Society is getting progressively stratified and spellbound, with the rich and poor people, the informed and uneducated, having constrained psychological abilities more extensive separated than in whenever in our history. In this time of expanding stratification by salary and capacity, the library in scholastic foundations may goes about as a scaffold between the settled in social posts.

Reference libraries have the longest history of a library. They existed in the times of dirt tablet and from such tablets, data was counseled and a rundown of concerns is being viewed as the crude trailblazers of current library indexes. From their beginnings in antiquated occasions, the elements of libraries have not changed fundamentally. Anyway the configuration, amount and substance of the materials making up their stock and the resultant administrations have dynamically been changed to where the scientists today approach a system of complex data assets. The essential job of the library is instructive and this has been the frame of mind if not the acknowledgment of reference bookkeepers (Higgens, 1988).

Scholarly libraries are those intended to meet general examinations at the undergrad and graduate levels and which additionally bolster their parent organizations in conveying their projects for a successful instructing and execution of commonsense aptitudes. Higgens (1988) characterized a scholarly library as that appended to help scholastic foundations above auxiliary level serving the educating and research needs of understudies, staff and scientists. As indicated by Harrods (2000) scholastic libraries are those found in colleges, polytechnics, schools and every other establishment shaping piece of or related with the instructive foundations.

Reference Services at the Fourah Bay College Library

Fourah Bay College library was built up in 1827. It is situated at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone in the Michael Jollife Building which was named after the late Mr. Michael Jollife, an exile who filled in as College curator from 1961-1970.

The primary floor of the library houses the front counter; photocopying room; issue work area; Sierra Leone Collection (joining the United Nations Collection); the American Shelf; General Reference Collection; Cataloging Department; Acquisition Department; Circulation Department and the College Librarian’s office. The subsequent floor holds the Textbook Collection. The third floor contains the General Lending Collection.

The lower ground floor houses the Bindery; staff rooms and stores. The library has Professional, Para-proficient and other care staff. It utilizes the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme and the Triplicate Issuing System with Card list.

Fourah Bay College library is one of the remarkable scholarly libraries in Sierra Leone built up with the statement of purpose “to fabricate a complete assortment of recorded data to help successful instructing, research and preparing in the Liberal Arts, Pure and Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Social Sciences and Law and related fields to encourage fast access to data, and to advance the utilization of assortment by potential library clients of Fourah Bay College and different foundations.”

Reference Service is the pinnacle of library movement work. It includes the support of an asset bank from which answers to questions are given and materials required by clients are made available.Davidson (1979) characterized reference administration as the arrangement of data and materials to individuals entering a reference library and mentioning help from the library staff. Katz (1997) saw reference administration as the behind-the-scene exercises of the reference library in the choice, procurement and support of the library stock and its cautious accounts and organization.

At the point when we discuss reference administration in scholastic libraries, we mean those exercises attempted by administrators and related kinds of staff from the reference office in scholarly libraries. This is accomplished using assortment of books, and different materials loaded in the reference division for reference purposes particular from assortment made for home perusing or other use outside the library. The reference procedure in scholastic libraries includes the accompanying:

• The client perceives his requirement for data;

• The client puts his inquiry to the bookkeeper;

• The bookkeeper draws in the examiner in a reference exchange;

• The bookkeeper refines and repeats the inquiry;

• The bookkeeper details the inquiry technique;

• The bookkeeper distinguishes and misuses his own as well as outside data assets;

• The bookkeeper shows his provisional discoveries;

• The client surveys the significance of these in connection to his necessities; and

• The client acknowledges an affirmed answer.

Reference materials at the Fourah Bay College Library include:dictionaries, reference books, conceptual diaries, registries, yearbooks, life stories periodicals/serials, lists to periodicals, papers, maps and graphs, specialized reports, licenses, standard determinations, papers, propositions, gathering procedures and the scholastic and regulatory schedule of occasions or the activity of the school.

Notwithstanding these materials the library offers the accompanying administrations:

Reference Service: This alludes to the individual help given to clients in discovering explicit data whether immediate or roundabout. At Fourah Bay College Library, an asset bank is kept up from which answers to questions are given and materials required by clients are made accessible.

Bibliographic Service: The library gets ready book records and reference indices for its customers, particularly post-graduate understudies which fill in as an incredible guide in their exploration exercises particularly in the composition of their theories and paper.

Photocopying Service: This administration is accommodated understudies who wish to photocopy their notes just as speakers who need to recreate numerous duplicates of helpful materials to make their talk notes. Clients pay a charge for this administration.

Network access: This is the most recent among the administrations gave at the Fourah Bay College Library. The Library gives a chance to staff and understudies to get to data online by means of the utilization of the Internet. In any case, to utilize the framework, the customers must have a few abilities in the utilization PCs and an expense is likewise charged for the administration.

Restricting Service: Mutilated references materials are sent to bindery to be bound. Anyway it’s anything but a free for all help as some expense is charged for the administrations rendered particularly to understudies and for individual work of staff individuals.

The reference office at the Fourah Bay College library is an uncommon one from which materials can’t be acquired for home perusing. It is served by unique custodians called Reference Librarians or Information Officers, who help and exhort benefactors in their examination and other writing needs. They give bibliographic or scholarly access and offer focused on administrations and projects with the mission of teaching, advising and engaging an assortment of crowds and the objective of animating individual learning and propelling society in general.

Reference Queries:are likewise replied in the library. These inquiries presented by the library supporters to the reference bookkeepers with the point of getting the correct data to fulfill their needs. These inquiries are partitioned into:

Directional Queries: These are inquiries in which the reference administrator is approached basically for headings.

Prepared Reference Queries: These are alluded to as speedy reference questions. They are questions in which the reference curators need to counsel just one source, and that neighboring the enquiry point, so as to manage the client’s needs. This is recognized from the absolutely directional degree of work by the way that the administrators need to counsel a few information instead of just answer from individual information.

Explicit Search Queries: These are portrayed as those in which reference administrators may need to counsel a few sources to guarantee total the fulfillment of client needs. They are the thoughtful which are plainly comprehended without an excess of exchange and the sources required are evident and genuinely basic.

Research Queries: These are inquiries that require expanded hunts, maybe more than a few days and potentially including various library staff simultaneously. The marshaling of statistical data points from a wide scope of sources, together with the need to compose broad foundation notes and clarifications, and presumably to get materials from different libraries and make a phone call to counsel or getting help from different libraries will be a component of this kind of inquiry

Difficulties of Reference Services at the Fourah Bay College Library

Scholastic Libraries in Sierra Leone, particularly Fourah Bay College Library are not without challenges. These range from deficiency of assets through absence of satisfactory expertly gifted staff to sporadic force supply.

The library is completely and exclusively subordinate upon the school organization for financing. An evaluation of subsidizing at Fourah Bay College Library uncovers that a low need is given to the foundation’s scholastic operational hub. The library is gravely underfunded. Games and Sports Division is given a higher citation than the library. This budgetary test has along these lines constrained the library in the arrangement of a phenomenal reference administration to its customers. The library additionally does not have the necessary current reference materials to deal with reference questions. This budgetary limitations has constrained the library in procuring the latest reference materials.

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