Steps to Pursue a PhD in Higher Education Administration

A PhD in Higher Education Administration makes it possible for you to teach at university level related to administrative positions in tertiary education settings. It is a lucrative position once you have that qualification in hand, earning more digits annually. Yet, there are things you will need to do before becoming a PhD student.

Researching for your options is the first thing to do. There are many universities that offer PhD in Higher Education Administration, but try to stick with those that have accredited programs. Once you’ve gotten a list of prospective universities, find out what their prerequisites are. Getting a head start in this knowledge will give you an aim to achieve when you enter graduate school. You will also need to take note that PhD and EdD are different from one another, which requires different qualifications and are of different standards. Your list can be further shortened by selecting places you might potentially further your studies, and those you would not. You could otherwise take an accredited online PhD program if you have commitments from where you are.

Next, you can inquire about the admission and testing processes. You will learn that to be accredited with a PhD in Higher Education Administration, you will be required to sit for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), where you may register yourself with the Educational Testing Service website. Utilize the website and libraries as they have study and exam materials for the exam. You might also want to learn about your financial options from graduate school to university, as the entire process is a costly affair. You might also want consult your graduate school’s counselor on what type of PhD program is suitable for you considering your commitments, whether you should take a campus PhD, or do away with an accredited online PhD.

Attain all necessary documents such as your transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation once you have completed graduate school. You will be asked for these documents when you further your studies to PhD level. Do not forget to get your curriculum details so you can make a schedule that will able you to accomplish the syllabus in the allocated time. Last of all, do well in graduate school and write a good piece of dissertation.

Efforts Of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan For Public Library Legislation And Service- A Review

Dr. Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan was a visionary who realized the importance of library legislation for the promotion and development of library movement in India. He was a far-sighted person fully devoted to the cause of library and information science. He was fully aware regarding the role of libraries in the enhancement of education in any society. He understood the impact of educational advancement for the development of country and the effectiveness and utility of libraries to promote education.

In 1924, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan visited a number of public libraries during his stay in United Kingdom. These visits enabled him to study the system, functioning, funding and services of various libraries. As a consequence he was convinced that library legislation alone would provide a systematic, well-knit and efficient public library service. Since public libraries are informal agencies of education, therefore it is obligatory for a welfare state to provide, maintain and develop a network of public libraries to meet the needs of the masses. A public library being essential a peoples’ institution is to be maintained out of public funds, which have to be collected most equitably. Only the government has got the power and authority to impose and collect taxes through legal sanction, hence library legislation is essential to collect the library cess. Thus it is apparent that it is imperative for the government to enact library legislation for the establishment and smooth functioning of a network of public libraries to cater to the educational needs of the general public.

Dr. S. R. Ranganathan was the first person in India who ever thought about the need for library legislation in 1925 after returning to India from England. He drafted a ‘Model Library Act’ and presented it for discussion at the First All Asia Educational Conference, which was held in Banaras on 27-30 December 1930. The participants of the conference were fully convinced with the advantages of draft legislation and the views of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan. This ‘Model Library Act’ was published by the Madras Library Association during the year 1936. He later on amended the draft Act twice- once in 1957 and again in 1972. This Model Library Act was introduced in the shape of Bill in the Madras Assembly in 1933, through Mr. Basher Ahmed Sayeed, the member of the Assembly an enthusiast of public library system.

Salient features of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan’s Model Library Act are: –

Except the Kerala Public Libraries Act, 1989, all the Acts, which have passed in India during the years 1948 to 1990, have the influenced of Model Public Libraries Act drafted by Dr. S. R. Ranganathan.

Dr. S. R. Ranganathan made persistent efforts for getting the library Acts passed by various States in India and dreamt of having it a land of libraries. He prepared a number of Model Bills for various States. Following is a list of them: –

He also prepared a Model Union Library Bill in 1948 and redrafted it in 1957.

India got the first Public Library Act through the ceaseless efforts of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan. For the first time the Public Library Act was passed by the Madras Legislature in 1948. There is an interesting story behind the success of getting the Library Bill enacted in the third attempt in 1946 although the two attempts made earlier had failed. The first attempt was made by Janab Basher Ahmed Sayeed when he introduced the Bill in Madras Legislature in 1933 but it could not get through as the Madras Legislature was dissolved in 1935. A second attempt was made in 1938 but later on the World War-II began and the Bill could not be adopted. In 1946, Mr. Avinashalingam Chettiar, who was an old student of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan, became the Education Minister in Madras State. One day, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan took a copy of the Model Library Act and went to meet the Minister at his house after his usual morning walk. The Minister was surprised to see his “Guru” early in the morning and enquired about the purpose of his visit. Dr. S. R. Ranganathan replied that he came to demand his “Gurudakshina”. When the Minister promised to offer the same, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan gave a copy of Model Act and expressed his wish to have it enacted into a law during his tenure as Minister. Mr. Avinashalingam Chettiar piloted the Bill and got it enacted in 1948.

Problems In Managing Government Publications In Academic Libraries In Sierra Leone


In Sierra Leone the terms ‘official publications’, official documents’, and ‘public documents’ are synonymous with government publications. Government publications, simply put, are documents created by government and local and quasi-government bodies explaining and integrating views and polices. They represent the historical and current development authorities of government and provide data on a wide variety of subjects to include Political Science, Economics, Finance, Statistics, Labor, Industry, History, International Relations, Agriculture, Geology and Meteorology. Katz (1997) classed these publications into: (1) records of government administration (2).research documents for specialists including a considerable number of statistics and data of value to science and business (3).popular sources of information. Their physical form being either a book, pamphlet, magazine, report monograph or electronic, especially CD-ROM (p.387).

Bibliographic control in many parts of the world is seemingly unsatisfactory due largely to lack of awareness of the importance of bibliographic tools in research in government publications. The United States of America, for example, was for a long time a pioneer in this field. As far back as 1895 the Printing Act of January 12 of that year (28 statute, 601-624) not only established centralized printing and distribution of federal documents but also instructed the Superintendent of Documents to provide appropriate tools for bibliographic control of the documents published. Great Britain is an outstanding exception for as far back as 1807 collections of parliamentary papers were printed. Countries such as Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Japan began separating government document bibliographies mainly in the 1920s and 1930s (Palic,1975). However a great need for the use of government publications was felt following World War 11 (1939-1945), when there was an increased interest in the authoritative information contained in such publications as posited by child’s (1942) in his introductory notes that ‘more and more the importance of government documentation is being recognized despite the refractory nature of some of these materials’

In parallel the emphasis made on the usefulness of government publications in Sierra Leone is associated with the development of printing which can be traced as far back as the founding of the Colony of Sierra Leone in 1787. Although the industry didn’t survive the French attack of 1794 the foundation stone of what later became known as the Government Printing Department was laid in 1925 when it was charged with the production of small notices for official use. Currently the Department prints all government publications and supplies stationery and office equipment of government departments. It also undertakes a fair amount of commercial printing as income generating measures.

Government publications usually have the advantage of being among the best in their subject fields often not easily available to others (Smith, 1993). In lieu of the extent and complexity of government activities there is a need for the widespread dissemination of information about these activities and for popular integration of government policy. No wonder why government publications have special value to academic library collections and their authority is permanent. In academic libraries in Sierra Leone these publications are put aside into a special collection manned by a curator as at Fourah Bay College Library. Some are kept in vertical files; others are placed in pamphlet boxes, while those like maps and surveys are given specialized storage. These publications are acquired mainly by purchase, deposit, donation, exchange and photocopying. The Government Printing Department is responsible for their publication


The expansion of government in Sierra Leone’s post-war reconstruction era at local, national and international levels has resulted in increasing her influence on the life of the citizenry. Simultaneously with this expansion is the proliferation of official and semi official agencies, commissions and bureaus which continue to publish works such as directories, regulations, reports, bills, Acts and technical literature which many a researchers, educators, public service functionaries, welfare recipients and the unemployed can not do without reference to such publications. Since librarians serve as interface between users and government they have for long recognized the problems which such a plethora of collection can pose and have been making tremendous strides to address the issue. The essence here is to provide systematic controls to avoid the disappearance, into oblivion, of essential official publications.

In Sierra Leone government publications fall within three general classes: Executive, Legislative ands Judicial. The Executive publications include those issued by the Offices of the President and the Vice President, and various independent offices and establishments such as National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), National Revenue Authority (NRA), Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), National Commission for Privatization (NCP) and the Office of the Ombudsman. Also included are government ministries such as the Ministries of defense; Education, Youth and Sports; Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation; Tourism and Cultural Affairs; Local Government and Community Development; Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security; Trade and Industry; Internal Affairs; labor and Industrial Relations; and Development and Economic Planning.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, for example, is responsible for both internal and international trade and the promotion of exports. It has powers over customs and excise, tariffs, insurance, patents, trademarks, standards, weights and measures. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is responsible for Sierra Leone’s relationship with foreign and Commonwealth countries while the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security is responsible for administrating government policy on agriculture, horticulture and food security. This Ministry offers practical guidance to farmers, commercial producers of horticultural crops and research.The Ministry of Internal Affairs deals with the maintenance of law and order, the Police and Fire Forces, administration of the prisons and the treatment of offenders. Other miscellaneous matters dealt with by this ministry include explosives, firearms, dangerous drugs, prisons, shops, public safety, entertainment, cremation, bylaws and good rule and formal business. The aforementioned functions and similar ones carried out by other ministries require the creation and maintenance of publications. There is also documentation of press briefings given by the varied heads of ministries and newsletters, which are channels for respective ministries there-by making them more public-relations conscious.

Legislative publications include the records and debates of Parliament and the reports of hearings of the varied Parliamentary Committees. Included here also are multiple policy statements in reply to parliamentary questions. The Hansard is another rich source for public matters as it provides official information and views about parliamentary debates.

Publications from the Judiciary branch of government consist mostly of reports of government decisions by the Magistrate, Appeals and Supreme Courts. Found in this arm of government are law books, ‘annual registers’, state trials and rulings, the constitution, international treaties, protocols, peace accords, Acts, bills and digests of local newspapers. These publications provide the judiciary with pertinent information on multifarious legal matters. Such information is required to be factual and politically impartial.

The City and District Councils, being quasi-government institutions, provide documents classified as government publications. These include building codes, educational development, health and sanitation, regulations on waste disposal, use of firearms and fire machines. Also there are government departments which provide statistical information on a vast range of economic, industrial and social demographic data. Of central importance are Statistics Sierra Leone (formerly Central Statistics Office-CSO), responsible for national population census and home surveys; the Office of Births and Deaths which registers and produces annual statistics of births and deaths in the country; the Office of the Registrar General responsible for statutory registration of marriages, patents and trademarks; the Chamber of Commerce which specializes on business information. These offices bring together important economic and social statistics supplied by government departments. Other important government departments are the Meteorological Office, which continues to give pertinent weather information, and the National Archives, which serves as repository of all non-current government publications inclusive of national newspapers. The afore-mentioned government publications vary in size and length. Written by experts in the subject, government publications are not only authoritative but also timely published and deal with topics of current interest. Their purpose, according to Katz (1969), is to provide information and answer questions and not to provoke discussion or organizational cataloging and administration. They are useful primary reference sources.


Academic libraries in Sierra Leone are those in the constituent units that form the country’s two universities, namely the University of Sierra Leone and the University of Njala. These libraries represent the bibliographic foundation of the nation’s research interest. They participate actively in the distribution and exchange of book and non-book materials to sister institutions all over the country. Collectively these institutions serve students, faculty, scholars and researchers that are engaged in work in the sciences and humanities as well as the general public. These libraries have combined resources of over 500,000 volumes, most of which are of unique scope and quality. Included in these massive collections are government publications such as treaties, Acts, statistical tables and compilations, conventions and records of diplomatic relations, reports of government departments, committees, bureau and commissions, census schedules, proclamations and laws. The maintenance, preservation and development of these publications are responsibilities shared by academic librarians as their libraries continue to serve as national resources.


Varied reasons have been advanced for the inclusion of government publications in academic libraries in Sierra Leone. The purposes of the country’s universities are teaching, service, research and interpretation and dissemination of research. Society views government as a reliable and impartial source of authoritative information that should be accessible to its citizens through its numerous publications. Since academic institutions deal with students who in turn will be future citizens these should be informed accordingly. Government’s stance should be known when there is public discussion on health, international relations, education, agriculture, social security and trade, to cite a few examples. Thus the need for the development of government publications in academic libraries as such materials could speak for the government in varied activities. Further academic libraries have the objectives of preservation, conservation and service. And government publications form part of society’s cultural heritage which need conservation and preservation not only for research purposes but also for posterity as tangible primary sources of information which academics can constantly refer to. Little wonder why as a measure of bibliographic control of these publications librarians continue to provide catalog’s, checklists, guides, indexes, accessions lists and selected general bibliographies containing substantial information on government publications.

1991-2001 was a period of doom in Sierra Leone as it marked the civil war. Fought as a result of bad governance, nepotism and massive corruption it led to the un-wanton destruction of lives and properties. Essential government buildings0 destroyed to reckless abandon included the National Treasury, Sierra Leone Police premises, law courts and the offices of the Freetown City Council all of which housed important documents constantly consulted by researchers, government functionaries and the public. Not withstanding the country is gradually recovering with the re-establishment of local government, multi-party democracy, improved human, women and child rights, the provision of a conducive atmosphere to investment, and a new system of education (6-3-3-4), to cite but a few developments, the effective operation of which requires constant use of government publications.

The broad programs in academic institutions include many areas of life with the teaching of historical and geographic concepts; scientific studies are undertaken for improved health and food security; international relations and inter-religious understanding are fostered. Also modern community life and the philosophy of democracy, peace and conflict resolution, good governance, human rights and other ideologies are taught in order that intelligent decisions could be drawn. These designed educational programs bring enrichment and information to students in such fields as economics, government, health and sanitation, agriculture, international relations, human rights and diplomacy. In support of these varied disciplines academic libraries provide huge collections to include local materials some of which are in the form of government publications whereby students, faculty and researches could share their experiences and interests and develop satisfactory personal adjustment with regard varied government functionaries in society. By so doing students are provided the opportunity to grow in social usefulness and develop their intellectual interests and capabilities in order to become responsible members of society. This in turn could help promote nationalism. In lieu of these factors academic libraries attempt to provide liberal collections to include books, serial publications, audio-visuals and government publications.


Government publications are among the most useful materials in academic libraries in Sierra Leone. Apart from the public library, the national archives and parliament library which serve as repositories for such publications academic libraries continue to develop these publications in their huge collection. However such moves are not bereft of problems. These range from poor formats through lack of trade bibliographies to unsatisfactory methods of distribution. The basic problem to all these libraries is the volume of publications received, much of which is nothing but raw data and statistics used to support arguments or gathered more for the sake of gathering rather than for any specific reasons. Since these libraries have limited space to house their numerous collections the continued acquisition of government publications poses problems to staff.

Academic libraries acquire government publications mainly by donations although a few are acquired by purchase, exchange and photocopy. Once these materials are received they are expected to be processed and organized for use in the library. Sadly there has been no fixed pattern in classifying and organizing these materials in these libraries. Their organization is either by government ministry/department, subject or format which is often confusing to users. At Fourah Bay College library, for example, these publications are placed separately from the general collection which often constrains users in having to leave their reading area to consult these materials with limited sitting accommodation. Libraries at Njala University College, Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMHAS), which are relatively small in size integrate the publications in their general collection thereby posing retrieval problems to users.

Keeping track of government publications is another problem as there are no trade bibliographies printed out to help trace them. Hardly are these publications mentioned in the national bibliography, Sierra Leone Publications, prepared by the public/national library. Besides the Government Printing Department responsible for the production of government publications does not have any comprehensive lists of its publications. Most times these publications are either returned immediately to the respective ministries/departments owning them upon completion or sent to the Government Bookshop for sale or sold by the Government Printing Department upon completion, thus making it difficult to locate retrospective publications. Worse still both the Government Printing Department and the Government Bookshop are not interested in publicizing these publications and as such many customers including academic librarians are not aware of the availability of relevant government publications for acquisition thus causing lapses in the development of these materials in academic libraries. In parallel one would expect academic libraries to compile comprehensive lists of such publications but this has not been the case due to the limited number of staff manning this collection and the quantum of work they have to perform especially during peak periods when libraries are heavily used which is time consuming.

There are also problems of collection development. Academic libraries are under-funded and therefore librarians prioritize their collection development needs. Purchasing government publications has not been a priority for academic librarians as they always look forward to the Government Printing Department for donations which are frequently not forthcoming. Hence many relevant government publications are not found in academic library collections. What is more this limited collection is grossly misused and abused by users (especially undergraduate student users) in their academic pursuits. Thus most of these publications have dingy covers; others have a couple of pages either written on or pilfered while some are intentionally mis-shelved to deprive colleagues of using them.


The incorporation of government publications in the mainstream of academic library services should be considered a priority by university authorities and academic librarians in providing access to government-produced information in Sierra Leone. Representing a significant and integral part of the national resources government publications are major sources of information in practically every field of endeavor and are crucial to informed public-decision making. Academic librarians should therefore review their collection development strategies and processing and organization methods of these materials if they are to be persistently used by their numerous clientele. Especial thought should be given to increased funding, resource sharing, compilation of lists and adequate staffing, sitting accommodation and storage space if they are to maintain standards in serving their numerous clientele.


John Abdul Kargbo is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Library, Information & Communication Studies at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Mail can be sent to him on