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Sierra Leone’s history lies in the Library-Chief Librarian

Unknown to a large number of people, the true history of Sierra Leone is in the national library.
This was disclosed to Awoko by the Chief Librarian Sallieu Turay of the Sierra Leone Library Board in a recent interview in which he spoke of how relevant the Library has become even in this modern electronic age.
He explained that there is no substitute for books as most of the time it is easier to go back to books as a reference point rather than the electronic copy.
The Chief Librarian also spoke of reforms that had been made in libraries across the country and how more and more people are accessing these days for research and other purposes including browsing the internet in the library café.
He also disclosed that already they are in the process of creating a data base, so that people can check whether a book is available in the library.
The Chief Librarian also said that they have in their possession not only newspapers but several pre-colonial and pre-independence documents which are of instrinsic value.
He disclosed that very soon they will put on display some of these documents and books.
With 18 libraries nationwide, Turay said that last week, they joined in celebrating World Book Day with a week-long exhibition from March 4-7.
During this exhibition, he said that they had over a thousand books on display on varied subjects and the library was full every day.
He also said that side by side with the exhibition, were other activities such as a reading programme of interactive sessions with primary schools within the municipality.
The exhibition was almost packed full and rated as successful and stressed that books play an important part in national development.
The Chief Librarian also said that they also used the opportunity to let the reading public know that even children of school-going age can still benefit with the type of books displayed.
He said that they also displayed electronic components for CDs.
Speaking on their challenges, the Chief Librarian spoke of the lack or late subvention for the provision of effective and efficient library information services.
The other challenge he explained is that the library is not just within walls of the library but to spread to the communities.
He also spoke of having an American Corner, in Bo, Kenema and Kissy with computers and there are 10 computers waiting for Kono.

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