information must be managed in the same manner as human and financial resources to provide efficient service delivery and increased productivity. Academic libraries, like all other organizations, benefit more from a systematic information planning process. Effective service delivery is enhanced by well-planned and organized information.