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Mbale Library Committee Visits the National Library of Uganda on 17th December 2014

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The Mbale Library Committee braved the Kampala Christmas season traffic to pay a visit to the National Library of Uganda and hold discussions on the future of Mbale Public library.

The visiting committee members were Mr. Cornelius Wekunya, the Committee Chairman and representative of the Senior Citizens, Mr. Fred Kusolo, the Deputy Chairman and representative of the youth, Mrs. Norah Naomi Aryada, a retired teacher and representative of Women, Mr. James Nampandu, a representative of the farmers and Mr. Gideon Kintu, the Librarian. They were met by Ms. Gertrude Kayaga Mulindwa, NLU Director and Mrs. Stella Nekuusa, the Principal Librarian and Head of Department, Inspection, Research and Extension Services.

They discussed, among other things the many achievements that they have attained over the past year. These include, the revamping of the children’s services as well as the uninterrupted provision of ICT and Internet services to the Mbale clientele. The challenges they face were also discussed in detail, the major one being the lack of proper library accommodation. It was agreed that the National Library would work closely with the Committee and the Mbale Municipal Council to ensure that the library moves into its own home. Besides the meeting, the committee members also carried some ‘Christmas cheer’ for the National Library staff.

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 January 2015 09:49 )


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The National Library of Uganda is the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) Agency for Uganda

The ISBN is a 13 –digit number that should be assigned to each book and it uniquely identifies books and book like products published internationally with the agency headquarters at the Hague Netherlands.
The National Library of Uganda is the sole organization that issues the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) in Uganda; The NLU started issuing ISBN’s in 2011.

The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify a title or an edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more efficient marketing of products by book sellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers and distributors.

The relevance/ importance of ISBN:

  •  Authors / materials are recognized, it’s cheap, Identification tool.
  • Book sellers/ libraries; Retrieval, Keep track of titles for selling and procurement purposes especially during selection and quotation since it’s a unique identifier.
  • Book readers; Retrieval

Every ISBN consists of thirteen digits and whenever it is printed, it is preceded by the letters ISBN. The thirteen digit numbers is divided into four parts of variable length, each part separated by a hyphen. The four parts are as follows:

  • Group or country identifier which identifies a national or geographic grouping of publishers;
  • Publisher identifier which identifies a particular publisher within a group;
  • Title identifier which identifies a particular title or edition of a title;
  • Check digit is the single digit at the end of the ISBN which validates the ISBN

There are over 160 ISBN Agencies worldwide, and each ISBN agency is appointed as the exclusive agent responsible for assigning ISBN’s to publishers residing in their country or geographic territory. The Ugandan ISBN agency is the National Library of Uganda and is the only source authorized to assign ISBN’s to publishers in Uganda. Once an ISBN publisher prefix and associated block of numbers has been assigned to a publisher by the ISBN agency, the publisher can assign ISBN’s to publications it holds publishing rights to. However, after the ISBN Agency assigns ISBN’s to a publisher, that publisher cannot resell, re assign, transfer or split its list of ISBN’s among other publishers. These guidelines have long been established to ensure the veracity, accuracy and continued utility of the international ISBN standard. As defined by the ISO standard, the ISBN publisher prefix identifies a single publisher and if new publishers, you should apply for their own ISBN publisher prefix and plan to identify and circulate their books properly in the industry supply chain.

The National Library of Uganda assigns ISBN’s at the direct request of publishers, e-book publishers, audio cassette and video producers, software producers and museums and associations with publishing programs. An ISBN costs forty thousand shilling and it would take fifteen minutes to for one to obtain it from the National Library of Uganda, as long as they have provided all the information. Provision of the information can be done online.

ISBN’s are sold in blocks of 10, 100 and 1000. When purchasing ISBN’s, the National Library of Uganda recommends that you the publisher estimates the amount of publications you will be publishing in the next one year and selects the block that best suits your needs. An ISBN gets placed on the copyright page, if there is a bar code, then it is placed on the back cover, ISBN’s are assigned based on the geographical location of the publisher but not the printing company but if the book appears in different languages, then each language version is a different product and therefore would require a different ISBN.

Points to note; the printing of a book should take the following format.

  1. Cover- This usually shows the title and the publisher (This can be hard cover or paperback).
  2. Title page-This is the page that shows the full details of the title and the publisher, as well as the year of publication.
  3.  The back of the title page-This carries information about the publisher, the publication date, copy right information and the ISBN.
  4. Content page-This gives a detailed list of the contents of the book, usually the headings and their corresponding page numbers.
  5. Foreword  (If any)-This is a short write up by a prominent person about the book being published, It is important to note that the word is ‘Foreword’ and not ‘Forward’ or ‘For word’
  6. List of Acronym- This is a list of acronyms that have been used in the text. ( This usually appears in books of academic nature)
  7. Glossary- This is an explanation of any terms used. ( This usually appears in papers of academic nature)  


National Library Hosts Chinese Delegation

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The National Library of Uganda received a Chinese delegation from Henan Province of the People's Republic of China. The delegates  Who included Li Xia, the Deputy Director of Henan Provincial Culture Department; Cui Xi Mei, Director Henan Provincial Youth and Children Library; Huang Han Qin, Henan Provincial Culture Department; Xin Mu Xiang, Henan Provincial Museum;  Long Lin, The Secretary to the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda; and Cui Yun, a  Chinese business man in Uganda were received by Mr. Adoniah Katungisa, the Deputy Director of the National Library of Uganda, and his Heads of Departments at the National Library Offices on Buganda Road.

The Chinese Delegation was escorted by Ms Pamela Batenga (Principal Culture Officer) who gave the welcome remarks and Ms Cecilia Ajom (Senior Culture Officer), both officials from the Ministry of Gender, Culture and Social Development

The Deputy Director warmly welcomed the delegation and expressed gladness that even with their tight schedule, they had chosen to visit the National Library. He then gave them a brief overview of the National Library, its history, functions, mandate and future prospects. He also expressed the willingness of the National Library to explore any opportunities that may be available for collaboration between the National Library and the Henan Province through Bilateral agreements between the Republic of Uganda and the People's Republic of China.

In her remarks, Ms Li Xian, who was the head of the delegation said that they were happy to visit Uganda and that in their brief visit, they have been able to see some beautiful views and have loved the climate. She thanked the National Library staff in attendance for sacrificing their time on a public holiday to honor the visit. She introduced the other delegates in her delegation and gave a brief view about the Henan province and their concerns in the arts, culture and antiquities. She noted that they have had a program for cultural exchange with Uganda since 2004 and some of the beneficiaries are 5 Ugandans who were taken to China and trained in Chinese Kungfu in the Shaolin Temple. She called upon the ministry of Gender to make use of these people to exhibit the skills they attained to Ugandans.

She said that one of the missions for their visit was to seek cooperation opportunities with the National Library of Uganda and the Uganda Museum,  and the Uganda Cultural Centre. So she welcomed officials from the Ministry of Gender and from the National Library to China. She said that in the area of capacity building, the Henan province could possibly send some of their staff to the national Library of Uganda and also invite National Library of China to visit their provincial libraries. She also talked about having photographers and artists from both countries exchanging photographs and making a joint exhibition.

She explained that the Henan Provincial library had a similar mandate as the National Library, with the exception that it only plays a guiding role and does not supervise nor manage municipal and other public libraries. She also said that the Henan provincial Museum holds over 40,000 precious pieces of great historical value.

The delegation also took a tour of the library, exploring its Chinese collection, and  The meeting ended with a ceremony to handover 25 titles of  bi-lingual (Chinese and English) children books to the National Library of Uganda.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 July 2014 14:45 )

Book Aid International Turns 60

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The National Library of Uganda proudly joins Book Aid International, its oldest partner in book trade, to celebrate its 60th birthday.  BAI, as it is fondly known by millions of readers in Sub-Saharan Africa, started in 1954. It has walked this long but very enjoyable journey with Ugandan public libraries since the 1990s. 

A quarter of a century later and hundreds of thousands of  books having been in and continuing to be held in the hands of ordinary Ugandans, this collaboration has expanded from book provision, to library staff training, reading promotion, supporting local book industry through local book purchases as well as making public libraries more attractive to users.

Over the years, the National Library of Uganda has organized many book related programmes that have included reading camps, teacher training in reading promotion, starting small libraries in primary schools as well as supporting public libraries through donating books to them. All these programmes have mainly used books donated by BAI.  Many school children and secondary school students as well as adults doing evening classes and generally reading for pleasure, have continued to access books that supplement their school text books and also further fulfill their lives. The BAI ‘touch’ has been felt in all corners of Uganda. As Christine, one happy library user in Buikwe, some 30 kilometers west of  Kampala said of her local library. ‘I used to read all kinds of books in the library and I was amazed at how new and good the books were, especially those that had the stamp, ‘Donated by Book Aid International – Not for sale” They helped me improve on my vocabulary and I passed my O-level exams with a first grade.’

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:51 )


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From the 26th to28th of February 2014, Children International Uganda organized a reading tent at the Buhimba Sub – County public library, which was facilitated by both Children International and NLU staff namely Mrs Stella Nekuusa and Ms Jennifer Nalwanga. The tent was attended by over 15 schools, 600 children, 30 teachers and members of the Factional Adult Literacy class that meet at the library. The children were engaged in a number of activities that included, silent reading of books of their choice, reading aloud and reading marathon, word search, book making, drawing and painting, story telling, word games, making of crafts, moulding, singing and poem reciting.
Last Updated ( Monday, 31 March 2014 08:01 ) Read more...
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Technical Service Department


  • Library Inspection
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Telephone: (256) 414-254661 / 233633
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