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Aging Librarians and the Crisis of Succession Planning at Fourah Bay College Library

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The difficulty of succession-making plans has been discussed in several library fora. The Academic Libraries Group revealed SWOT analysis during its presentation on the Seminar on Library Capacity Building Interventions for Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in West Africa on the Arata Hotel, East Legon, Ghana June 2009. Though several strengths had been recognized (together with the right caliber of the workforce, qualified professionals, skilled workforce, organized structures, the influential function of University Librarians as part of pinnacle control and the supply of formal professional committees/establishments/institutions), a striking weak point amongst eight others turned into that of the ‘growing old librarians.’ The Library at Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, isn’t an exception. A full-size percentage of senior library staff would retire between 2018 & 2026, and only implementing an aggressive succession-making plans policy could salvage the essential situation. It is believed that Alexander the Great never had a strong succession plan and the sour consequence become the disintegration of the ways-flung empire he struggled to construct.

Crisis of Succession Planning


Succession-making plans are about changing the group of workers who will subsequently depart an organization due to several factors, which include loss of life, switch, resignation, termination, dismissal, retirement, and so forth. According to Blakesley, it “may increasingly more be regarded as just a part of strategic making plans processes, as we determine what ought to be finished and what may be given up, and how to reallocate, retrain and realign the people who continue to be in our businesses” (2011 p. 34). The Biblical injunction (Paul to Timothy) is apt: “And the matters that thou hast heard of me amongst many witnesses, the identical dedicate thou to devoted men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

(2 Timothy 2:2, King James Version).

Angela Bridgland (1999) opined that humans and positions must be systematically reviewed to make certain that the strategic plan of an employer is applied. Though there may be much speaking approximately the “graying of our profession” (Blakesley, 2011, p. 32), we’re reminded that “it’s not news that baby boomers are achieving retirement age” (Bermes, p. 66). In 2001, at some point of the joint conference organized by using the Standing Conference of African University Libraries, Western Area (SCAULWA) and the West African Library Association (WALA) in Accra, Ghana, the writer of this text commented on the fast decline inside the range of expert librarians in Sierra Leone. The state of affairs in Fourah Bay College Library is a microcosm of the countrywide hassle. Many professional librarians inside the USA have retired from the profession. Some of those dynamic personalities or family names encompass Mrs. Gladys Jusu-Sheriff, Mrs. Deanna Thomas (past due), Mrs. Gloria Dillsworth, Mrs. Olatungie Campbell, Mrs. Marian Lisk, Mr. Victor Coker, Mrs. Alice Malamah-Thomas, Mr. A.N.T. Deen (overdue), Mrs. Yeama Lucilda Hunter, Mrs. Abator Thomas, Prof. Magnus John, and many others. This has left a completely huge gap within the career, and the cutting-edge expert librarians are very few and a long way between.


There are three primary classes of staff at FBC Library, particularly junior, senior assisting, and senior.

Senior Staff

Perhaps the difficulty of succession planning is critical while considering the proportion of senior library workforce (academic and technical) that could retire in the next couple of years. It should be cited that the retirement age for senior individuals in the team of workers is sixty-5 years.

If 5 out of the seven members of the body of workers (that is 71.Four%) will retire in 8 years (between 2018 and 2026), or six (eighty-five .8%) will depart the gadget between 2018 and 2030), the strategic importance of succession making plans at Fourah Bay College Library can’t be overemphasized. The current head has a bit over a decade, and a 1/2 to set the house in order before his exit, furnished he stays till the cease of his very own tenure in 2033 (after a carrier of forty-one years).

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