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Libraries: tools for education and development in post‐conflict Sierra Leone

Mary Gorvie (West African Monetary Agency, Freetown, Sierra Leone)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 June 2005



To describe the state of the library system in Sierra Leone in the recent period after the civil war, and its part in post‐conflict reconstruction.


A descriptive account with some historical, social and geographical contextual information.


The paper demonstrates how libraries have an essential role to play in the recreation of a nation's civil fabric following a period of destruction and social disintegration.

Research limitations/implications

This account of library reconstruction during a period of post‐conflict stability describes a situation, the future development of which is dependent on a number of external variables. It is difficult to predict how those factors will in fact play out, but there is reason for cautious optimism.

Practical implications

This paper describes the pragmatic steps and policy commitments needed to restore library services in a period following a breakdown in civil order.


The paper gives an important insight into library work in a difficult and traumatic setting and provides ample evidence of how librarianship has an invaluable contribution to make in such environments.



Gorvie, M. (2005), "Libraries: tools for education and development in post‐conflict Sierra Leone", Library Review, Vol. 54 No. 5, pp. 301-308.



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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited