Despite celebrating its golden jubilee, the Head of Public Relations Unit, Sierra Leone Library Board Mohamed Jah, says the Library continues to face enormous challenges.
He said despite the success stories, among the enormous challenges was the inadequate subvention given by government to run the library coupled with lack of staff training and general conditions of service.
Mr. Jah explained that the Library Board was established by an Act of Parliament on June 11, 1959 and over the years it has expanded to other regional towns of Bo, Kenema, Makeni, Kabala, Kailahun, Bonthe, Magburaka, Port Loko and in Kissy, east of Freetown.
To match up with modern challenges, he said the library recognized that modern education cannot go without electronic information and that the process has started, even though gradual.
When the Sierra Leone Library Board started operations, the British Council handed over its library and a grant towards erecting a library building in Freetown. The next was to train African Librarians as scholarship and training courses were started. Dr. Davidson Nicol was the first chairman of the Library Board while John Strickland served as the first chief librarian from 1960-1964 but the first Sierra Leonean to serve as chief librarian was M.B Jones from 1964-1978.