New Policy On Distance Learning In Higher Education Sector

In pursuance to the announcement of 100 days agenda of HRD of ministry by Hon’ble Human Resources development Minister, a New Policy on Distance Learning In Higher Education Sector was drafted.

BACKGROUND

1. In terms of Entry 66 of List 1 of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, Parliament is competent to make laws for the coordination and determination of standards in institutions for higher education for research, and scientific and technical institutions. Parliament has enacted laws for discharging this responsibility through: the University Grants Commission (UGC) for general Higher Education, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for Technical Education; and other Statutory bodies for other disciplines. As regards higher education, through the distance mode, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Act, 1985 was enacted with the following two prime objectives, among others: (a) To provide opportunities for higher education to a large segment of population, especially disadvantaged groups living in remote and rural areas, adults, housewives and working people; and (b) to encourage Open University and Distance Education Systems in the educational pattern of the country and to coordinate and determine the standards in such systems.

2. The history of distance learning or education through distance mode in India, goes way back when the universities started offering education through distance mode in the name of Correspondence Courses through their Directorate/School of Correspondence Education. In those days, the courses in humanities and/or in commerce were offered through correspondence and taken by those, who, owing to various reasons, including limited number of seats in regular courses, employability, problems of access to the institutions of higher learning etc., could not get themselves enrolled in the conventional `face-to-face’ mode `in-class’ programmes.

3. In the recent past, the demand for higher education has increased enormously throughout the country because of awareness about the significance of higher education, whereas the system of higher education could not accommodate this ever increasing demand.

4. Under the circumstances, a number of institutions including deemed universities, private universities, public (Government) universities and even other institutions, which are not empowered to award degrees, have started cashing on the situation by offering distance education programmes in a large number of disciplines, ranging from humanities to engineering and management etc., and at different levels (certificate to under-graduate and post-graduate degrees). There is always a danger that some of these institutions may become `degree mills’ offering sub- standard/poor quality education, consequently eroding the credibility of degrees and other qualifications awarded through the distance mode. This calls for a far higher degree of coordination among the concerned statutory authorities, primarily, UGC, AICTE and IGNOU and its authority – the Distance Education Council (DEC).

5. Government of India had clarified its position in respect of recognition of degrees, earned through the distance mode, for employment under it vide Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1.3.1995.

6. Despite the risks referred to in para 4 above, the significance of distance education in providing quality education and training cannot be ignored. Distance Mode of education has an important role for:

(i)providing opportunity of learning to those, who do not have direct access to face to face teaching, working persons, house-wives etc.
(ii)providing opportunity to working professionals to update their knowledge, enabling them to switchover to new disciplines and professions and enhancing their qualifications for career advancement.
(iii)exploiting the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning process; and
(iv)achieving the target of 15% of GER by the end of 11th Plan and 20% by the end of 12th five year Plan.

7. In order to discharge the Constitutional responsibility of determination and maintenance of the standards in Higher Education, by ensuring coordination among various statutory regulatory authorities as also to ensure the promotion of open and distance education system in the country to meet the aspirations of all cross-sections of people for higher education, the following policy in respect of distance learning is laid down:

(a) In order to ensure proper coordination in regulation of standards of higher education in different disciplines through various modes [i.e. face to face and distance] as also to ensure credibility of degrees/diploma and certificates awarded by Indian Universities and other Education Institutes, an apex body, namely, National Commission for Higher Education and Research shall be established in line with the recommendations of Prof. Yash Pal Committee/National Knowledge Commission. A Standing Committee on Open and Distance

Education of the said Commission, shall undertake the job of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of education through the distance mode. Pending establishment of this body:

(i) Only those programmes, which do not involve extensive practical course work, shall be permissible through the distance mode.

(ii) Universities / institutions shall frame ordinances / regulations / rules, as the case may be, spelling out the outline of the programmes to be offered through the distance mode indicating the number of required credits, list of courses with assigned credits, reading references in addition to self learning material, hours of study, contact classes at study centres, assignments, examination and evaluation process, grading etc.

(iii) DEC of IGNOU shall only assess the competence of university/institute in respect of conducting distance education programmes by a team of experts, whose report shall be placed before the Council of DEC for consideration.

(iv) The approval shall be given only after consideration by Council of DEC and not by Chairperson, DEC. For the purpose, minimum number of mandatory meetings of DEC may be prescribed.

(v) AICTE would be directed under section 20 (1) of AICTE Act 1987 to ensure accreditation of the programmes in Computer Sciences, Information Technology and Management purposed to be offered by an institute/university through the distance mode, by National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

(vi) UGC and AICTE would be directed under section 20 (1) of their respective Acts to frame detailed regulations prescribing standards for various programmes/courses, offered through the distance mode under their mandate,

(vii) No university/institute, except the universities established by or under an Act of Parliament/State Legislature before 1985, shall offer any programme through the distance mode, henceforth, without approval from DEC and accreditation by NBA. However, the universities/institutions already offering programmes in Humanities, Commerce/Business/Social Sciences/Computer Sciences and Information Technology and Management, may be allowed to continue, subject to the condition to obtain fresh approval from DEC and accreditation from NBA within one year, failing which they shall have to discontinue the programme and the entire onus with respect to the academic career and financial losses of the students enrolled with them, shall be on such institutions/universities.

(viii) In light of observation of Apex Court, ex-post-facto approval granted by any authority for distance education shall not be honoured and granted henceforth. However, the universities established by or under an Act of education programmes in the streams of Humanities/Commerce/Social Sciences before the year 1991 shall be excluded from this policy.

(ix) The students who have been awarded degrees through distance mode by the universities without taking prior approval of DEC and other statutory bodies, shall be given one chance, provided they fulfil the requirement of minimum standards as prescribed by the UGC, AICTE or any other relevant Statutory Authority through Regulation, to appear in examinations in such papers as decided by the university designated to conduct the examination. If these students qualify in this examination, the university concerned shall issue a certificate. The degree along with the said qualifying certificate may be recognised for the purpose of employment/promotion under Central Government.

(x) A clarification shall be issued with reference to Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1.3.1995 that it shall not be applicable on to the degrees/diplomas awarded by the universities established by or under an Act of Parliament or State Legislature before 1985, in the streams of Humanities/Commerce and Social Sciences.

(xi) The policy initiatives spelt out in succeeding paragraphs shall be equally applicable to institutions offering distance education/intending to offer distance education.

(b) All universities and institutions offering programmes through the distance mode shall need to have prior recognition/approval for offering such programmes and accreditation from designated competent authority, mandatorily in respect of the programmes offered by them. The violators of this shall be liable for appropriate penalty as prescribed by law. The universities/institutions offering education through distance mode and found involved in cheating of students/people by giving wrong/false information or wilfully suppressing the information shall also be dealt with strictly under the penal provisions of law.

(c) The universities / institutes shall have their own study centres for face to face counselling and removal of difficulties as also to seek other academic and administrative assistance. Franchising of distance education by any university, institutions whether public or private shall not be allowed.

(d ) The universities /institutions shall only offer such programmes through distance mode which are on offer on their campuses through conventional mode. In case of open universities, they shall necessarily have the required departments and faculties prior to offering relevant programmes through distance mode.

(e) It would be mandatory for all universities and education institutions offering distance education to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in delivery of their programmes, management of the student and university affairs through a web portal or any other such platform. The said platform shall invariably, display in public domain, the information about the statutory and other approvals along with other necessary information about the programmes on offer through distance mode, their accreditation and students enrolled, year- wise, etc. This may be linked to a national database, as and when created, to facilitate the stakeholders to take a view on the recognition of the degrees for the purpose of academic pursuit or employment with/under them.

(f) All universities/education institutions shall make optimal use of e-learning contents for delivery/offering their programmes through distance mode. They shall also be encouraged/required to adopt e-surveillance technology for conduct of clean, fair and transparent examinations.

(g) The focus of distance education shall be to provide opportunity of education to people at educationally disadvantaged situations such as living in remote and rural areas, adults with no or limited access to education of their choice etc.

(h) In order to promote flexible and need based learning, choice-based credit system shall be promoted and all ODE institutions shall be encouraged to adopt this system and evolve a mechanism for acceptance and transfer of credits of the courses successfully completed by students in face-to-face or distance mode. For the purpose, establishment of a credit bank may be considered. Similarly, conventional universities, offering face to face mode programmes shall be encouraged to accept the credits earned by the students through distance mode. A switch over from annual to semester system shall be essential.

(i) Convergence of the face-to-face mode teaching departments of conventional universities with their distance education directorates/correspondence course wings as also with open universities/institutions offering distance education, shall be impressed upon to bridge the gap in distance and conventional face-to-face mode of education.

(j) Reputed Foreign education providers well established, recognized and accredited by competent authority in their country and willing to offer their education programmes in India shall be allowed, subject to the fulfillment of the legal requirement of the country.

(k) A National Information and Communication Technology infrastructure for networking of ODE institutions shall be created under National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology.

(l) Efforts would be made to create favourable environment for research in Open and Distance Education (ODE) system by setting up infrastructure like e- libraries, digital data-base, online journals, holding regular workshops, seminars etc.

(m) Training and orientation programmes for educators and administrators in ODE system with focus on use of ICT and self-learning practice, shall be encouraged.

(n) ODE institutions shall be encouraged to take care the educational needs of learners with disabilities and senior citizens.

(o) An official notification clarifying the issue of recognition of academic qualification, earned through distance mode, for the purpose of employment, shall be issued.

(p) A mechanism shall be set up for evaluation of degrees of foreign universities for the purpose of academic pursuit as well as for employment under the Central Government. This may include the assessment of the credentials of the university concerned as also to test the competence of the degree holder, if needed.

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Strategies to Incorporate Project Management With SharePoint In Mid-Market Organizations

IntroductionMany organizations today have implemented technology such as Microsoft SharePoint to provide a central portal into their organization’s information and operations. While the promise of a central portal is alluring, it can also be elusive for project based organizations. The reason for this goes to the very purpose of systems such as SharePoint and project management systems.In addition, mid-market organizations have additional considerations. For the purposes of this paper, a mid-market organization is simply an organization that needs more than the tools that the low-end market provides, but does not have the resources, time, or budget for the tools provided for the high-end market. In other words, they are right in the middle and need the right balance between sophistication, ease of implementation, and cost. Whereas certain solutions may be obvious for large organizations because of the internal resources available, they are less obvious for mid-market organizations.This article will discuss strategies for how to solve these problems and properly implement project management capability with a SharePoint-type of information portal, within the bounds of the mid-market predicament.Different Systems, Different PurposesAn online portal, such as SharePoint, is generally defined as collaboration software with the benefit of sharing information in order to work better. In the last 10-15 years especially, information within the organization has grown dramatically. Emails, spreadsheets, documents, and all other types of information became scattered throughout the organization. The promise (and purpose) of SharePoint especially is to put some structure around this information, centralize it, and make it easily accessible to everyone in the organization. There is a lot of value in this. This is not to say that SharePoint cannot be configured to do a number of different things beyond what was just mentioned, only that this is the primary, stated purpose of SharePoint.For project organizations that are focusing on running projects, this focus causes some gaps if an organization is planning to rely solely on SharePoint for its project management needs. The primary reason is that SharePoint is not project management software and thus does not naturally have some project management features that project organizations need. These include items such as Gantt charts, project scheduling engines, and resource utilization tools. SharePoint does have natural capabilities that do support project management processes, such as lists, document management, and collaboration. It is just that, for project-based organizations, these capabilities tend to weigh too heavily on collaboration and not enough on more formalized project management tools. Organizations with heavy project loads find that they need a balance of both. The fact that this is true of SharePoint is evidenced by Microsoft’s push for deployment of Microsoft Project Server as a tool to be deployed in addition to SharePoint, although many mid-market organizations struggle with the implementation of two complex systems.Conversely, project management software systems, are designed specifically to help project based organizations manage their projects. As such, they generally include more formalized project management features such as Gantt charts and scheduling. A good project management software system will support the processes that a project based organization needs to follow to work better and be more competitive.On the other hand, most project management software systems are not designed as a portal for all information in the organization. They are focused on projects, the information pertaining to those projects, and the management of those projects. As such, it can be difficult for an organization to rely solely on project management software as a portal for the entire organization. It is not impossible to do this, simply difficult without the right mix of project management system capability (or better stated flexibility) and organizational needs.This all is not meant to frustrate the reader, only to reiterate what the fundamental purposes are of different types of software systems so that a coherent and practical strategy can emerge to meet the needs of mid-market organizations with project management requirements.StrategiesWhat are the strategies then that a project based organization can employ to achieve both the centralized portal and collaboration benefits of a SharePoint type of system and the project management benefits of a project management software system?There are three fairly obvious and logical strategies to be discussed along with their strengths and weaknesses.Strategy #1: SharePoint OnlyThe first strategy is to utilize the SharePoint technology exclusively and take the time and resources to configure and even extend its capability to fill in any gaps that arise. There are several advantages of this approach. These include the fact that there is only one system to manage. All of the information is in one system meaning that you do not need to develop knowledge regarding two systems or worry about integration between those systems.In addition, many organizations already have SharePoint implemented within their organization making it an easy decision to use existing technology.There are also some disadvantages to this approach. These include the fact that there will most likely be some gaps in the project management capability that will need to be filled in some way. This could be done via technical configuration or programming, or third party tools, but in some way the gaps will need to be filled to be effective. Another disadvantage is that technical resources will be relied upon to both keep the system operational and help it meet project management-specific needs. SharePoint is not a simple system to deploy, implement, and maintain.The idea with this strategy is to simply do the best you can with your existing SharePoint technology.Strategy #2: Project Management System OnlyThe second strategy is to implement only a project management software system and use it for all of the organization’s needs. There are advantages to this approach as well. Similar to the first strategy, one advantage is that there is only one system to manage. All of the information is in one system thus requiring less training and administration. Another advantage is that the system will be designed specifically for project management. If most or all of the organization’s information is project-based, this will work well.Some of the disadvantages of this strategy include the fact that most project management software systems are not designed for other types of information sharing. For example, you generally will not see information on open orders from the organization’s accounting system in the project management system’s dashboard. It should be noted that this is not impossible, some systems have the capability to link to other systems and display data, but this is not the native purpose of these systems. Stated another way, these systems are usually geared towards projects, and not an overall portal for all the information in the organization.Another disadvantage can be the fact that project management software systems tend to be more formalized which means there may be some additional training involved over a simple collaboration system. This is not necessarily a bad thing – if an organization needs that level of capability, then it needs that level of capability and must train its staff on the capabilities and desired processes – but it is still something to consider.The idea with this strategy is to go full-out into what your organization in reality does: delivering projects.Strategy #3: The Hybrid ApproachThe third strategy is a hybrid of the other two strategies and involves implementing both a SharePoint type portal system, in addition to a project management software system. In other words, you implement both types of systems and connect them together.There are several advantages to this approach. For one, this approach works well with the whole idea of a portal system in the first place. In other words, a portal system like SharePoint is not meant to replace every other system in the organization but to act as a portal and central processing point for the information from those other systems. For example, an accounting system does what it does, while sharing information with the SharePoint system so that SharePoint can act as the central “clearing house” of all information. Likewise, a project management software system does what it does, while sharing information with the SharePoint system. In this approach, SharePoint becomes a true portal for delivering all relevant information across the organization, while the other systems are used to do what they do best (i.e. accounting for the organization’s finances or managing projects).In addition, there is generally more flexibility that an organization has with this approach. Considering the focus of managing projects, if there is a specific need for technology to support a new or improved process, you have more than one option. You have the option of doing that in the SharePoint system or you have the option of doing that in the project management software system, or even in the connection between the two systems. Either system may do certain things better than the other so that you are not tied down to a single technology.As with the other strategies, there are disadvantages to this strategy as well. They include the fact that you have to maintain multiple systems. This is negated somewhat if you take a Software as a Service approach (i.e. you do not host the software yourself), but there will always be some administrative items that you will need to have internal knowledge to function effectively.In addition, you need to maintain an interface between the two systems so that project information can be easily displayed in the SharePoint portal. That is not terrible difficult these days, but still an item to consider that needs to be maintained.The idea with this strategy is to get the best of both worlds.ConclusionsAs with any evaluation of software technology, the conclusions depend a great deal on the specific needs, objectives, culture, and processes of the organization performing the evaluation. The purpose of this paper is to provide background information so that you can determine the appropriate technology direction, not to make the decision itself. Thus it is important to understand your own organization before making determinations regarding technology. Once you have done that, there are some general guidelines that you can follow.If you do not have formal processes and can operate the organization entirely by collaboration, then native SharePoint technology may work.However, if you are a project based organization with any type of scheduling needs, project management software capability will be needed. A distinguishing factor is often in the management of tasks. If a simple to-do list is all that your process requires, then collaboration-type of software may fit the bill. If there is a scheduling component to the process (i.e. tasks need to be done at certain times and the schedule of those tasks needs to be tracked), then project management software-specific capability is generally required. There are other factors (such as resource utilization tracking) that can be evaluated, but task scheduling is generally the most common factor determining project management software need.If your organization is small enough in size and the scope of its information sharing is primarily project management focused, then using a single project management software system is generally a good approach. In other words, if you are in reality delivering projects and that is your world, go with the technology geared towards that world.Conversely, if your organization is large enough in size and has broader information sharing strategies beyond just project management, then incorporating a project management software system combined with SharePoint provides a lot of value.SharePoint is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. EnterPlicity is a registered trademark of Team Interactions, Inc.

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Marketing Public Library Services in Sierra Leone

IntroductionThe concept of instituting marketing principles to non-profit institutions such as library and information Services is no longer a controversy. Organisations operate in an environment of change. Today we live in a global market for many goods and services in which technology, purchasing power and many factors change on a regular basis. One of the key functions of marketing is to find out how these changes affect clientele’s wants and needs and to develop organisational strategies and plans that will ensure that the library meets these challenges (Dransfield and Needham, 1995). It is therefore not surprising that public librarians are joining the marketing bandwagon. This article explores the marketing activities in the operations of the Sierra Leone Public Library services.Public LibrariesA Public Library is funded wholly and partly from public funds and the use of which is not restricted to any class persons in the community but freely available to all. It is a major agency of enlightenment for adults, providing for children the recorded experiences of others which will help them grow into adults.Usherhood (1981) defined Public Library as an organization established, supported and funded by the community, either through local, regional or national government or through some form of or other community organization. It provides access to knowledge, information and works of imagination through a range of resources and services and equally available to members of the public community regardless of race, nationality, economic and employment status and educational attainment.The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB)The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) was established by Ordinance in June, 1959. The setting up of the Board was envisaged in the Government’s White Paper on Educational Development in 1958 and its functions outlined therein as follows:• To provide a national/public library Service;
• To support and reinforce programmes of adult and fundamental education;
• To provide effective services for children and young adults including requisite services to schools;
• To provide much needed information and references services;
• To provide where needed adequate services for special groups, that is women and girls, language groups.The Central Library is designed to give public services to Freetown and also to function as headquarter of the National/Public Library services and to provide accommodation for a growing collection of book and non-book materials in the country. It does all technical processing of stock for the Regional and Branch Libraries and has an Adult Lending Reference and a Children’s department.Libraries are charged with responsibility to provide information service to support educational, recreation and personal endeavours of the members of their respective communities and the Sierra Leone Library Board is not an exception to that. The following services are provided at the Sierra Leone Library Board to Clientele:Children ServicesThe Sierra Leone Library Board provides information services to children by the provision of books and other materials for children which are often housed in a special section known as the Children’s Library. A special service for children known as child orientated educational programme specially designed for younger library users is included in the children’s library services. They also provide services to children through storytelling, drama/play and reading aloud.Book Borrowing and Lending ServiceThe main task of Sierra Leone Library Board is to provide the public with access to books and periodicals. The Sierra Leone Library Board typically offers access to a variety of books which are available for borrowing by anyone with the appropriate library card.Current Awareness ServiceAt the Sierra Leone Library Board, current awareness service is aimed at bringing to the notice of potential users, newly available documents and information services. This is done by collating information and producing new secondary sources, circulating current periodicals or other documents acquired and producing and distributing one or more forms of bulletins.Selective Dissemination of InformationA more personal information service is being run at the Sierra Leone Library Board in which the library constantly notifies library users about particular information/materials matching them in a profile of the information needs and research pre-occupation of their clientele. This is done by either bringing references to relevant items to the notice of their clients and by obtaining copies and then supply the documents themselves to library users.Outreach ServicesThe Sierra Leone Library Board provides outreach information services which is committed to developing library outreach programmes for non-users, the undeserved, and people with special needs in the communities in restricted areas.Computer and Internet ServicesIn an attempt to bridge the digital divide, information resources and government services are being provided online by the Sierra Leone Library Board. This is done by providing access to the Internet and public computers for users who otherwise would not be able to connect to these services.Library MarketingMarketing is often viewed as a set of strategies and techniques that belongs to administrators outside of librarianship. But, librarians are also involved in the marketing process. The essence of marketing involves finding out users needs and want, then setting out to meet these needs.Marketing according to Weingand (1995) “can be viewed as a process of exchange and a way to foster partnership between the library and its community” (p.296). In order to maintain the relationship between the public library and the community, marketing strategies have to be employed as effective tool.Marketing in the public library means more than simply promotion or selling. It is more concerned about user needs. Marketing the Public Library is a social and managerial process by which products and services as well as values are exchanged in order to fulfill individuals or group needs. Marketing refers to those instruments through which information, both raw and processed, are transmitted to its members. Promotion or campaigning is but two activities in the broader exercise of marketingPlanning Library Marketing ProgrammesThe continued existence of libraries, if not their survivals, may well depend upon the use of marketing and planning strategies, communicated through effective public relations, to significantly alter the perceived role and position of the library in society.In a real sense, Public Relation is the promotion component of a full marketing plan of library programmes. It can be seen as the communicated module which serves the promotion function; conversely, it may be easily depicted as a philosophical relationship between library and community which serves as a guiding light for promotion activities.Both communication and research skills serve well in the marketing planning process of which Public Relations is an important component. Specific skills and knowledge are also needed in marketing planning programs for libraries. It goes without saying that both ongoing marketing planning and programmes, and in particular, how the needs of different groups of users differ from each other. Library and information services are complex entities, as are the human users and potential users of these services.Planning, promotion and campaigning are but all activities in the boarder exercise of marketing. User studies therefore, have a very wide range of uses in relation to the planning of library marketing programmes of a service. They contribute in the planning, promotion and development of library services. In their contribution they help in the understanding of different user group behaviour and their needs, and can assist in effective campaigning and planning process.Three steps to planning library marketing programmes are:• Knowing what your beliefs are and therefore what you want to achieve;
• Communicating these beliefs as practical objectives to the people with whom you work, in order that these objectives can be fulfilled; and
• Creating a vehicle which allows this to happen. This can only be achieved by defining the basic components and through organization.Methods of marketing in Sierra Leone Library BoardBook Displays and ExhibitionsDisplays and exhibitions are widely used in most public libraries as a marketing strategy to sell their products or items. The SLLB displays jackets of new books which are not yet included in the lending department for easy access by users and to increase usage. It is also a means of drawing the attention of users and non-users to particular aspects of library resources and services.Printed materials and PublicationsIn order to make a very good image of the public library and for public librarians to establish better communication between the library and users, publicity programmes are put in place by the management of the Sierra Leone Library Board through news release. The management also considers annual reports and newspapers as basic publicity techniques. Publications such as bibliographies, guides and brochures are used by the library to communicate with the wider public.Public Relations OfficePublic relations according to Usherhood (1981) is concerned with gaining of public support for an activity, cause, movement or institution. It is a process that furthers mental understanding and cooperation between a government; or any organisation and its various publics. The Sierra Leone Library Board has a Public Relations Office charged with the responsibility to enhance a smooth system of communication.User Education/Readers Advisory ServiceThis could be described as training a group of users in the effective use of the library and its resources. It is used to stimulate the users to make greater use of the library and introduces library staff to clientele who might be reluctant to seek their assistance. This is the principal means through which library staff can learn about readers’ needs, opinions and habits. Good communication with readers enables staff to inform and influence readers.The MediaThese involve printed and audio-visual forms of communication and any necessary equipment to render them usable. The Press, radio and television are important means of publicising information service, since they offer potential of reaching many people from all walks of life. The media are cultivated so that messages are distributed with regularity. Publicity mechanism such as news releases, special events and brochures can also be employed.The Social Media Groups (SMG)The Sierra Leone Library Board makes use of the Social media groups such as ‘Facebook’ and ‘Watsapp’ as an effective way for publicity in order to put their messages across to users of their services.Challenges of Marketing Library and Information Services at the SLLBA lot of challenges have militated against the effective planning and implementation of library marketing programs at SLLB. The following are some of the challenges:• Inadequate Staff: Although staff numbers have been maintained, the ratio of professional staff is very low. The library is manned mostly by paraprofessionals who mostly lack the skills to plan and implement marketing programmes.• Finance: The library depends heavily on government subsidy. The government has no specific or substantial funds for the running of the library thus the library administration has to foot most of the bills that have to do with marketing. The irregular flow of funds has served as a barrier to the progress of marketing library and information services at the SLLB.• Lack of standard printed materials and publications: The SLLB lacks most standard printed materials and publications due to poor planning of marketing programmes. This negligence has made the library handicapped of public relations tools in the form of printed materials and publications such as newsletters, questionnaires, diaries and calendars.• Displays are improper and exhibitions seem almost absent: The library depends mostly on donations and most of the books are acquired without jackets. Therefore displaying book jackets in inconsistent. In fact exhibition programmes are yet to survive as they are only recently introduced. The library lacks relevant display and exhibition materials to mount these activities.• Inability to organize frequent Radio Programs: The SLLB lacks media communication facilities. The library cannot frequently organise radio programmes on its own because of lack of funds. The absence of radio programmes stands out as an acute problem to the progress of marketing programs in the library.Conclusively, marketing is the instrument that libraries use to transform their aims and objectives into operational plans of action. In most developing countries’ public libraries such as the SLLB, marketing strategies cannot operate properly due to the existence of bottlenecks in planning programmes. Good marketing programmes actualise the plans and measures necessary for the achievement of goals and objectives.

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