Business Traveller Flying to London? A London City Guide for Getting to the Centre

London. The vibrant, beating heart of the United Kingdom. It’s one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists, and for business travelers too. The amount of commerce that goes through London is staggering, with a financial center second only to New York, and service industries that cater for both the UK, European and international markets. As the world’s most multicultural city – there are over 300 languages spoken by a population of over eight million people (twelve million if you include the metropolitan area) – the opportunities for business are clear.

With the UK strategically positioned for the business traveler on the western edge of Europe, London is a global hub for air travel, providing easy access to mainland Europe, and a stepping stone to the United States. Primarily served by five airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stansted and Luton – London is easily reached from anywhere in the world. But with the exception of London City Airport – smallest of the five and located in East London, close to the business district of Canary Wharf – the other four airports are satellites evenly dispersed around the city. The most popular, Heathrow, is located to the west of London; Gatwick is situated to the south; Stansted to the north east; and Luton to the North West. Knowing this before you make your travel plans can be useful. Since the greater metropolitan area of London covers over 1,000 square miles, your final business destination may not be right in the center. Researching which airport is closest to your destination can save you time, effort and money.

However, whether you’re a business traveler flying from within the UK or from overseas, your starting destination may often determine the airport you arrive at. Other factors, such as your chosen time of travel, budget and availability will also make a difference. For example, if you’re travelling with a major international carrier from a major city, such as New York, the chances are you’ll arrive at Heathrow or Gatwick (Stansted also receives flights from New York but is the smallest of the three). If you’re traveling locally from within the UK with a budget carrier you’re more likely to arrive at Stansted or Luton (though not exclusively). And if you’re traveling from a major European city, particularly a financial capital, such as Frankfurt, London City Airport is a likely arrival point (the airport was created specifically to cater for short haul business travelers, particularly between financial centers).

Each airport is served by comprehensive rail and road infrastructure, providing business travelers with a variety of options to enter London. All five airports offer direct rail travel into the heart of Central London, coach travel to the main Victoria terminus, and hire car, mini-bus, licensed black cab and taxi services by road. If you’re a VIP business traveler, chauffeur services are also available, and with the exception of London City Airport, each also offer direct helicopter transfer into the heart of the city.

London Heathrow Airport

The busiest of the five airports is London Heathrow. Located less than twenty miles from central London, Heathrow is situated to the west of the city within the M25 motorway metropolitan boundary. The fastest route into London is via the Heathrow Express train service, taking just 15 minutes from terminals 1, 2 and 3 to Paddington station (located on the western side of Central London). If your flight arrives at either terminal 4 or 5 it’s a further four and six minutes travel time respectively, and you’ll need to transfer on to the main London-bound service at terminals 1, 2 and 3.

The service is excellent, offering comfort and convenience, but does not always suite everyone’s travel budget. The standard ‘Express’ single journey ticket costs £21.00 (€25.00 / $35.00), but business travelers can get better value when purchasing a return ticket, priced at £34.00 (€40.00 / $56.00). The ‘Business First’ ticket is more expensive, with singles costing £29.00 (€35.00 / $48.00) and returns £52.00 (€62.00 / $86.00), but it does afford business travelers considerably more leg room, the privacy of a ‘single seating’ layout, and a fold out table. The experience is akin to that of air travel. All passengers across both pricing structures enjoy access to electrical sockets, USB ports and free Wi-Fi. The overall quality of service and passenger experience generates a ‘wow’ factor, and if your budget can afford it, is certainly the smoothest, quickest and most convenient way to travel into London from Heathrow. Trains run regularly every fifteen minutes in both directions, particularly useful for last minute dashes to the airport.

There are two further rail options available to business travelers, both considerably less expensive, though this is reflected in the quality of service. That’s not to say either is not a good solution for business travelers, just that there is a noticeable difference in convenience and comfort.

With a service typically running every thirty minutes, and a journey duration – depending on the time of day – of between 23 and 27 minutes from terminals 1, 2 and 3, Heathrow Connect is more than adequate for business travelers who are not in a hurry. Like the rival Express service, Connect also arrives at Paddington station, but unlike its faster rival stops at up to five other stations before reaching its terminus. The ‘inconvenience’ of this less direct journey is compensated for by a considerably less expensive ticket price. Single journey’s cost £9.90 (€12.00 / $16.00) while a return is £19.80 (€24.00 / $32.00). There is no saving to be made from purchasing a return ticket. While the convenience and comfort of the traveler experience cannot match the Express, the Connect business travel solution is an acceptable compromise that suits a greater number of travel budgets.

The third – and least expensive – rail option is the London Underground ‘tube’ network. Despite the network’s name the majority of the journey from Heath-row is overground, until the business traveler nears Central London. Starting on the Piccadilly Line, the service connects all five Heath-row terminals and provides frequent trains into London, stopping at a considerable amount of outlying stations before arriving in the capital’s center. This continually ‘interrupted’ journey – there are seventeen stops between Heath-row terminals 1, 2 and 3 and Paddington Tube station (the nearest equivalent tube terminus for a fair comparison) – and takes approximately fifty minutes journey time on average, considerably slower than its more direct rivals. This journey comparison also requires the inconvenience of a transfer between lines.

So why would the business traveler consider using the tube from Heath-row to Central London? Simple. The frequency of service, the array of destinations, and the cost. At a cash price of just £5.70 (€6.80 / $9.50) for a single journey in either direction during peak hours (06:30am to 09:30am), financially the Underground is an attractive option. At nearly half the price of the Heath-row Connect, and at just over a quarter of the price of the Heath-row Express, this service is comparably good value for money. Further value can be found if the business traveler purchases an ‘Oyster Card’, the ‘cashless’ electronic ticketing system beloved by so many Londoners. Available to purchase at Heath-row London Underground stations, this useful option allows you to get tickets cheaper than for cash – in this case a reduction to just £5.00 (€6.00 / $8.30). Off-peak travel with an Oyster Card offers even greater value, with Heath-row to Paddington in either direction costing just £3.00 (€3.60 / $5.00) per journey. The Oyster Card can also be used for unlimited travel on buses and trains throughout London, with a maximum daily spend capped at £17.00 (€20.00 / $28.00) peak time and just £8.90 (€10.60 / $15.00) off-peak for a six zone ticket (destinations across London are divided into six main zonal rings. Traveling from Heath-row to Central London crosses all six zones).

The Underground is primarily a city-wide mass transit system, rather than a ‘train’ service. As such the level of comfort and convenience is substantially less than that of both the Heath-row Express and Connect services, and at peak hours can be considerably uncomfortable. Having endured a recent flight, business travelers who choose this option run the risk of having to stand up the entire journey if traveling during peak hours. If the carriage is full to squeezing point (as is often the case at peak time) managing your luggage can be a challenge. It should also be noted that the tube network – which, as the world’s first urban mass-transit system is over 150 years old – is often prone to signal failures and delays. If the time between your arrival at Heath-row (don’t forget to factor in clearing immigration control, luggage collection and customs) and your business appointment is tight, particularly during peak hours, it is not unfair to say that you are taking a risk if you choose to use the Underground.

Compared to using rail, traveling by road into Central London is far less convenient. Like every major city around the world, traffic congestion plagues the streets of London. The M4 and A4 route from Heath-row into London is always busy and in parts can be slow moving at times. No matter what your method of road transport, the business traveler is vulnerable to the risk of delays and accidents.

Buses and coaches are plentiful. The dominant carrier is called National Express. They operate services between Heath-row Airport and London Victoria, the main coach terminus in London. From here travelers can travel to many other destinations around the UK. The coaches run from Heath-row Airport Central Bus Station, which is located between terminals 1, 2 and 3. Its well sign posted so easily found. If you’re arriving at terminals 4 or 5 you’ll need to first take the Heath-row Connect train to the central bus station. From Victoria Station you can get to any other part of London with ease, via the Underground, plentiful buses, local trains and licensed black cabs / minicab taxi services.

A single journey tickets start from £6.00 (€7.20 / $10.00), while returns cost £11.00 (€13.20 / $18.00). Although you can purchase your ticket at Heath-row, it is advisable to do so in advance, and online. This will ensure you have a guaranteed, reserved seat on your coach of choice, and also provide you with the opportunity to select a time of departure and/or return that best suits your needs. Typically this service runs three coaches per hour to and from London Victoria coach station. The journey time can vary, dependent on the route taken, the time of day and traffic conditions, but you can typically expect your journey to take between 40 and 90 minutes.

National Express also offers business travelers a Heath-row hotel transfer service to and from the airport, known as the Heath-row Hoppa. With hundreds of services each day running around the clock, it’s a clean, comfortable and affordable way to get about, costing £4.00 (€4.80 / $6.60) for single journey and £7.00 (€8.40/ $11.50) for a return journey. This service is particularly useful if your business appointment is located close to Heath-row and you have no need to travel into Central London.

An alternative to coach travel is taking a bus. This can be particularly useful if you arrive at Heath-row late at night. Depending on the day of the week, the N9 night bus runs approximately every 20 minutes to Trafalgar Square in Central London, from 11.30pm to 5am. The journey time is approximately 75 minutes, subject to traffic delays. It’s a very affordable service, and as part of the Transport for London infrastructure a single journey can be paid for with an Oyster Card (£1.40 (€1.70/ $2.30) or by cash (£2.40 (€2.90/ $4.00).

If your journey into London requires the freedom to choose to travel whenever you want, to wherever you want, or you simply require privacy, then private hire transport is readily available at Heath-row. If you’re just interested in getting from A to B and back again, without any other journeys in between, taking a licensed black cab or minicab taxi may suit your needs. Traveling in an iconic licensed black cab into Central London will take approximately 45-60 minutes, subject to traffic delays, and can typically cost between £50.00 (€60.00/ $83.00) and £80.00 (€96.00/ $132.00). If you do find yourself delayed in traffic the journey will cost more, since black cab meters also charge for waiting time when not moving. Black cabs are readily available at all hours, and good sign posting at Heath-row means they’re easy to find. At a squeeze up to five business travelers can be accommodated, though if you all have large luggage it will be a problem.

An alternative private hire to black cabs are licensed taxi services. This could be a better option for the business traveled, particularly if a number of people with luggage are travel ling together. An array of vehicle types are available, ranging from standard 4/5 seater saloon and 6/7 passenger people carrier cars, up to 15 or 17 seater minibuses and even coach taxis. An added advantage is you can book your vehicle of choice in advance and at a fixed price. With so many different companies offering these services, prices – and quality of service – can vary, but typically for a single journey the business traveler can expect to pay a fixed, advance price of £40.00 (€48.00/ $66.00) for a saloon car; £50.00 (€60.00/ $83.00) for an estate car; £55.00 (€66.00/ $90.00) for an executive car; £55.00 (€66.00/ $90.00) for a people carrier; £65.00 (€78.00/ $108.00) for an 8 seater minibus; £80.00 (€96.00/ $132.00) for an executive people carrier; and £165.00 (€198.00/ $272.00) for a 16 seater minibus. Savings can be made on all tariffs if a return journey is booked in advance.

Traveling by black cab or licensed taxi affords the business traveler the freedom to travel at his or her own pace, and can take the hassle out of a journey. It can be a very relaxing way to commute from the airport into London, particularly after a long flight, and offers the business traveler an opportunity to unwind prior to their business appointment.

If you need to arrange senior executive or VIP transportation, chauffeur driven services are readily available (booked in advance) between Heath-row and London. The vehicle type and the length of time you require it for will dictate the price you’ll pay. Chauffeur driven services are readily available to find online. The same is true of helicopter charter services which can transfer the executive business traveler from Heath-row into Central London (Battersea Heliport) in approximately 15 minutes. Flight-line Travel Management is experienced at providing our customers with both modes of transport, and we’re happy to take your inquiry.

© Copyright Flight-line Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved.

All prices correct at time of publication.

Tips on Adapting Bohemian Clothing and Fashion Style

To the uninitiated, it can be easy to commit a lot of mistakes when it comes to adapting bohemian clothing fashion. But there are unique set of guidelines when it comes to boho fashion, which its meaning have often been construed in the popular media. But still, the popularity of this particular fashion style is undeniable, specially with lots of celebrities adapting it as well.

To get an idea of what your choices should be, read on below.

Contrary to popular belief, bohemian clothing is not made up of baggy clothing. Instead, you need clothing articles that fits properly. The most common trend in the bohemian style include tie dye tops and skirts.

And speaking of tie dye, appealing colors is another distinct feature of bohemian clothing. You can wear Capri pants and pair it with a top that is made out of appealing colors. You can also wear a Boho gown paired with a heavy sequin. Or better yet, you can wear a maxi skirt to showcase your fun and bubbly personality.

The choice of jewelry is another feature in your bohemian clothing ensemble that could often make or break the entire look. Recommended choice of jewelries and accessories include handcrafted jewels made out of beads, stones, and semi precious gems.

For the women, a bohemian purse is another style element that could make a lot of statement. It can be made out of either silk or cotton and you can tag it along even during formal events. Thus, there is no need to abandon your bohemian style wherever you may be.

And finally, your choice of footwear is the final tier in your effort to adapt bohemian clothing style. The most distinct feature with boho footwear is that of comfort. Hence, color choices are often intended to promote relaxing mood, such as brown, olive green, and tan. As for the design, there are a lot of stylish ones to choose from – you can go for boots, gladiator sandals, suede, and so much more.

When it comes to bohemian clothing, it is all about putting all the bits and pieces that make up the whole and showcase your true boho personality.

The Many Benefits Of A Travel Club Membership

There are many benefits to having a travel club membership, especially for those people who are keen travelers (or wish to be keen travelers). But up until recently, for most travelers, owning a travel club membership has not been an affordable option.

In the past, getting your hands on a quality travel club membership would easily run you $3,000-$10,000…and although these travel memberships were well worth the price, the average family or traveler could never afford it.

But now, with the internet causing raging competition within the travel industry and companies eager to get their hands on their share of the $7 Trillion travel industry pie, travel memberships have become much more affordable and readily accessible.

There are several option to choose from when picking a travel club membership, but with this article I will only be focusing on the many benefits.

(*Note* I am NOT an expert on ALL travel memberships…as all memberships are created differently. I will be generalizing from my own experience, but you will find that most of the benefits I present ring true across the board.)

1. The first major benefit to having a travel club membership is obviously the discounts. Depending on the membership you get, you can expect to receive 50%, all the way up to 80% off of regular room prices.

2. Second, is that you are never tied down or committed to just ONE property. Unlike owning a timeshare, where you pay BIG money to be permitted to stay at one location, a travel club membership allows you to stay at ANY of the properties that your travel membership company if affiliated with. Depending on the travel membership you choose this can be in the hundreds, to tens of thousands of properties from all around the world.

3. Speaking of timeshare, the price for one of these properties can run anywhere from $10,000 all the way up to $90,000 or more. And that doesn’t even include ANNUAL maintenance fees. Travel memberships are often a fraction of the price of a timeshare property, with NO recurring fees.

4. Unlike most timeshare properties where the ‘owner’ is only permitted to stay ONE week out of the year, travel club members are often allowed to vacation multiple weeks per year. Some companies even have a ‘NO Black Out Dates’ service, which means members can vacations 52 weeks out of the year if they so please. If you haven’t got a calendar handy, that is EVERY SINGLE WEEK of the year.

5. Unlike the usual method for booking a hotel room where you pay per person, per night…with a travel club membership, you pay PER ROOM, PER WEEK. Obviously when you’re booking a vacation at 80% off for the room, with some rooms sleeping up to 4, 6 or even 8 people, there are HUGE savings to be had.

6. Your travel club membership is not subject to just hotel rooms either. Many travel membership clubs have all sorts of different vacation packages ranging from luxury resorts, hotels, condos, cruises, and much, much more. Some companies even provide the option to book discounted airplane tickets, rental cars and family activities as well.

7. Most travel club membership companies pre-book their rooms, so there is little-to-no chance that members will ever miss out on the vacations they desire.

8. Members of a travel club can book their holidays at the drop of a hat, even during busy peak seasons like Christmas and New Years, all without having to pay ridiculous prices or worry that they won’t get a booking.

9. Travel memberships allow you to show your family and friend the world, for pennies on the dollar.

10. Having a travel club membership allows the average person or family to enjoy the lap of luxury and the kind of lifestyle that is usually only reserved for the rich and famous.

Obviously, there are many benefits to having a travel club membership, but remember, not all travel memberships are created equal. While some are OVER PRICED for the service they provide, others are just not up to scratch at all…So make sure you do your homework before spending your money on a travel membership.

The Best Ways To Keep Your Money Safe Whilst Travelling

Most travelers know how to find the cheapest airfare or hostel room. But when it comes to how to travel with your money and how to access it, most travelers have a thing or two to learn.

There is no single best way to travel with your money or to make sure it is always accessible.

Travel Security Products

You must make sure you always have access to money overseas, and the best way to do that is by keeping your cash, ATM cards or travelers cheques safe with travel security products. The most popular are travel money belts, combination padlocks, security cable locks, and mesh security products. Be sure to plan ahead and purchase these products before leaving home.

Cash

You will need easy access to your cash, but it is not a smart idea to carry a large amount of cash around with you. It is also not a good idea to carry the bulk of your travel money around with you in cash form. If you get mugged or your luggage stolen, your holiday could be ruined.

You should disperse your cash around when traveling. Some should be placed in your wallet, also in your travel money belt. But you should keep a spare $100 or 100 Euros hidden in your backpack. This way if you do get mugged, you will still have money to tide you over.

A small supply of local currency is important to have when you arrive in a new country. You will be able to pay for transport to your accommodation, and also buy something to eat. If you are traveling in a third world country always pay for items and bargain for items in the local currency. You are less likely to be ripped off!

Credit Cards

A credit card should only be used as a back-up option to access your money when traveling. You will get charged large transaction fees to withdraw money in another currency. If your credit card gets stolen, your details could be used to steal your money and essentially ruin your vacation.

Always have the details of your credit card company, so that you can contact them if something goes wrong.

However, if you look after credit card, it can be very useful. It can be used to book flights, accommodation and tours online. It is also reasonably safe to pay for hotels and meals at well established and quality businesses.

Travelers Cheques

Travelers cheques are not very popular any more with any traveler. They cost you to make and they cost you to access your money. Often banks will give you a worse exchange rate when converting you travelers cheques. Using an ATM is a lot easier now that they have become universal.

On the upside, if yo lose your travelers cheques, you may be able to contact the nearest office of the issuing authority with the numbers on your not redeemed cheques to get them replaced.

ATMs

You can find an ATM just about anywhere now. They are by far the most convenient way to access your money when you are traveling. You must make sure your ATM card is authorized for use overseas before you go.

You are smart to travel with a spare card, just in case you lose your only means of accessing your money. Remember, you may be charged overseas transaction fees and conversion fees from your bank.

Cash Passport Cards

These are becoming a very popular option now with many travelers. You buy this card before you leave home, and place your funds on it, but in the currency of the country you are traveling to. The most popular currency cards are US dollars, UK pounds, and Euros.

Once your money is on the card you can access it anywhere from an ATM. This way you wont be charged conversion fees.

What should you do?

You should travel with a variety of options to access your money. Choose the best option for you that makes you feel comfortable. Remember, you can always get someone to transfer money to you internationally anywhere if you run out!

What not to do?

Avoid carrying large quantities of cash, when you use an ATM separate the money into smaller amounts and hide them around your backpack, pockets and wallet.

Do not give your credit card details to anyone.

Do not use your credit card to with draw money at an ATM. It will cost you so much money in fees!

School Library Provision and Services in Sierra Leone

Introduction

Harrod’s (2000), defined school library as an organized collection of books placed in a school for the use of teachers and pupils, but usually for pupils. It may comprise books of reference and or books for home reading and in the care of a professional librarian, or teacher-librarian. It is variously call “Instructional Materials Centre”, “Learning Centre or Media centre.”

The School library serves as a service agency which supports the schools’ objectives and provides materials for all subjects and all interest of pupils and teachers. The school library is a supportive resource of the school curriculum, its provisions, services, and development is directed at aiding school programs (Kinnel, 1994).

Libraries generally have as their main purpose acquiring, processing, storing and disseminating information to which school library is not an exception. The school library has a vital role to play in the information service. They provide materials relevant to the curricular needs of everybody with the school community. The importance of providing such resources cannot be overemphasized if the school library is to be an instigator of and support for resource based learning in the school.

Also, in relation to information skills, the library and its librarian, make available materials and services in different varieties to allow both pupils and the school community to use these skills in finding the information they need.

The purpose and philosophy of school library service are rapidly being understood and accepted by school administrators and teachers. The fact necessitates that the school librarian be thoroughly familiar with those purposes such as guidance, the reading program and the enrichment program for pupils and teachers. However, Albert Academy library has no trained and qualified librarian, who understands and performs those purposes in order to ensure that the service provision is fully attained.

Albert Academy School Library

The Albert Academy was inaugurated on the 4th October 1904. It was until 1975 when the Albert Academy Alumni Association in their meeting thought it wise that such a reputable institution must not go without a library as the development of school libraries was at its highest peak at that time. An idea to erect a library building was born with the collaboration of the alumni association and the owners of the school that is the United Methodist Church. The library was established with the aim of having a place where pupils could go and explore new ideas to further strengthen their school curriculum activities and leisure as well.

The library was officially opened to the entire school community by His Excellency the late Dr. Siaka P. Stevens on 4th October 1976, then President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and also a member of the Albert Academy Alumni Association class of 1922. The library was named after him following the immense contribution he made towards establishing the library for the school community. The Albert Academy Library has a mission to “Support school curriculum activities by providing materials of relevance in the school process and to introduce new and improved information sources to help make the school to be in line with modern standards of education.”

The objectives of the Albert Academy school library are as follows:

I. To provide pupils with library materials and services most appropriate and most meaningful in their growth and development;

ii. To participate fully in school programs as it strikes to meet the needs of pupils, teachers, parents and others community members;

iii. to stimulate and guide pupils in all phases of their reading that they may find increasing enjoyment and satisfaction and may grow in critical judgment and appreciation;

iv. To make available new development and keep pupils abreast of modern trends in education recognize reader’s needs and keeping them well informed in order to create a well dynamic educational environment;

v. To work with the teacher in the selection and production of educational materials that meet the aims of the curriculum, offer guidance in the use of collection, evaluation of education programs and materials, facilitates the location, organization and maintenance of materials efficiently; and

vi. To help pupils to become skilled users of libraries and of printed and audio-visual materials.

Library Provision at Albert Academy School Library

A major role in the information service provided by modern school library is in the provision of materials relevant to the curricular needs of pupils and teachers. In recent years, the curriculum activities have moved to another level, where the school being supportive resource of this movement, must endeavor to house a variety of print and non-print materials and have access where possible to electronic sources of information which are also part of the information resources in the library.

Given the demands of the modern school curriculum, the school library must now house a wide variety of print and non-print materials and have access, where possible, to electronic sources of information. The Albert Academy School provides printed materials, book, fiction and non-fiction as well as pamphlets, newspapers, chart, pictures, monographs, manuals, handbooks, textbooks and other reference books the library also provides non-books materials which include audio and audio-visual materials, slides, tape-slides, video cassettes, and CD ROM’s. Although these are not materials in the traditional sense, they still constitute resources for use by pupils and teachers. Use of electronic sources help school libraries to present pupils and teachers with a concept of a School Information Centre which is not continued to the school but is a link to an unending supply of information (Herring, 1988).

Albert Academy School Library Services

The purpose of establishing Albert Academy School Library is to provide services for both pupils and teachers in a bid to fulfill one of its major purposes, which is to aid curriculum goals by providing services that are indispensably linked to the fulfillment of this purpose.

One of the principal services of the Albert Academy School library is to act as back-up to the under resourced school program. Even advanced countries cannot easily stock materials ranging from five thousand (5,000) to twenty thousand (20,000) in a small room to provide help to school programs. Therefore, they see the need for central stock of materials which can be borrowed for differing lengths of time (lending service) and also for reading and consultation services. This is done in order to augment the school curriculum at the Albert Academy which is inclusive of the Basic Sciences and Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities and the Fine Arts.

Albert Academy School library also provides inter-library loan services requests. This is particularly valuable to senior pupils studying topics across subjects offered in depth. Pupils who cannot afford to purchase or access such expensive materials benefit from this type of library service. Through inter-library loan services, materials are sourced from other schools libraries for the benefit of both pupils and teachers.

A reference service is also provided at Albert Academy School library. The School Librarians spend a sizeable proportion of their time providing what in other libraries term would be termed as reference service. In providing a reference service, school Librarians perform a similar role to that of other librarians. In a reference interview in school, each pupil is treated as important as the other and given the Librarian’s full attention. This is achieved by personal assistance given to the pupils and teachers in finding specific information whether direct or indirect. Some of the reference materials at the Albert Academy School Library are dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, yearbooks, biographies newspapers, maps and charts, and the academic and administrative calendar of events or the operation of the school.

One of the most valuable services provided by Albert Academy School library is that of information provision. The Albert Academy School library keeps the teachers and pupils informed about new educational resources and development in the fields of interest to them by displaying the jackets of books that just arrived. The Albert Academy School library uses Current Awareness Services (CAS) to achieve this goal. This is done by identifying the information needs of both teachers and pupils and meeting these needs. Linked to the CAS is the Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) and this is more particular with teachers. This ranges from keeping individual teachers informed about new resources in the library or about newly published materials, to alerting teachers to meetings and course demands or event linked to their curricular interest.

Challenges of Library Provision and Services at the Albert Academy School Library

No matter what an organization has to count as success, is bound to face certain difficulties that stand before it as challenges to its success. School Libraries in Sierra Leone, especially Albert Academy School Library are not without challenges.

To start with the library and its resources have been ignored by the pupils and teachers. Despite their all-important nature of service provision in support to them they do not see it as a valuable part of their activities. This is because most teachers and pupils do not get adequate supply of textbooks and other materials directly linked to the curriculum program and most teachers prepare pamphlets for sale to pupils from which there teaching is based. This has caused most of the pupils to heavily depend on those sources instead of the library resources.

The School Library has a staffing challenge. For example the Albert Academy School Library has no professional library staff to handle an information service for over two thousand pupils and teachers.

Furthermore, the library has a challenge with space. The space provided for the library from inception is now not enough for the school. The school population in terms of teachers and pupils has grown relatively high to over two thousand (2000) pupils and staff as compared to the space provided for a little over Five hundred (500) pupils and staff about 40 years ago. It has become difficult to access the library and its resources.

In addition, there is a funding problem. The Albert Academy School Library is faced with the difficultly of securing funds from the schools authorities for an effective collection development. The library depends heavily on donations and gifts to stock its collection and most of these materials given in this guise are not reflective of the courses offered in the school curriculum. Often, the school administration has to spread meager financial resources across a wide spectrum of school needs.

The establishment of the computer laboratory with slight internet facilities independent of the school library has also created a problem for the Albert Academy School Library. The teachers and pupils would prefer to visit the Computer centre for Internet services much more that visiting the library. The separation of the Internet facilities from the library services has posed a serious threat to the library provision and services.

Also, it is quite proven that the Albert Academy School Library lacks the capacity to provide for the visually impaired or handicapped. The absence of school library materials in the Braille format prevents blind and the partially sighted pupils to utilize the available library resources in their schools libraries.

Final, the issue of preservation of library materials is not a common practice for the Albert Academy School. This preservation is supposed to ensure that the materials last long because of their frequent use. It has become difficult to access funds to preserve materials that are under threat of wearing out through continuous use.

Despite some gloomy predictions on the future funding of education and possible restrictions on the availability of resources at the Albert Academy School Library, the future of the school library seems assured. It can be argued that because of current educational and technological trends, there has never been a greater need for well-resourced and professionally staffed school library than it is now. The emphasis on the individual’s-the child’s and the adult’s-ability to find and use information effectively is likely to continue in schools, at work and for leisure pursuits. A future society dependent on electronic information for its prosperity will need an information curriculum in its schools. Hence the availability of good school library provision and services in the school curriculum cannot be overemphasized (Kargbo, 2000).

Gardening Tips

Gardens come in different varieties like the plants you find in them. There are several gardening tips that can be used for all type of gardens.

1.Mulching protects your garden topsoil from being blown away. It also provides nutrients as it decomposes and improves the appearance of your gardens. Mulching has other benefits and is one of the most recommended gardening tips by gardeners and farmers alike.

2.Healthy plants are more disease resistant. Plants are like people, a person with a strong immune system can combat diseases. A healthy plant does the same.

3. Pests can be eradicated by cleaning the plant with a watery solution of soap. Just make sure to rinse after. This gardening tip is best heeded for fruit bearing trees or edible plants.

4. Using compost fertilizers are a great way to have healthy plants. It is also a great way to save money on expensive fertilizers. Non -organic fertilizers also tend to leave chemical residues that can accumulate in garden soils and harm not only the plants but the gardeners as well. They cause toxins to go to the water supplies. Another gardening tip recommended not just by farmers and gardeners but also by environmentalists.

5. There are several plants that are only suitable for a specified climate, a certain kind of soil or can only grow with certain plants. You have to know what plant grow in the conditions you have in your area this is for you to avoid unnecessary purchases. This is a money saving gardening tip.

6.Landscaping is a good investment which can double the value of your home. This is one gardening tip that can earn you money.

7. Growing grass on bare ground is an easy way to make your home look better and appreciate in value. This is one gardening tip that promotes earning money while growing grass legally.

8. Aside from looking great in your home, trees also provide some sort of protection from direct sunlight exposure and strong winds.

9. Vines on the walls, fences and overhead structures also would offer some protection and would also look great.

10.Flowers are beautiful, but they are also expensive. Get one that is resistant to many elements. Flowers from your local community already have developed resistance to conditions present in your area.

11.For most gardens plants, their roots go only as deep as 6 inches. Putting fertilizer deeper than that would be a waste of money. Put them shallower as they seep down when the plants are being watered.

12.Earthworms are important to plants. They till and aerate the soil for the roots to breathe. Non-organic fertilizers can kill them. This gardening tip dates back to the old days of gardening.

13. Having several kinds of insects that are beneficial to your garden would be good. These insects can be encouraged to stay by having diverse plants in your garden.

14. Spot spraying weeds with household vinegar, instead of using commercial weed-killers, can eradicate them. This is another environment friendly gardening tip.

15. Avoid putting too much mulch on tree trunks; this would encourage unwanted pests to reside on them.

16. Use plant varieties that are common to your area or have been taken from an area with similar conditions.

17. Be sure to know the plants that are poisonous. If you are intent on growing them, make sure to have the necessary cure available in your household. Take note of this gardening tip, it can save your life.

18. The best time to water plants is during mornings.

19. Before planting a new plant in your garden, you must consider its height and size when it matures. This garden tip can help you save money in the future.

20. Newly transplanted plants may require special attention during its first week. This is to reduce the stress and shock it got during transplantation.

And last but not the least of the gardening tips…

21.Plants are living entities. If you want them to grow in your garden you have to treat them as such. They need to be taken care of. They are like your pets, you look out for them. In return you get that feeling of contentment watching them thrive.

A good way to take care of them is to consider that plants might have some feelings too.

Go Green With Green Construction and Hardwood Installation

Astonishing is the fact that while environment degradation has been included in the official list of ten threats by High Level Threat Panel of United Nations; we are getting more careless about this phenomenon. We have increased the use of toxic products that reduce the sustainability of the environment. Are we not mindful of how this carelessness can harm the life of humans and wildlife? If we are, why don’t we try to practice ways that make our environment sustainable?

There are several ways to avoid causing further damage to the environment. One of the easy ways to protect environment is by practicing green construction or green building. For those who are unaware of this term, let me give you a flavor of what is it all about. Green construction is the simple process of designing building in ways that make efficient use of resources and conserve energy. If you have cooling units installed in your homes you are going against green construction. Can’t you replace it with ceiling fans and large windows which will keep your home naturally cool and will use less energy than giant sized and heavy powered cooling units? The point is to conserve energy and make your home a healthier place to live in. Along with saving energy, it will save your cost as well.

Once you have made the structure of your house green, an additional change you can bring to add further value to your house is hardwood installation. Especially made for people who are prone to environmental allergies, hardwood installation is a byword for cleanliness, shine and elegance. It makes your interior cozy and warm. No more would have to spend a lot of time on cleaning food spills, for hardwood installation can be cleaned with simple mop or vacuums. It has replaced all other types of flooring because it is durable and easy to maintain. However it is expensive and thus it is out of reach for those who deem costly living an extravagance. Moreover this type of wooden flooring is more vulnerable to moisture. Even a little contact with water can decay hardwood installation.

But all pros and cons considered green construction and hardwood installation definitely enhances the value and functionality of the house. With the level of environment degradation reaching fearful heights, all of us need to practice green construction to avoid long term costs. Green construction increases resource efficiency, reduce the need for maintenance and saves the energy. Similarly hardwood installation complements green construction in its purpose of making the house Eco-friendly and maintenance free. The next time you plan to renovate or build your house don’t forget to make these two styles a part of your construction scheme.