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Library and information networks for resource sharing in developing countries with particular reference to English-speaking West Africa

posted on 2010-10-18, 15:13 authored by Benzies Y. Boadi
The concept of resource sharing has, of late, engaged the increased attention of librarians and information workers, and various conferences and seminars have been devoted to its exposition in one form or the other. The Airlie House Conference of 1970 and the Pittsburgh Conferences of 1973 and 1976 are some of the notable examples of this growing interest. Although these conferences and. seminars have shown predominant concern with resource sharing in the context of the developed countries, the interests of the developing countries have not been entirely neglected as the IFLA/UNESCO Pre- Sesssion Seminar of 1977 shows. The basic motivating factors behind resource sharing in the provision of library and information services are the acknowledged impossibility for any library or information centre to be self-sufficient, and the nedd to co-ordinate activities in order to avoid unnecessary duplication in the provision of the services. Additionally, technological progress has made library co-operation a lot more feasible than it has ever been. These factors are relevant to both the developed and the developing countries and therefore make resource sharing a concept of common interest and relevance, too. However, the developing countries have to adopt strategies that are different from those of the developed countries in the interpretation and application of the concept. This is because in the developed countries, the resources are, by and large, in existence and are available in considerable quantity. In the developing countries, however, the reverse is the norm. The resources are generally scanty, and the supporting services are comparatively weak. So while the main concern of the developed countries may lie in the development of schemes for the sharing of the existing resources, to the developing countries, resource sharing should mean more than that; it should be seen as an essential part of the wider task of resource building. These two aspects (i. e. resource building and sharing) should be considered together to make the concept meaningful to the developing countries. This interpretation of resource sharing forms the basis of this work, and the existing resources in English-speaking West Africa (comprising The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) have been reviewed with these two aspects in view. In addition to individual country assessment, the opportunities for resource sharing at the subregional level have also been examined. For ease of reference, the tables accompanying this text have been prepared separately as Volume Two.



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© Benzies Yabbey Boadi

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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