Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Spring 2-23-2021


National libraries in Africa have a wide range of functions but not fulfilling any of them in desirable way. This paper therefore aims at finding out the challenges faced by the National Library of Uganda (NLU) in performing its institutional practices. The objectives are to find out the functions of the NLU, the challenges faced in fulfilling these functions and suggestions to mitigate these challenges. The study employed a qualitative approach. Three respondents were selected purposefully. Interviews and documents were used for data collection. Data presentation was by statements, quotations and tables. The findings revealed that the NLU is legally supposed to perform 22 functions. However, none of them are fulfilled in a desirable way or not fulfilled at all due to the inadequate National Library Act 2003; the inadequate resources to sustain its institutional practices; overlapping institutional frameworks; increasing social fragmentation; lack of collaboration between the legal depositories, namely the NLU, Makerere University Library and the Deposit Library and Documentation Center; and overdependence of the development partners for funding. The suggestions include the government to increase funding to the NLU in order to sustain its institution practices, some functions to be taken over by other institutions namely Makerere University Library and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development; and collaboration between the legal depositories by sharing their ‘national bibliographies’. It concludes that the NLU has not performed its institutional practices in a desirable way. Therefore in order for the NLU to be really effective, it should not be saddled with many functions that it has capacity to deal with. Some functions should be taken over by other institutions, and the government should endeavor to fund the NLU and increases its budget annually.