The primary purpose of public and community libraries is to provide information resources and services that meet the needs of the community - both individuals and groups - in education, information and personal development; including recreation and leisure. Libraries have a role to play in the development and sustenance of a democratic society by providing access to a wide and varied range of knowledge, ideas and opinpions.
In Uganda, local governments, community members, aid workers and other dedicated people have responded to the need for information in their respective communities by helping to start libraries in their areas. Library work is different from other office work and is unique in its nature and as a result staff who run these libraries sometimes find difficulties in positively responding to the challenges that they face.
The manual has, therefore, been developed to help such library staff meet the challenges of setting up and running such libraries. It has arisen out of the responsibilities that the National Library of Uganda (NLU) holds under the National Library Act, 2003 and has been enriched by the professional training and long experience of NLU staff. It should help library staff acquaint themselves with the procedures to be followed in managing their libraries so that their respective libraries fulfill their set objectives. That notwithstanding, untrained staff should make efforts to go for formal training at authorized library and information training schools and acquire professional qualifications in library management.
The manual should be read carefully by all involved in running the library. it is divided into four sections as follows:
- Section 1: Background information on libraries and administrative matters.
- Section 2: Front desk routines.
- Section 3:Technical operations- acquiring, and preparing information resources for use.
- Section 4:Outreach Services- interacting with the general public including library users and non users.
- Section 5:Report Writing
- Section 6:Training
Library staff should feel free to raise any queries, suggestions and recommendations regarding the manual. Adjustments will be made to the manual from time to timeas and when they become necessary or to replace outdated practices with the new.
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