Date of this Version
Library Philosophy and Practice 2011
The African continent is full of oral and written culture being published and preserved by her people, not only for posterity but also for academics, students, and the larger bibliographic communities. That information is generated on the face of African continent on daily bases is not in doubt as printing and publishing have flourished the continent, thus becoming the order of the day. Libraries and information centers are expected to acquire and ensure bibliographic recording and make available on request all that is written, printed and published. Bibliographic control has become a major determinant of book accessibility and utilization and a key factor in information search, delivery and dissemination.
The bibliographic control project is very important, fundamental, and indispensable in Africa. Fourie and Burger (2007) have observed that countries like South Africa have put forward efforts currently unmatchable by any African country. The fact that a book is recorded in the library, internet, or the information centre is enough to give hope to the needful potential user that it may be possible to access and use it. Information materials like books, journals, manuscripts, theses, dissertations, magazines, newspapers and a host of others are written, printed, and published on African continent. As time goes on, precise bibliographic information about these materials begin to disappear from the minds of many but on the other hand, some researchers may seek them with tears to access and utilize them; thus, the importance of bibliographic control and that of the library services become glaringly indispensable. To facilitate accessibility, the bibliographic compilation must be in a particular pertain which must be systematic to accommodate essential bibliographic elements which could enable a potential user to decide to trace it when in need. This calls for a pattern of effective recording and arrangement which result from systematic listing of the records of human communication. One current type of bibliography, according to World Book Encyclopedia (2002) presents a systematic description of books as well as listing them, summarizing what each book is about as well as its currency, binding, publisher and its value.