Note from MLISADA Community Library in Uganda

Because of UgCLA, we are able to conduct our mobile library in the community schools using the books and other materials you donated to us. Thanks for being part of our children’s future because the future belongs to them. Leticia Mbabazi, Librarian – MLISADA community Library,Uganda.

A couple photos from Zinunula community library in Kasawo, Kayunga district

The librarian sent UgCLA a short message: “Greetings from Zinunula community library in Kasawo, Kayunga district. We get pupils from different primary schools around to access the facility. We have about ten primary schools within the reach of the library. With the little space we have, we are fighting hard to have shelves for the library materials.”

Some information about Uganda Community Library Association (UgCLA)

UgCLA depends on the following sources of revenue:

  • Member payments. As from 2013 each member library is asked to pay an annual subscription of 50,000 Uganda shillings. From 2017, those who send a representative to the conference are asked to pay 25,000 shillings towards the conference costs. In 2019 this contribution has been raised to 50,000 shillings.
  • Payments for donated books. UgCLA covers the transport and clearing costs for the books it receives from Book Aid International. It recoups these costs from the libraries that receive the books, at a rate of 30,000 shillings per box.
  • Volunteer contributions. Each independent volunteer is asked to raise $1000 for the Association. Volunteer sponsoring organizations pay $250-$300 per month for each volunteer.
  • Grants from organizations. Such funding is generally designated for projects in particular libraries.
  • Contributions from private donors. Those who wish to support the Association’s work send their contributions to Friends of African Village Libraries who forward the funds to UgCLA as needed.
  • Contributions in kind. Ka Tutandike generously provided UgCLA with office space from 2007 to 2012, Professor A. B. K. Kasozi provided the same between 2012 and 2014, and the National Library did from 2014 to 2015. Each of these donors also provided wireless internet access.  UgCLA paid no rent for these facilities. From June 2018 Kawempe Youth Centre has provided office space for which UgCLA pays a small contribution to rent and utility costs. UgCLA’s Board members are also generous with their time, carrying out tasks for the Association without payment.

UgCLA is a frugal organization, operating with a minimal administrative base. The vast majority of its revenue goes to its member libraries, whether in the form of direct grants or in the form of training and encouragement provided through conferences, workshops, and visits.

UgCLA has done well so far in expanding its membership and building its members’ capacity, and it is confident that it will continue for the foreseeable future to be able to raise funds for special projects. As it grows and undertakes more projects, however, it will need to expand its administrative structure, and it has already experienced difficulty in raising funds for administration. To continue and expand its operations, therefore, UgCLA proposes to pursue the following strategies:

  1. Make a concerted effort to obtain grant funding for developing its capacity so that it can improve its office facilities and employ an assistant for the coordinator.
  2. Include in the budgets for grant-funded projects carried out in individual libraries sufficient funds for related workshops (including the annual conference) and for UgCLA staff’s related travel, communication, and office expenses.
  3. Require member libraries to pay subscriptions high enough to support UgCLA. A step was taken in this direction at the Annual General Meeting in January 2012 when members agreed to increase their payments from a 30,000 shilling annual subscription to a 50,000 shilling subscription together with a conference contribution. The conference alone, however, costs at least 100,000 shillings for each representative, and it is extremely difficult for most member libraries to raise so much money. To be able to pay a realistic subscription that will cover the Association’s administrative costs, member libraries need considerably raised revenues. UgCLA aims to help them achieve such revenues by:
    1. Soliciting funds from donors for capital projects that can generate income for individual libraries. Examples are provision of solar electricity, erection of buildings that can be rented, purchase of computer and ICT equipment, and provision of water tanks.
    1. Forming partnerships between libraries and foreign institutions such as libraries, schools, or churches, which would be willing to support their partner libraries’ running costs, including UgCLA subscriptions and contributions.
    1. Asking local governments to institute a line in their budgets to cover salaries for librarians so that any other revenue that the libraries raise can be used for purchasing books, developing programmes, and supporting UgCLA.
    1. Encouraging libraries to form partnerships with local schools under which the schools pay subscriptions in return for regular delivery of books.
  4. Build up more relationships with institutions in North America that are interested in placing interns in libraries.

Kawempe Youth centre community library in Uganda

Kawempe Youth centre community Library is one of UgCLAs 50 most active library, located in Kawempe division in Kampala city. Because of the pandemic children’s activities and library usage has been on hold. Currently, with the economy having been opened, the library is now open for use. Users returning to school are making use of the library. Children’s activities will begin soon and as we write today, the library staff and volunteers are making all efforts to have the children’s section ready. books being sorted and shelved back according to the levels.

Weeding of information material is also on going to create space for new information material.

Brief Report on Mountain Bikes Mobile Library – Marko Lukooya Memorial Community Library in Uganda

The community mountain bike mobile library is an initiative of Marko Lukooya memorial community library which is going to support communities access books through and after Covid- era supported by book aid micro projects grant.
On 20th of October, we received funds for the Book Aid Micro project to implement the mountain mobile library in the communities of Bbanda Bugenderadala, Kyandanza, Nantula, Nakayaga and Sunga and surrounding areas. The project started with identifying youth who will be involved in the project. We decided to have 14 youth trained as they will be switched and working in groups, this is because there was interests of our youth to learn more of being community mobile librarians. The One-day training was done and the group have been taken through learning how to ride bikes especially the girls who did not know how to ride. The next steps is make a community survey as planned which will guide on books purchase that are missing in our library also the request by the community through our survey. Photo 1 Purchased Mt. Bikes ready for use in the project at Marko Lukooya Memorial Community Library Veranda. Photo 2 is of the girls at Marko Lukooya Learning how to ride bikes before community survey. The next steps will be shared in the upcoming report.

Update from Mpolyabigere community library in Uganda

From Emmanuel Anguyo, an update from Mpolyabigere community library about the ongoing progress of the SOAKO project. 

SOMAKO – READit project in Namayumba, Wakiso District has raised so much interest among the children. The enthusiasm to read and write has is gaining momentum among all ages as you can see from the pictures. We managed to set up the ten SOMAKO clubs in October and distributed reading materials mostly in English. Some of them were large volumes. Interestingly, children and adults picked up all kinds of books large and small and I could hear some reading in Luganda. This meant that the pictures where the main source of the reading. We then supplied some charts and the writing materials. The children designed books, drew pictures and were so interested in sharing their books. It is raining and the reading spaces are messy, the children are dirty and the parents are busy in the gardens. Excuses about making the books dirty are emerging. We continue to encourage the adults not to mind so much about dirt but to train them in handwashing. There has been a delay in delivery of washing equipment and solar because of competing activities especially delay in producing labels. The focus this month is to role out on the reading and writing challenges related to covid and Christmas. We are also faced with the challenges of teachers and parents in some clubs who are inclined to teaching and not allowing the children to enjoy themselves. 
Rev. Dr Gulere, Director Education and Research, Mpolyabigere Libraries Uganda

Update from Kitengesa Library in Uganda

From Kate Parry, recently in Uganda:

Last Friday I visited the library, unannounced; it was my first visit in weeks. The place was busy: 17 young children were there, reading or at least looking at the storybooks, and 8 teenagers, who were working with our three computers (this is why we want to buy some new ones if we can afford it). Mr. Mayanja, who leads our Library Band was also there and eager to tell me about a project he has for Christmas: a special performance for some of the poorest people in the village, with a small gift to each of them of sugar and other necessities. He’s fundraising for it now, so I’ve promised him a contribution. I will hand it over next Friday, when the Band’s putting on a special performance for me to celebrate my recovery from surgery. I got no photographs of the Band last week, but here is an older picture of them. The drumming and dancing are terrific!

Greetings from M-LISADA (library) in Uganda

Good morning members how are you, greetings from M-LISADA. It’s been long since we last communicated but our library is doing so well,our children are committed to coming everyday and they are so active in participating. During this period of the lock down we have engaged our children with different activities that are in the library and these are some of the activities that we have been doing in the library. Reading out loud, most of our children have been able to read audibly a story book to their friends. Story telling, this has helped our children to be attentive and participate during the activity,and most of them have been able to ask questions were necessary. Debates, this has helped to build confidence among the children. Riddles, this has helped our children to know the hidden meanings of some words. Playing games, this has helped our children to be active, be great thinkers and learn how to plan for something very well. Games like puzzles, cheese, Ludo and cards(matatu).

Mpolyabigere community library in Uganda gets books from Book Aid International!

Mpolyabigere community library and users of the library received their donations of books from Book Aid International through UgCLA. They will use these books for the on-going SOMAKO (read) project.