THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF UGANDA its inception, challenges and prospects

THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF UGANDA its inception, challenges and prospects
THE
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF UGANDA
its inception, challenges and prospects
1997-2007
Jane K. Kawalya
Borås
Valfrid
2009
1
For
Giibwa Marie
and
Paul Kabali
2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgements
Abstract
1. Introduction
1.1Statement of the problem
1.2 Aim and research questions
1.3 Scope and limitations of the study
1.4 Significance of the study
1.5 Structure of the thesis
9
10
12
13
17
18
18
18
2 Theoretical framework
20
2.1 Old and new institutionalism
2.1.1 The concept of an institution
2.1.2 Formation of institutions
2.1.3 Institutional change
2.1.4 Institutional isomorphism
2.1.4.1 Coercive isomorphism
2.1.4.2 Mimetic isomorphism
2.1.4.3 Normative isomorphism
2.1.5 Summary
2.2. Libraries and national libraries as institutions
2.2.1 Institutional approach in library research
2.2.2 The origin of national libraries
2.2.3 The concept of a national library
2.2.4 Functions of a national library
2.2.5 Institutional changes in national libraries
20
24
25
26
27
28
28
28
29
34
35
36
37
38
43
3 Historical context
3.1 First period: emergence of the first libraries -ends 1945
3.1.1 Politics/economy
3.1.2 Publishing/education/Libraries
3.2 Second period: spread of public libraries (1946-1962)
3.2.1 Politics/Economy
3.2.2 Publishing/education
3.2.3 Library sector
3.2.3.1 Public libraries
3.2.3.2 Library education
3.2.3.3 National library ideas and functions
3.3 Third period: laying foundation for the library sector
(1962-1985)
3.3.1 Politics/economy
3.3.2 Publishing/education
3.3.3 Library sector
3.3.3.1 Situation of public libraries
3.3.3.2 School libraries
48
49
49
51
52
53
53
54
54
55
56
57
57
59
61
61
65
3
3.3.3.3 East African School of Librarianship
3.3.3.4 National library ideas and functions
3.4 Fourth period: full scale development of libraries
(1986 till present)
3.4.1 Politics/economy
3.4.2 Publishing/education
3.4.3 Library sector
3.4.4 National library ideas and functions
3.5 Summary
67
69
71
72
73
76
76
77
4 Methods
4.1 Research design
4.2 Conducting the interviews
4.2.1 Selection of respondents
4.2.2 The interview guide
4.2.3 Pilot study
4.2.4 Interviews
4.3 Document and content analysis
4.4 Ethical issues
4.5 Summary
81
81
82
83
84
85
85
86
91
92
5 Results and analysis
5.1 Before the National Library Act, 2003
5.1.2 The state of the national library sector, 1997-2003
5.1.2.1 The state of public libraries
5.1.2.2 The relationship between MULIB, DLDC
and PLB as institutions
5.1.3 Adopting the National Library Act in parliament:
political process
5.1.3.1 Process of the adoption of the National Library
Act, 2003
5.1.3.2 The PLB activity after decentralization of public
libraries (the process begins)
5.1.4 The role of librarians in the adoption of National
Library Act, 2003
5.1.5 Politicians’ role in the process
5.1.5.1 Report of the Social Services Committee on
the National Library Bill, 2001
5.1.5.2 Politicians and libraries, reading culture and
social aspects
5.1.6 The National Library of Uganda as a legitimized
organization
5.1.6.1 Differences and similarities between MULIB,
DLDC and the NLU
5.1.7 Conclusions
5.2 The development of the NLU
93
93
95
95
100
103
103
106
110
114
115
117
122
126
128
130
4
5.2.1 The NLU as an organization
5.2.1.1 The management structure of the NLU
5.2.1.2 Staff and the NLU
5.2.1.3 Issues of the NLU premises and funding
5.2.2 Legal deposit and the collection
5.2.2.1 Collection
5.2.2.2 Library services
5.2.2.3 Publishers and the National Bibliograpy
of Uganda
5.2.3 The NLU as a leader of other libraries
5.2.3.1 The library professionals views on the
NLU functions
5.2.3.2 Leadership role
5.2.3.3. Public libraries
5.2.3.4 NLU for the community and school libraries
5.2.3.5 Training for librarians and research activities
5.2.3.6 Prospects
5.2.4 Conclusions
130
130
133
135
137
137
136
6 Discussion and conclusions
6.1 What were the factors in the library sector of Uganda
that created the premises for the institutionalization of
the NLU?
6.1.1 The deinstitutionalization process
6.1.2 The institutionalization of the NLU and
institutional change
6.1.3 The continuation of the institutionalization and
institutional change
6.2 What were the factors in the library sector
of Uganda that led to the establishment of the NLU?
6.2.1 Summary
6.3 What was the motivation and actions of the
politicians that led to the establishment of the NLU?
6.3.1 Institutional change
6.3.2 Library policy
6.3.3 Process
6.3.4 Summary
6.4 What were the roles, motives and actions of the library
professional community that led to the establishment
of the NLU?
6.4.1 Normative isomorphism
6.4.2 Formation of institutions (institutional change)
6.4.3 The differences and similarities of the institutional
change of the NLU and other national libraries
6.4.4 Coercive isomorphism
6.4.5 Process
154
139
143
143
145
147
149
150
151
152
154
156
156
157
160
161
161
162
162
165
165
165
166
166
169
169
5
6.4.6 Alternative of national library (functions of
national libraries)
6.4.7 Mimetic isomorphism
6.4.8 Summary
6.5 What role does the NLU play in the library sector
at present?
6.5.1 Concept of a national library in Uganda
6.5.2 National library services (roles)
6.5.2.1 Users
6.5.2.2 Innovative practices
6.5.3 Relationship between MULIB, DLDC and the NLU
6.5.3.1Social pressures
6.5.3.2 Functional pressures
6.5.4 The NLU as an institution
6.5.4.1 Functions of the NLU
6.6 Summary
6.7 Conclusions
6.7.1Factors in the library sector that influenced
the establishment of the NLU
6.7.2 The motivations and actions of the politicians
that led to the establishment of the NLU
6.7.3 The roles, motives and actions of the library
professional community in the process of the
establishment of the NLU
6.7.4 The role played by the NLU in the library sector
at present
Summary in Swedish/summanfarrning
Sources and references to literature
APPENDICES
Appendix A: Letter of introduction from the Uganda
National Council for Science and Technology
Appendix B:Indentity card from the Uganda
National Council for Science and Technology
Appendix C: Interview guides
Appendix D: Face to face in depth interviews
sound recording conducted (October-February 2007)
Appendix E: Districts with public libraries
Appendix F: Districts without public libraries
Appendix G: National Library of Uganda organization
Chart
Appendix H: National Bibliography of Uganda
Appendix I:Community libraries
Appendix J: Chronology of the National Library
of Uganda: ideas and events
170
171
172
172
172
173
174
174
174
174
176
176
175
177
178
178
183
184
185
189
199
212
213
214
216
217
217
218
219
220
221
6
TABLES
Table 2.1Old and new institutionalism
Table 2.2 Three pillars of institutions
Table 2.3 Antecendents of deinstitutionalization
Table 2.4 Categories of the functions of a national library
Table 2.5 Functions of a national library
Table 2.6 Roles and functions of naional libraries to be
considered appropriate in Africa
Table 3.1 Frequency of the Uganda National Bibliography
Table 3.2 Some functions of a national library performed
by MULIB, DLDC and PLB
Table 4.1 Institutions that participated in the study
Table 4.2 Document analysis
Table 4.3 Documents related to the factors that led to the
establishment of the NLU
Table 4.4 Documents on the motivation and actions
of the politicians that led to the establishment of the NLU
Table 4.5 Documents on the roles, motives and actions of
the professional library community that led to the
establishment of the NLU
Table 4.6 Documents answering the roles the NLU plays
at present
Table 4.7 Time frame
Table 5.1 Differences and similarities between MULIB
and DLDC
Table 5.2 The distribution of the national library functions
in Uganda
Table 5.3 The national libraries and information needs
Table 5.4 The functions of the NLU
Table 5.5 Differences and similarities between MULIB
DLDC and NLU
Table 5.6 Data about the volumes of the National
Bibliography of Uganda
22
31
33
38
40
42
77
79
83
87
88
89
89
90
92
100
102
108
123
127
140
7
FIGURES
Figure 2.1 Pressures of deinstitutionalization
Figure 3.1 Map of Uganda
Figure 5.1 Events marking the process of the
institutionalization of the NLU from concept paper
to the National Library Act, 2003
Figure 5.2 Administrative fragmentation of the NLU
and the public libraries
Figure 5.3 The relationship between the NLU and other
libraries
Figure 6.1 Conceptual framework for the study of the
establishment of the NLU
Figure 6.2 The levels of institutionalization of the NLU
33
48
104
133
147
155
186
8
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Writing this thesis was no easy task, it was accomplished with support of a number of
individuals and institutions of whom I am very grateful from the bottom of my heart. I
wish to thank Mr. James Mugasha the former University Librarian, Makerere
University Library for his vision of introducing the PhD programme in the library
service in order to raise the status of the library professionals in the highly competitive
academic arena. I am grateful to the Swedish International Development Agency
(sida/SAREC) for funding this programme; the programme coordinators in Sweden
Prof. Richard Wait and Hans Frimmel for their support. Thank you, Prof. Eli
Katunguka-Rwakishaya, the Director of the School of Graduate Studies for funding
the field work; the Vice Chancellor and the Department of Staff Development
Programme for granting me study leave to enable me to pursue my studies.
I thank the The Swedish School of Library and Information Science at the University
of Gothenburg and the University College of Borås for the support and the academic
environment which enabled me to write this thesis. I am grateful to the Nordic, Baltic
Research School in Library and Information (NORSLIS) for the travel grants to
participate in the doctoral research workshops in Tampere, Tallin and Uppsala where I
shared research interests with the doctoral students and senior researchers.
I am very grateful for the support of my first supervisors Joacim Hansson (2004-2007),
Elena Maceviciute (2008-2009) for whom I am indebted for her efforts and
encouragement in order to make this thesis a reality, to my second supervisor Lars
Selden for his guidance and advice. I thank the “green readers”, Lars Hoglund and
Gunnel Hessler their valuable input in the structure and improvement of the
manuscript. I am grateful to the groups of the doctoral students who commented on my
research project during the first and second seminars; and to Michael Kristiansson of
the Royal Danish School of Library and Information Science, for his comments during
my final seminar. I am gratefull to Prof. I.M.N. Kigongo-Bukenya of the East African
School of Library and Information Science, Makerere University for reading through
my work. I thank colleagues at the department especially, Helena Francke, Nasrine
Olson, Jenny Johansson Mats Dolatkhah and Esther Ebole-Isah for their support. I am
grateful to Carina Welden for designing the cover. Acknowledgement goes to Boel
Bissmarck for translating the Summary into Swedish and putting in extra time to shape
and make the final touches on the manuscript for printing. I acknowledge in a special
way the support and cooperation of the twenty respondents from the various
institutions for allowing me to share their views, experiences which made this study a
reality, and those individuals who availed me with the vital documents which were of
great importance for my research.
I am grateful to my sisters Molly Kasajja and Agnes Kaye and my brother-in-law
Grace Sengaaga for the support rendered to my children and filling in the gap created
while undertaking this study. I thank all my friends and colleagues in Uganda for their
moral support, encouragement and prayers. Lastly, I say thank you to my children,
Marie Giibwa and Paul Kabali for their understanding and enduraing my absence from
home.
15th December 2009
Jane Kawalya
9
ABSTRACT
There are several reasons why national libraries have emerged. In some countries, they
were established as symbols of national prestige and status, while others feel that a
modern country should have a national library. Given the economic, social, cultural
and political conditions in the developing countries that affect the establishment and
maintenance of national libraries, the numerous functions of national libraries need to
be assessed from these countries’ point of view. There has been a debate on whether
the developing countries should have national libraries; and alternatives such as
university libraries were suggested. This thesis therefore aims at gaining an
understanding of the establishment and development of the National Library of
Uganda (NLU) as an institution. The study tries to examine the factors that influenced
the establishment of the NLU; the motivations, actions and roles of the politicians and
the professional library community that led to establishment of the NLU. It also
investigates the present conditions shaping the NLU after its establishment and how it
in turn shapes the library environment in the country.
I have chosen new institutional theory by DiMaggio and Powell, to analyse the reasons
and process of the institutionalization of the NLU. The conceptual framework is drawn
from Scott’s institutional change perspective who argues that institutions do not
emerge from a vacuum, but borrow from previous institutions and to a certain extent
displace them. Oliver’s pressures of deinstitutionalization provided the lens through
which I analysed the political, social and functional pressures that triggered off the
process of the institutionalization of the NLU. Additionally, I chose the coercive,
mimetic and normative mechanisms through which institutional isomorphic change
occurs as identified by DiMaggio and Powell. These helped me to analyse the
institutional process and change in the library and information sector during and after
the institutionalization of the NLU. The theoretical contribution is derived from
adapting this theoretical approach which has for the first time been applied in a
different context in the field of Library and Information Science. It has been used on
the development of a national library in a developing country, Uganda.
The study is based on qualitative research consisting of in-depth face to face
interviews of twenty (20) library professionals. They were purposefully selected as
they held a leading positition in the institutions involved in the establishment of the
NLU or were directly affected by its establishment. I analysed documents such as the
Hansard to study the political process of the legislation of the National Library Act,
2003 and other legal and primary sources. I made some observation of four (4) public
libraries to find out their state after the decentralization of services to the districts.
The findings revealed that the NLU was established due to the decentralization of the
public libraries to the districts which weakened the Public Libraries Board (PLB) and
the staff were to be retrenched. Makerere University Library (MULIB) and the Deposit
Library and Documentation Centre (DLDC) have weak, outdated legal deposit laws
and inadequate resources to perform the national library functions efficiently and
10
effectively. The politicians approved and enacted the National Library Act, 2003
mainly to support the decentralized public libraries.
During the process of the institutionalization of the NLU, the library professionals
tried to imitate other national libraries which they perceived to be successful in terms
of legal deposit laws. Other ideas such MULIB and DLDC to update their legal
deposit laws and collaborate with NLU; MULIB to become the second national
library; the NLU to house the copyright office, ULIA to be represented on the NLU
Board were rejected. The NLU apart from the collecting and publishing the National
Bibliography of Uganda, is still performing most functions which were performed by
the PLB such as supporting the public libraries, improving the reading culture, and
participating in adult literacy campaign with the support of the development partners.
The challenges faced by the NLU include lack of mechanism to implement the
National Library Act, inadequate resources, and lack of collaboration between
MULIB, DLDC and NLU and duplication of the limited resources amongst the three
institutions.
Language:
Keywords:
Author’s e-mails:
English
National Library of Uganda/ institutional change/public
libraries/political aspects/Library development/ Uganda
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
11
1. INTRODUCTION
The title of the thesis is “The National Library of Uganda: its inception, challenges and
prospects, 1997-2007”. This is where I seek to study institutional changes of the
national library services in Uganda, the reasons for the establishment of the National
Library of Uganda (NLU) and the process of the enactment of the National Library
Act, 2003 that led to its establishment. Furthermore, I examine how the library and
information sector in Uganda was affected by the inception of the NLU.
This chapter discusses the background to the research, statement of the problem, aim
of the study, research questions, scope and limits of the study, significance of the study
and the structure of the thesis.
For over five decades, much has been written about the nature and functions of
national libraries. There also have been discussions in regional and international
conferences (Line, 1988). The conferences include National Libraries, their Problems
and Prospects, Vienna, 1958 (UNESCO, 1958); UNESCO Regional Seminar on the
Development of National Libraries in Asia and the Pacific, Manila, 1964 (UNESCO,
1964); the Quito Meeting of Experts on the National Planning of Library Services in
Latin America, 1966 (UNESCO, 1966); and the UNESCO Meeting of Experts on the
National Planning of Library Services in Asia, Colombo, 1967 (UNESCO, 1967)
which highlighted among others essential roles and the major impact of the national
library on the rest of the nations’ libraries.
This study is a continuation of the numerous efforts in clarification of the functions
and roles of the national libraries with more emphasis on the situation in one of the
developing countries, Uganda and its national library. The study focuses on the
establishment of the NLU in the recent period of constant changes in libraries
worldwide. All types of libraries are experiencing this change since the last quarter of
the twentieth century, and there are signs that it will continue further into the twentyfirst century.
The NLU is one of the newest national libraries that were established at the beginning
of this 21st Century. It wa therefore, an opportunity to follow the recent process of the
establishment of a new national library at its first stage of development as it was
happening.
There are quite many issues about national libraries that are still a subject of
discussion. These discussions are of interest to different groups, not only to librarians.
One can find governments, policy makers, decision makers, law makers, professional
associations, citizens and other interested individuals who deal with national libraries.
12
There is some consensus about the discussion on certain issues such as the role and
basic functions of national libraries. Those were more or less defined through the
debates in conferences and publications during the second half of the twentieth
century. However, many others such as the issue of the form that a national library
should take or whether it is necessary to have a national library in certain countries at
all still cause debates. These debates are likely to become more pressing because of the
changes affecting libraries throughout the world. The change affects the environments,
in which national libraries operate namely, the political, administrative, legal, and
technological. Since the common processes within library and information service
sector in general are influenced by changes, this implies that national libraries’
performance is also affected.
The NLU has been established during the period when Uganda was facing significant
development challenges and when the library sector has undergone a restructuring. It
emerged from this difficult situation under the new economic, political, and social
situation and it is interesting to investigate how the NLU is shaped by all these
processes.
1.1 Statement of the problem
The national libraries have emerged in certain circumstances and there are a number of
reasons behind the establishment of each of them. The overall feeling is that a modern
country should have a national library. Maurice Line has expressed this as follows:
“National libraries are not only of interest to librarians; they are of
concern to politicians as national symbols or institutions of national
significance. There has emerged a partial consensus as to the role and
functions of national libraries, and a general view is that no country is
complete without one” (Line, 1988 p.20).
International organizations, such as the United Nations Education, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO), have been active in promoting the establishment
and development of national libraries in countries that did not have them (Line, 1988).
The IFLA/UNESCO pre-session seminar on the role and objectives of the national
libraries in the new information environment held in Moscow in August, 1991,
encouraged national libraries without legal deposit acts or with outdated legislation to
urge their governments to adopt laws ensuring efficient fulfilment of national library
functions. Prior to this IFLA/UNESCO pre-session seminar and other major
congresses concerned with plans for establishment and development of new national
libraries greatly influenced the countries in Asia, and Latin America in this direction.
They highlighted the essential roles and major impact of the national library on other
libraries (Line and Line, 1979; UNESCO, 1967; 1968). This international opinion is a
powerful catalyst for the development of national libraries.
13
National libraries were established in some countries as symbols of national prestige
and status. During the 1960s and 1970s, several national libraries were set up in
countries that became independent as a consequence of decolonisation after World
War II. Feuntes-Romero (2003) explained the origin of national libraries as institutions
of national pride, fostered by political independence and the desire to start a big new
project. The cultural prestige of the nation and the understandable desire to use the
national library as the cornerstone of an efficient nationwide library network are
embodied in the enacted legislation. Many international observers also have expressed
these impressions (Feuntes-Romero, 2003). Inevitably, the political independence
strengthened the need to express national identity of a country. It put a strong
emphasis on a national culture and evoked the emergence of national institutions as a
sign of it. Together with a national museum and a national archive, a national library
became a physical manifestation of a national culture as well as means for its
dissemination and renewal. This is associated with prestigious status that a newly
created national library acquires, and they are seen as institutions directly related to the
survival of the country’s culture (Feuntes-Romero, 2003).
Lor (2003) identified a group of libraries associated with this origin, as those that arose
in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in response to nationalistic and modernizing
movements:
“This is where the national libraries placed emphasis on the development
of national infrastructure, such as the national bibliographies, national
union catalogues and national interlibrary lending schemes in order to
support the work of the nation’s libraries and information agencies” (Lor
2003 p.144).
Preceding these, national libraries were closely linked to the legal deposit and the
acquisitions of bibliophile monarchs and wealthy individuals. Lor (2003) examined the
national libraries that originated during the Renaissance as royal or private libraries,
such as the national library in Netherlands, which is still called the Netherlands Royal
Library. Other national libraries of this nature became more generally accessible and
were eventually designated as national libraries as a result of political upheavals, for
example, in France, or more gradual constitutional development such as in Sweden
(Lor, 2003).
Lor further identified another group of national libraries such as that of Namibia which
was called a ‘National Library Service’. These offer services to the general public
through a network of public, school and other libraries. In this case the origin of
national libraries has its roots in orientation towards communication of local heritage,
general information infrastructure, and/or comprehensive national service (Lor, 2003).
14
The functions of national libraries have been discussed and analysed several times, and
although they exhibit a good deal of similarity, there are differences (Line, 1990). Lor
and Sonnekus (1997) group the concepts of the functions of national libraries into
three dimensions. Firstly, functions concerned with heritage, which emphasizes
preservation of nation’s literary production and treasures. Secondly, functions
concerned with infrastructure, emphasizing coordination, facilitation, leadership, and
services to libraries. Thirdly, functions concerned with comprehensive national library
services, the delivery of services to end users throughout the country. There are
additional functions concerned with international cooperation, which means access to
the collections of documents produced in other countries, exchange programmes,
international research and development.
Given the economic, social, cultural, and political conditions in the developing
countries that affect the establishment and maintenance of library services, the
numerous functions of national libraries need to be assessed from these countries’
point of view. Lor (1997) asserts that in the developing countries there are certain roles
and tasks that are of a greater importance than they would be in a developed country
with rich panoply of libraries of diverse types. He then gives examples of such roles
and tasks, such as building up the nation’s total collection of library materials,
particularly those imported at considerable cost and possibly with some difficulty.
Thus, they differ from other national libraries, mainly in developed countries, by
organizing the national system for providing access to the country’s stock of
information resources, and information provision. Lor put forward that in the countries
with few and poorly developed libraries, the national needs identified by Line (1990)
are likely to be particularly important. These needs include: service to libraries,
leadership and advise, planning and coordination, education and training, and research
and development. This seems to suggest that national libraries are crucially needed and
appropriate for the developing countries (Lor, 1997).
On the other hand, Mchombu (1985) expressed the view that national libraries were
not needed, especially in developing countries. There could be alternatives based on
the premise that, while the concept of a national library is of vital importance to every
country, no matter how small or how poor, the traditional form of a national library is
questionable. He is supporting
“the discussions based on the conviction and ‘theory’ that not all
underdeveloped countries need the ‘orthodox’ national libraries. That
with a national strategy any underdeveloped country can provide the
services associated with national libraries without painful necessity to
invest too heavily on national library models existing in industrialized
countries” (Mchombu, 1985 p. 228).
15
Mchombu (1985) further lists eight different options to the traditional national library
as: the university library, national central public library, national subject libraries,
national library commission, inter-regional national library, national library
dependency, a library of a parliament, and national archives. Line (1989) agrees with
Mchombu that there was nothing that a national library did that could not be done in
some other way by another institution. The point here is that national libraries were
seen as mere symbols of nationhood. In implicit recognition that the funds required to
set up an adequate national library were not likely to be forthcoming in the near future,
librarians began debating what national library functions could be performed without a
national library.
Even before this discussion, following the Vienna Symposium on National Libraries in
Europe (UNESCO, 1958), it became fairly clear that it was not viable or fruitful to
establish a rigid model of what a national library should comprise and what its
essential features should be, if indeed there were any at all. This symposium clearly
stated that there was no need to determine the status and structure of the ideal national
library which would never come into being. It suggested that the establishment of a
national library clearly should take into account the tasks that it must accomplish in a
certain country both for its own sake and with the aim of holding its deserved place in
the international network of cultural relationships.
In some African countries, the tasks of national libraries are/were performed by other
institutions, such as, the national archives (National Library and Archives of Zambia
and National Archives of Zimbabwe Library), or the university libraries (Makerere
University Library, Uganda and Addis Ababa University Library, Ethiopia), but the
“ideal” national library does not exist. Line (1988) noted that national libraries may
take one of several positions, or settle for a diluted form of a national library by having
a wide range of functions but not fulfilling any of them in a way that would be
desirable. Line gave the example of Sub Saharan Africa, where national libraries
recieve less funding, get little support from governments; have limited skilled
technical and professional staff, experience difficulties in obtaining supplies and
maintenance services needed to keep equipment operating. In addition, book trade is
poorly developed, and there is the absence of reading culture. These problems
perpetuate the state of inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the national library, and lead
to a perception that the national library lacks relevance to national development (Line
1988). However, it can be noted here that national libraries have a useful role to play
in the development of a country and, therefore, should be assisted in order to be able to
carry out their appropriate functions
The National Library of Uganda was established at this particular period when the
necessity of a national library in a developing country is questioned and other models
of carrying out its functions have been presented and tested. Nevertheless, among the
East African countries, Uganda is the first to establish a fully fledged national library
16
with an up to date legislation, the National Library Act, 2003. The process of arriving
at this particular decision and subsequent formation of a new institution in the
Ugandan library sector is of a great interest, especially, as other institutions in the
country were already performing some of the national library functions. This is an
occasion to explore what has led to the formation in Uganda of a national library. It is
also good timing to investigate how that new institution is evolving and dealing with
challenges as well as to consider the appropriate roles of the NLU under the socioeconomic environments and the needs of the country it is expected to satisfy. A proper
understanding of what is affecting the institutionalization of the NLU and how the
NLU changes the environment in which it is developing may be of a great interest not
only to Ugandan librarianship, but also to clarification of the processes of emergence
and establishment of new national libraries in general.
1.2 Aim and research questions
The aim of the study is to gain understanding of the establishment and development of
the NLU as an institution. The study tries to examine the factors that influenced the
establishment of the NLU and the enactment of the National Library Act, 2003;
especially, the political and professional influences that brought about the institutional
change in the library and information sector of the country. It is also directed towards
investigation of the present conditions shaping NLU after its establishment and how it
in turn shapes the library environment in the country. Within this context, it
investigates the politicians’ and professionals’ roles in influencing the process of the
institutionalization of the NLU. The study also seeks to identify the environmental
changes and challenges that prevail as a result of the institutional change in the library
and information sector of the country and the institutionalization of the NLU.
The preceding paragraphs are formulated into the following more concrete research
questions:
1. What were the factors in the library sector of Uganda that created the premises
for the establishment of the NLU?
2. What was the motivation and actions of the politicians that led to the
establishment of the NLU?
3. What were the roles, motives and actions of the professional library community
that led to the establishment of the NLU?
4. What role does the NLU play in the library sector at present?
The politicians are the Members of Parliament (MPs) and the professionals are the
professional librarians. The above research questions will be examined in the new
institutionalism perspective by adopting qualitative research methods.
17
1.3 Scope and limitations of the study
The study covers the period from 1997 to 2007, which covers the process of the
establishment of the NLU and the first years of its work. The focus of the study is the
NLU. However, the Makerere University Library (MULIB) and the Deposit Library
and Documentation Centre (DLDC) which formerly and to some extent currently are
performing some functions of a national library, are also within the scope of research.
The library sector is represented also by Kampala, Mbale and Masindi and Teso public
libraries to examine the effect of the wider impact of the NLU. To some extent, Kenya
and Tanzania as two other East African countries that belong to the East African
Community (EAC) and have shared the history of the development of library services,
serve as a background to the study.
1.4 Significance of the study
The focus of the study on the development of the NLU, and the challenges it is facing
at its infancy stage is important for the understanding of the processes under which
new libraries and especially new national libraries, come into being. The study of the
politicians’ and professionals’ contribution to the establishment of the NLU and how
they provided the capacity to implement its functions may help to understand other
similar processes in other African countries. The NLU has been established at a time
when Uganda is still gripped by economic, social, climatic, and political crises. The
government has social services such as health, education and road construction as its
priorities, and library services are not among them. There are institutions, such as the
national archives and the national museum, which have already been established. An
explanation of other non-priority institutionalization processes may gain understanding
from this study.
The study on the institutionalization of the NLU provides a contribution to method and
theory in Library and Information Science (LIS). Research using institutional theories
in LIS is quite new. It is largely concentrated on public libraries and investigates
libraries in developed countries, such as Norway (Audnuso, 1999) and Sweden
Hansson, 2006). By carrying out research on a national library in a developing country
(Uganda) and using institutional theory, additional knowledge may be added to the
existing studies on libraries as institutions. This study will offer a deeper
understanding of how institutions are created and how they change with the
environment. The challenges faced by the NLU outlined in this study will be relevant
to the library professionals, the government and the politicians in Uganda.
1.5 Structure of the thesis
This study is organized into six chapters: following this chapter (introduction) is
chapter two, the theoretical framework and previous research which defines the
concepts and reviews literature. Chapter three is the historical context which deals
with the history of library services in Uganda in relation to politics, economy,
education and publishing. Chapter four is the description of research methoes and
18
design used in data collection. Chapter five focuses on the results and analysis; and the
final chapter six is about the discussions and conclusions of the study.
19
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND PREVIOUS RESEARCH
This chapter aims at making an argument for the suitability of an institutional
perspective in LIS and specifically for this study. The institutional theory, including
some of its central concepts, is presented along with examples of how it has been used
in the library and information science (LIS) research (Audunson, 1999; Hansson,
2004; Hansson, 2006). The theoretical framework provided by the institutional theory
presents a useful lens through which I will examine and explain the establishment of
the NLU. A distinction must be drawn between the old institutional theory and the new
institutional theory and my study will adopt the new institutionalism perspective.
The new institutionalism perspective is derived from political science and is
increasingly being used in LIS in the analysis of library development especially in the
Scandinavian countries (Audunson, 1999; Hansson, 2004; Hansson, 2006). My study
may be one of the few so far that is using the normative institutional approach in LIS,
when studying a national library from quite a different environment of a developing
country, Uganda.
This chapter discusses the background of the institutional theories, namely the old and
new institutionalism. It then defines the concepts of an institution and the formation of
institutions Meyer and Rowan (1977); Zucker (1977, 1983); DiMaggio and Powell
(1983); Meyer, Scott and Deal (1983); Tolbert and Zucker (1983); and Scott (1987).
The different types of institutional change namely, institutional formation, institutional
development, deinstitutionalization and re-institutionalization are identified (Scott,
2001), Boin and t’Hart (2000). I also elaborate on the mechanisms, through which
institutional change occurs, namely, coercive isomorphism, mimetic isomorphism, and
normative isomorphism (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983).
2.1 Old and new institutionalism
There are differences and similarities between old and new institutionalism (Table
2.1). Peters noted that “the use of the word ‘new’ to describe contemporary
development implies firstly that there was an old institutionalism and secondly, that
the new version is significantly different from the old version” (Peters 2005, p. 3). The
old institutionalism concentrated on large formal institutions in society trying to
prescribe the best way for their functioning.
The new institutionalism reflects many features of the old version of this theory and
also advances quite a number of new theoretical and empirical directions by focusing
on individual members of institutions (Peters, 2005). Peters argues that “the new
institutionalism utilises many assumptions of the old institutionalist thinking and
enriches that thought with the research tools and the explicit concern for the theory
that was informed by behaviourism and rational choice analysis” (Peters 2005, p. 2).
In the discussion about the contrasts between the old and the new institutionalism in
20
sociology, Selznick points out that the new institutionalism addresses multiple and
complex goals and therefore includes certain deconstructionist elements (Selznick,
1996).
The new institutionalism contains a variety of different approaches to institutional
phenomena. Peters (2005) identifies six versions of new institutionalism in current use.
The first approach, normative institutionalism, is advanced by March and Olsen who
emphasize the norms of institutions as a means of understanding how they function
and how they determine or how they shape individual behaviour (March and Olsen,
1984). Both authors place a great deal of emphasis on the ‘logic of appropriateness’ as
a means of shaping the behaviour of the members of the institutions. The second
approach, rational choice institutionalism, contrasts the assumptions of normative
institutionalism. Rational choice institutionalists argue that behaviour is a function of
the rules and incentives, instead of being guided by norms and values. Knight, for
instance, suggests that institutions emerge to meet social and economic necessities
(Knight, 1992). The third approach is historical institutionalism. Its representatives
believe that choices are made early in the history of any policy or any governmental
system. March and Olsen argue that the initial policy choices and the institutionalised
commitments that grow out of them will determine subsequent decisions (March and
Olsen, 1984). The fourth approach is pursued by the empirical institutionalism by
trying to verify empirically if the institutions shape the behaviour of their members.
The fifth approach, international institutionalism is one of the less obvious forms of
institutional theory which explains behaviour of states and individuals. The
international regime theory as advanced by Krasner (1983) and Rittberger (1993)
assumes the existence of structured interaction as would be expected within state-level
institutions. The sixth and last approach is societal institutionalism which is used to
describe the structure of relationships between state and society.
Although the old and new institutional theories are related to one another, they differ
in certain ways. The study of institutions is deeply embedded in the old and new
institutionalism perspectives and a number of scholars who have written about
institutions have often pointed out that institutionalism has different meaning in
different disciplines. Institutional thinking comes from such fields as sociology,
anthropology and history (Powell & DiMaggio 1991), political science and economics
(March & Olsen 1983; Scott 2001; Peters 2005).
New institutionalism in organizational studies was developed by Meyer and Rowan
(1991) in 1977, when they published two seminar papers. Meyer has done several
studies within the new institutionalism approach: research on the world system and the
research on school ‘charter effects’ in 1970 (Meyer and Hannan 1979). Meyer’s
(1968) preoccupation with macro influences on local phenomena is seen in his work
on contextual effects in organizational research. His collaboration with Scott (1983)
led to the clarification and development of institutional principles in the context of
21
formal organizations. Zucker (1987) is of the view that the effects of culture, ritual,
ceremony and higher-level structures on organizations had reached sufficient mass for
new institutional theory to be named and concretized.
New institutionalism is within Selznick’s (1949) ‘old institutionalism’ but differs from
that tradition although they share the same characteristics. Both new and old
institutionalism doubt the rational-actor models of organization and view
institutionalization as a state dependent process that makes organizations less
instrumentally rational by limiting the options they can pursue (Selznick, 1949,1957
and Perrow, 1986 ch. 5). They emphasize the relationship between organizations and
their environments, and they promise to reveal aspects of reality that are inconsistent
with organizations’ formal accounts. Both approaches stress the role of culture in
shaping organizational reality. These similarities are an indication that there will be
much continuity between old and new institutionalisms.
Table 2.1: The Old and New Institutionalism (Powell and DiMaggio, 1991 p.13)
Old
Conflict of interest
Source of inertia
Structural emphasis
Central
Vested interests
Informal sector
Organization embedded in
Local community
Nature of embeddedness Co-optation Constitutive
Locus of institutionalization
Organization
Organization dynamics
Change
Basics of critique of
Theory of interest
utilitarianism
aggregation
Evidence of critique of
Unanticipated
Utilitarianism
consequences
Key forms of cognition
Values, norms
attitudes
Social psychology
Cognitive basis of order
Goals
Agenda
Socialization theory
Commitment
Displaced
Policy relevance
New
Peripheral
Legitimate imperative
Symbolic role of
formal structure
Field, sector or society
Field or society
Persistence
Theory of action
Unreflective activity
Classification
routines, scripts,
Schema
Attribution theory
Habit practical action
Ambiguous
Disciplinary
Scott and Meyer (1991) view the old institutionalism as political in the analysis of
group conflict whereas new institutionalism underrates conflicts of interest within and
between organizations, or else notes how organizations respond to such conflicts by
22
developing highly elaborate administrative structures. Although both old and new
approaches share the view that institutionalization constrains organizational
rationality, Zucker asserts, that the “old institutionalism emphasises the vesting of
interests within organizations as political tradeoffs and alliances, while new
institutionalism stresses the relationship between stability and legitimacy and the
power of common understandings that are seldom explicitly articulated” (Zucker
1983, p. 5). In the treatment of organizational structure, Selznick pointed out that the
old institutionalism highlighted the ‘shadow land of informal interaction’ influence
patterns, coalition and cliques particularistic elements in recruitment or promotion
(Selznick, 1949, p. 260). Meyer and Rowan (1991), Powell and DiMaggio (1991)
assert that new institutionalism locates rationality in the formal structure itself,
attributing the diffusion of certain departments and operating procedures to interorganizational influences, conformity, and the persuasiveness of cultural accounts
rather than the functions they are intended to perform (Meyer and Rowan, 1991;
Powell and DiMaggio, 1991). Selznick, Gouldner, Dalton and Clerk describe the
organizations as those that are embedded in the local communities which they are tied
by the multiple loyalties of personnel and by inter-organizational treaties hammered
out in the face-to-face interaction (Selznick 1949; Gouldner, 1954; Dalton, 1959; and
Clerk, 1960a).
Old institutionalism regarded organisations as units that were institutionalized and key
loci of the process (Selznick, 1949). On the other hand new institutionalism view
institutionalization as occurring at the sectoral or societal levels and as a result
interorganizational in locus (Powell and DiMaggio, 1991; Zucker, 1991; Scott, 1991).
The old institutionalism viewed organizations as organic whole, while new
institutionalism treats them as loosely coupled arrays of standardized elements. In the
old institutionalism, Selznick (1949, p.182; 957, pp. 38-55) postulated that
institutionalization established a unique organizational “character crystallized through
the preservation of custom and predecedent”, while in the new institutionalism, Powell
and DiMaggio (1991, ch. 3), Zucker (1991, ch. 4) and Scott (1991, ch.7) assert that
“institutionalization tends to reduce variety, operating across organizations it tends to
override diversity in local environment”. Scott and Meyer (1991) view new
institutionalism as charting non-local environments of societal sectors or
organizational fields roughly associated with the boundaries of industries, and
profession.
Zucker (1991, ch. 4) argues that new institutionalism emphasizes homogeneity of
organizations and stresses the stability of institutionalized components. Selznick points
out that for the old institutionalism, change was endemic part of the organization’s
evolving adaptive relationship to its local environment (Selznick 1957, p. 39).
Although both old and new institutionalisms reject a view of organizational behaviour
as merely a sum of individual actions, they differ in some ways. The old
institutionalism has fewer problems with the assumption that individuals pursue
23
material and especially ideal interests. Meanwhile Zucker (1991, ch. 4) and Japperson
(1991, ch. 9) argue that the new institutionalism’s rejection of intentionality is founded
on an alternative theory of individual action. This theory stresses the unreflective
routine, taken-for granted nature of most human behaviour and views interests and
actors as themselves constituted by institutions (Zucker, ch. 4; Japperso, ch. 6). There
is a big gap between the old and new institutionalism in their conceptions of the
cultural or cognitive bases of institutionalized behaviour. In the old institutionalism,
the salient cognitive forms were values, norms, and attitudes. Selznick (1957, p.17) is
of the view that organizations became institutionalized when they were “infused with
value” as ends in themselves.
2.1.1 The concept of an institution
One of the definitions of the institution in “The Oxford English Dictionary” is as
follows:
“An established law, custom, usage, practice, organization, or other
element in the political or social life of a people; a regulative principle or
convention subservient to the needs of an organized community or the
general ends of civilization.”
However, there is no single and universally agreed definition of an ‘institution’ in the
institutional school of thought. I have presented the following definition because it is
composed of all the elements associated with institutions. It provides insight from the
institutionalism point of view into the elements composing the institution and enabling
them to function is suggested by Scott:
“Institutions are social structures that have attained a high degree of
resilience. They are composed of cultural-cognitive, normative and
regulative elements that together with associated activities and resources,
provide stability and meaning to social life. Institutions are transmitted by
various types of carriers including symbolic systems, relations systems,
routines and artefacts. Institutions operate at different levels of jurisdiction
from the world system to localized interpersonal relationships. Institutions
by definition connote stability but are subject to change processes, both
incremental and discontinuous”. (Scott 1995, p.33, 48)
Teubner (1986) and Robinson (1991) refer to institutions in political science as formal
structures such as a parliament, social class, law and markets, while in sociology
March and Olsen refer to it as an organization and they also define it firstly as a
collection of norms, rules, undertakings and routines. Secondly, ‘collections of
interrelated rules and routines that define appropriate actions in terms of relations
between roles and situations. The process involves determining what the situation is,
what role is being fulfilled, and what the obligation of that role in that situation is’
(March and Olsen, 1989, pp. 21-26). Thirdly, ‘political institutions are collections of
24
interrelated rules and routines that define appropriate action in terms of relations
between roles and situations,’ and ‘institutions have a repertoire of procedures and
they use rules to select among them’ (March and Olson 1989, pp.21-22). Fourthly,
institutions are defined by their durability and their capacity to influence behaviour of
individuals for generations (March and Olsen 1996, p.99). Lastly, institutions possess
an inherited legitimacy that commits their members to behave in ways that may even
violate their own self-interest (March and Olsen, 1989, pp. 22-23). However, Peters
(2005, p. 29) argues that although these multiple definitions of an institution are clear
in their subject approach, questions such as the boundary of ‘appropriate’ and the sort
of relationships among rules and routines being spoken about remain unanswered.
2.1.2 Formation of institutions
Scholars of institutional theory, namely, Meyer and Rowan (1977); Zucker (1977,
1983); DiMaggio and Powell (1983); Meyer, Scott and Deal (1983); Tolbert and
Zucker (1983); and Scott (1987), have contributed to the causes of institutionalization
in organizations and the processes by which organizations acquire social acceptability
and endorsement as a result of conformity to the norms and expectations of the
institutional environment. The rules and norms are viewed by March and Olsen
(1989), as important to the nature of institutions. They also argue that institutions
derive a good deal of their structures of meaning, and other ‘logic of appropriateness’,
from the society in which they are formed (March and Olsen 1989, pp. 17-19. They
point out that all organizations establish routines and use them to monitor and react to
changes within their working environment. The organizations spell out the routines in
several ways, and as they become more established and have some greater meaning
attached to them, the degree of institutionalization within the structure increases
(March and Olsen 1989, pp.22-24).
According to Peters (2005, p.34), an institution is created when a formal structure has
meaning for the members, and when those members begin to believe that the structure
is something more than a means to an end. The institution will therefore be able to
motivate the members – through its logic of appropriateness – to a greater extent than
a simple mechanical organization would. He argues that in order for the process of
institutionalization to take place there must be conscious decision to create an
organization or an institution for a specific purpose and secondly to fashion the
institution over time and to saturate it with certain values. He also sees the possibility
of substantial deviation in values as the original founders must implement their ideas
within the context of a developing organizational structure. This implementation
process requires interactions with other individuals, and hence some value drift may be
expected unless there are clear means of control over the members. No matter how
careful the selection of those individual members of the organization may be, there are
almost certain to be some differences in values and perceptions. That difference, Peters
goes to say, will influence the way in which institutional values are interpreted, and
25
will generate a political process that will tend to result in some modifications of the
initial constellation of institutional values (Peters, 2005, p. 34).
2.1.3 Institutional change
Scott argues that institutions do not emerge from a vacuum. They always challenge,
borrow from the previous institutions, and to a certain extent displace them. He refers
to institutional creation as the process and conditions giving rise to new rules and
associated practices. He further defines the study of institutional change as an existing
set of beliefs, norms and practices which comes under attack, undergoes
delegitimation, or falls into disuse, to be replaced by new rules, forms, and scripts
(Scott 2001).
Changes in institutions are identified by Boin and t ‘Hart (2000) as those caused by
crises that may arise from a growing mismatch between environmental conditions and
demands, and the normative orientations of the institution. From this perspective,
Peters argues that the principle task facing the leaders of an institution is the effective
management of the crisis and the reformulation of the institutions by changing norms
and expectations so that organizations could cope more successfully with external
demands. He points out that leadership can also create change within an institution
through the efforts of individuals. He then refers to the capacity of an individual either
in a nominal role of leadership, especially within a large institution, or one possessing
exceptional personal capabilities as being able to create institutional change (Peters,
2005 pp. 36-38).
Japperson (1991) and DiMaggio (1998a) identified four processes of institutional
change which are based on the principle that every entry is an exit from some place
else. The processes include institutional formation, institutional development,
deinstitutionalization, and reinstitutionalization. Institutional formation is either from
social entropy (a doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration), from nonreproductive behavioural patterns, or from reproduction patterns based upon ‘action’.
Institutional development also referred to as institutional elaboration, represents
institutional continuation rather than an exit; it is therefore a change within an
institutional form.
Oliver defines deinstitutionalization in several ways: first, as a process by which the
legitimacy of an established or institutionalized organizational practice discontinues.
Second, she sees it as a delegitimation of an established organizational practice that is
a result of the failure of organizations to reproduce previously legitimate or taken for
granted organizational actions when they face this challenge. Third, it is interpreted as
a process whereby institutions become weak and then disappear. She identifies the
possible pressures that cause deinstitutionalization as functional, political and social,
which can be either internal or external. Oliver goes on to describe functional
pressures as those that arise from perceived problems in the performance levels
26
associated with institutionalized practices (Oliver 1992). DiMaggio (1988a) and
Zucker (1988) have identified several ways in which deinstitutionalization in relations
to functional pressure may occur. They are of the view that it may be due to the
redistribution of power when institutional structures are inadequate in their guidelines.
There may be environmental changes such as competition on resources or unexpected
events in the environment that challenge the sustainability of the institutional practices,
norms and routines. However, Rowan (1982) argues that change may occur when an
institutionalized activity is no longer rewarding. Political pressure is a result of shifts
in political interests or underlying power distributions that provided support for
existing institutional arrangements. Institutional practices will be displaced when the
legitimacy of such practices is questionable. Furthermore he asserts that the political
conditions under which this deligitimation may occur include performance crisis,
growth in the criticality of the organizational members whose interests conflict with
the status quo, pressure on organizations to adopt innovative practices, and a reduction
in the dependence on the institutional constituents that have encouraged or enforced
continuing procedural conformity with their expectations. He further defines social
pressures are associated with differentiation of groups and the existence of differing
and disagreeing beliefs and practices. The presence of multiple competing and
overlapping institutional frameworks also weakens the institutions. Organizational
practice is most likely to discontinue as a result of specific changes within an
organization. State pressure for isomorphic change and conformity are powerful forces
for deinstitutionalization of prior organizational traditions and customs.
Reinstitutionalization represents an exit from one institutionalization and entry into
another institutional from which is organized around different principles or rules
(Rowan 1982)
2.1.4 Institutional isomorphism
The principle of isomorphism was first applied to organizations by Amos Hawley
(1968) the human ecologist. He argued that the units that are subjected to the same
environmental conditions and that interact frequently with it and between themselves
acquire a similar form of organization. The ecologist argues that isomorphism was a
result of competitive processes, as organizations were pressured to assume the form
best adapted to survival in a particular environment. DiMaggio and Powell focussed
on coercive, normative, and mimetic mechanism that “makes organizations more
similar without necessarily making them efficient” (DiMaggio & Powell 1983, p. 147).
Scott argues that there is a similarity in the structural features of organizations that
operate within the organizational fields. He gives an example whereby one university
tends to resemble closely another university. He further emphasises that organizations
must not only be recognized in terms of what competitive process they work at, but
must show the structural features that make them both recognizable and in conformity
with normative and regulative requirements. This goes a long way to explain observed
similarities among organizations in the same arena (Scott 2001, p. 153).
27
Three mechanisms through which institutional isomorphic change occurs were
identified by DiMaggio and Powell (1991 p. 67) as coercive isomorphism, mimetic
isomorphism, and normative isomorphism.
2.1.4.1 Coercive isomorphism
Coercive isomorphism stems from the political influence and the problem of
legitimacy. It is caused by either formal and informal pressures which may be
executed either by force, persuasion, or invitations that are exerted on organizations by
other organizations, upon which they are dependent, and by cultural expectations in
the society, within which organizations function (DiMaggio and Powell, 1991 p. 67).
In other circumstances, organizations may change as a direct response to government
mandate. Pfeffer and Salancik have discussed how organizations faced with
unmanageable interdependence seek to use the greater power of the larger social
system and its government to eliminate difficulties or provide for needs. They observe
that political decision makers do not experience directly the consequences of their
actions, and political decisions are applied across the board to entire classes of
organisations, which makes decisions less adaptive and less flexible (Pfeffer and
Salancik 1978, p. 188-224).
2.1.4.2 Mimetic isomorphism
Mimetic isomorphism results from standard responses to uncertainty and it is one of
the most powerful forces that encourage one organization to imitate another. March
and Olsen (1976) assert that mimetic isomorphism may occur when the organizational
technologies are poorly understood, or goals are ambiguous, or there is uncertainty in
the environment. However, Cyert and March (1963) noted that mimetic behaviour is
cheaper when an organization is faced with the problem of ambiguous causes or
unclear solutions. There is a tendency for organizations to model themselves after
similar organizations in their field that they perceive to be more legitimate or
successful. DiMaggio and Powell (1991) are of the view that the ubiquity of certain
kinds of structural arrangements can more likely be credited to the universality of
mimetic processes than to any concrete evidence that the adopted models enhance
efficiency.
2.1.4.3 Normative isomorphism
Normative isomorphism, also referred to as normative pressure, is derived from
professionalization theory. Larsson (1977) and Collins (1979) interpret
professionalization as the collective struggle of members of an occupation to define
the conditions and methods of their work, to control “the production of producers” and
to establish a cognitive base and legitimating for their occupational autonomy.
28
2.1.5 Summary: main concepts of new institutionalism used for the NLU
investigation
This research seeks to study the background of the institutionalization of the NLU.
One of the key issues of the present development of the institutionalization of the NLU
is sought within the theory of normative institutionalism (March and Olsen 1989;
Peters 2005). I will therefore adopt the normative perspective because it relates to
social environments and institutional development and plays a dominant role in the
studies of organizational change.
The new institutionalism consists of different approaches and embraces a variety of
definitions of the central concepts. Therefore, it is important to create a coherent
conceptual framework that could be used as a foundation for this particular study of
the National Library of Uganda.
New Institutionalism that was introduced in the previous chapter signifies a number of
approaches to the understanding of the institutions in society. It is mainly a theory of
individual action, which stresses the unreflective routine, taken-for granted nature of
most human behaviour and views interests and actors as themselves constituted by
institutions (Zucker, 1991). These are the most important aspects of new
institutionalism that have determined the choice of the theory for this particular study.
The individual actions of different actors and their perceptions of the situation as
results of institutional influences that lead to institutional change is the focus of this
study.
More concretely, the normative institutionalism approach is applied in this study.
Normative institutionalism is one of the approaches to institutional phenomena, which
views the norm of institutions as a means of understanding how they function and how
they determine or how they shape individual behaviour (March & Olsen, 1984).
A number of concepts that are of importance to this study are explained in this subchapter. It focuses on the meanings of the basic concepts of the normative
institutionalism (March and Olson, 1989) used in this research and depicts the
relations between them that are essential for thesis design and the interpretation of its
results.
Institution
One of the definitions of an institution within normative institutionalism is used in my
study. It defines an institution as “a social structure that is composed of culturalcognitive, normative and regulative elements that together with associated activities
and resources provide stability and meaning to social life” (Scott 2001, p. 48). This
definition equips a researcher with several analytical concepts that help to distinguish
an institution and explore the transformations of it under a variety of pressures.
29
Within this definition we meet the concept of Cultural cognitive elements. These are
understood as shared conceptions that constitute the nature of social reality and the
frames through which meaning is constructed (Scott 2001, p. 57).
Normative elements are interpreted as normative rules that introduce a prescriptive,
evaluative, and obligatory dimension into social life. Normative systems include both
values and norms (Scott 2001, p. 54).
Regulative elements are the third central concept in the definition of an institution.
They are conceptualized as the capacity of an institution to establish rules, inspect
others’ conformity to them, and, as necessary, manipulate sanctions – rewards or
punishments – in an attempt to influence future behaviour (Scott 2001, p. 52).
There are two other important concepts that pertain to the concept of an institution.
They are implied in the definition of normative elements provided above - and these
are values and norms. Values are conceptions of the preferred or the desirable, together
with the construction of standards to which existing structures or behaviour can be
compared and assessed (Scott 2001, p. 54-55). Norms specify how things should be
done; they define legitimate means to pursue valued ends (Scott 2001, p. 55).
Scott (2001, p. 52) has provided a comprehensive picture of how these three basic
elements constitute an institution and manifest themselves within it (Table 2.2).
30
Table 2.2: Three Pillars of institutions (Scott 2001, p. 52)
Pillars
__________________________________________________________
Regulative
Normative
Cultural-cognitive
Basis of compliance Expedience
Social obligation
Taken for granted
Shared uderstanding
Basis of order
Regulative
rules
Binding expectations
Constitutive schema
Mechanisms
Coercive
Normative
Mimetic
Logic
Instrumentality Appropriateness
Orthodoxy
Indicators
Rules
Laws
Sanctions
Common beliefs
Shared logic of action
Basis of
legitimacy
Certification
Accreditation
Legally sanctioned Morally governed Comprehensible
Recognizable
Culturally supported
I have chosen the normative elements as the central element of the study (in
accordance with the normative institutionalism), however, regulative and culturalcognitive elements will be explored whenever they emerge as relevant and enhance
understanding of institutions under research. In addition to these elements of the
institution the following processes constitute the core of the conceptual framework of
this study:
Institutionalization
Institutionalization is a process by which organizations acquire social acceptability and
endorsement as a result of conformity to the norms and expectations of the
institutional environment (Meyer & Rowan, 1977; Zucker, 1977; DiMaggio & Powell,
1983; Meyer, Scott, & Deal, 1983; Tolber & Zucker, 1983; Scott, 1987).
Institutional change
Institutional change in my study is defined as a process, during which the existing set
of beliefs, norms and practices comes under attack, undergoes deligitimation, and falls
into disuse, to be replaced by new rules and forms (Scott, 2001).
31
Institutional development
This is a process of institutional change which can also be referred to as institutional
elaboration. It is defined as a continuation of an institution rather than an exit from
another institution; it is therefore means a change within an institutional form
(Japperson, 1991 & DiMaggio, 1988a).
Deinstitutionalization
This is another process of institutional change which is defined in my study as a
process by which the legitimacy of established institutionalized practices discontinues,
as a result of challenges and failure of the institution to reproduce previously
legitimated or taken-for granted institutional actions (Oliver 1992). There are various
pressures that can cause deinstitutionalization namely: functional, political and social
which can either be internal or external (Oliver 1992).
--Functional pressures are defined as those that arose from perceived
problems in performance levels associated with institutionalized practices
(Oliver 1992). The functional pressures in my study are identified by
DiMaggio and Zucker as those which are due to the redistribution of
power when institutional structures are inadequate in their guidelines.
There may be environmental changes such as competition on resources or
unexpected events in the environment that challenges the sustainability of
the institutional practices, norms and routines (DiMaggio 1988a; Zucker,
1988).
--Political pressure is a result of shifts in political interests or underlying
power distributions that provided support for existing institutional
arrangements. Institutionalized practices will be displaced when the
legitimacy of such practices is questionable. The political conditions
under which this deligitimation may occur include performance crisis,
growth in the criticality of the organizational members whose interests
conflict with the status quo, pressure on organizations to adopt innovative
practices, and a reduction in the dependence on the institutional
constituents that have encouraged or enforced continuing procedural
conformity worth their expectations (Oliver 1992).
--Social pressure means institutional practices discontinue as a result of
specific changes within an institution (Oliver 1992).
32
Political
Pressure
Entropy
pressure
Functional
pressures
Dissipation or
rejection
Social
pressure
Inertial
pressure
Deinstitutionalization
Erosion or
discontinuity
Figure 2.1: Pressures of deinstitutionalization (Oliver 1992, p. 567)
The causes of deinstitutionalization as outlined by Oliver are summarized in Figure 2.1
as political, functional and social pressures. The entropy pressures tend to accelerate
the process of deinstitutionalization while inertial pressure tends to block it. The five
pressures namely political, functional, and inertial and entropy determine the
dissipation or rejection of an institutional practice. Dissipation is the gradual
deterioration in the acceptance and use of a particular institutionalized practice.
Indicators of deinstitutionalization include a significant reduction in either frequency
of pervasiveness of an established organizational activity or a discontinuity in its use
altogether (Oliver 1992, p. 566).
Table 2.3: Antecedents of deinstitutionalization (Oliver 1992, p. 567)
________________________________________________________________
Level of analysis Political
Functional
Social
pressure
pressure
pressure
Mounting
Changing economic
Increasing social
performance crisis utility
fragmentation
Organization
Conflicting internal Increasing technical
Decreasing
interests
specificity
historical continuity
Increasing
innovation
pressures
Increasing
competition for
resources
Changing
institutional rules
and values
Environment
Changing external Emerging events
dependencies
and data
Increasing
structural
disaggregation
________________________________________________________________
Table 2.3 is a summary of political, functional and social pressures within an
organization and its environment that are assumed to cause the deinstitutionalization of
an established organizational practice. Both levels of analysis will be investigated in
33
this thesis. At the organization level of analysis, the political pressure includes
mounting performance crisis, while the social pressure includes increasing social
fragmentation. Under the environment level of analysis, the political pressure includes
increasing innovative pressures; the functional pressure is composed of increasing
competition for resources; while the social pressure include changing institutional
rules and values, and increasing structural disaggregation (Oliver, 1992, p. 567).
Reinstitutionalization
This type of institutional change in my study represents an exit from one
institutionalization and entry into another institutional form which is organized around
different principles or rules.
I will also use the concepts of Institutional isomorphism that will guide the study
through the process of change. Institutional isomorphism is a result of competitive
processes, as institutions are pressured to assume the form best adapted to survival in a
particular environment (Hawley 1968). DiMaggio and Powell focussed on coercive,
normative and mimetic mechanisms (as defined in 2.1.4.1., 2.1.4.2, 2.1.4.3) that “make
institutions more similar without necessarily making them efficient” (DiMaggio &
Powell 1983, p.147).
Thus, the theoretical framework for my study consists of new institutional
perspectives, which are explored in this chapter. This research is within the LIS field;
but, I have employed new institutionalism approach which is derived from the field of
political science. However, I postulate that national libraries are institutions within a
society and, therefore this theoretical framework is applicable to their research.
2.2 Libraries and national libraries as institutions
Libraries and national libraries in particular are regarded as institutions. According to
Scott (2001p. 48) an institution is a social structure that is composed of culutral cognitive, normative and regulative elements that together with associated activities
and resources provide stability and meaning to social life. National libraries are
institutions which are defined according to their functions, applied standards of work,
practices, tasks and methods. They are established by legislation and are affected by a
variety of laws, e.g., legal deposit laws which outline their functions, resources, and
rules. There is a specific necessity to understand the essence of a national library as an
institution. The following overview of research and literature on national libraries will
provide additional theoretical elements that serve this understanding and ground this
research within library science. In addition, it should be noted that institutionalism
approaches though limited or intuitive have been used for investigation of libraries.
This sub-chapter also serves as a review of previous research and discussions.
34
2.2.1 Institutional approach in library research
Scott and Meyer (1991) view new institutionalism as non local environments or
organizational sectors, or fields roughly associated with the boundaries of industries,
profession, or rational societies. The library sector fits within this understanding as it is
composed of organisation with certain common features and is associated with
profession as well as certain type of service sector (industry).
Normative institutionalism as a theoretical framework (March and Olsen, 1989) is
increasingly being used in the field of library and information science since the last
decade, especially in the Scandinavia. Normative institutionalism has particularly been
used in public library research, and specifically, on changes in public libraries.
In his study Audunson (1999, p. 523-524) based his research on the assumptions, that
public libraries have to handle changes, which systematically occur in developed
countries due to digitization, new media and information society; and that public
librarianship constitutes an institutionalized professional field with norms and
standards describing appropriate professional behaviour. He examined and compared
three metropolitan public library systems in Oslo, Budapest, and Gothenburg
(Audunson 1999, p. 524). His conclusion was that the institutional theory which deals
with structural power of norms and standards was for the first time tested in the
differing contexts characterised by varying degree of administrative and political
turbulence. This made a theoretical significance of the research. The institutional
approaches, which were tested, made a contribution to theoretical approaches in LIS.
In addition, this study was of practical importance for the public library managers who
are trying to cope with change (Audunson 1999, p. 549).
In the study that emanated from the experience of establishing joint use libraries in
Sweden, Hansson (2006) claimed that creating a joint use library from one public
library and one academic library can be challenging due to differences in institutional
logic and affiliations. This is because public libraries are viewed as political
institutions while academic libraries as belonging to “science” or “education”. The
study employed normative institutionalism by March and Olsen (1989) as suitable for
the analysis of libraries and issues related to their institutional characteristics.
Furthermore, “it combines reciprocity of social environments and institutional
development with the importance of shared values and meaning between members of
an institution, to create an understanding of the problems that make joint use libraries
something more than just issues of administration” (Hansson 2006, pp. 551-552). He
concluded that “the processes and conflicts described in the study are a result of
conscious choices by professional participants in the creation of joint use libraries. The
normative foundation and the establishment of logic of appropriateness of joint use
libraries are complex issues, which must be carefully considered and studied within
librarianship and future LIS research”(Hansson, 2006, p. 565).
35
2.2.2 The origins of national libraries
Looking through the literature I have realized that little research has been published in
English on national libraries as organisations and institutions. Most of the literature
retrieved describes various national libraries, their functions, norms, values, and
activities without relating them to any theoretical approaches. As I am investigating
the process of the establishment of a national library, I was interested in previous
explanations of their origin.
The history of the national libraries of the world is categorized by Goodrum (1980)
into three generations. The first generation of national libraries was established in the
spirit of nationalism and came into existence between the sixteenth and the
seventeenth centuries. Their collections began with acquisition of royal holdings, e.g,
in France, while others with acquisition of large private libraries namely the Library of
Congress with Thomas Jefferson volumes in the United States, and the British
Museum with Sir Hans Sloane collections in Britain. At the beginning of the twentieth
century, some national libraries were divided into separate elements, located in various
parts of the nation, namely the British Library decentralized its services, by
establishing the National Library of Wales in 1909, and the National Library of
Scotland in 1925 (Goodrun, 1980p. 392). This first generation of national libraries
were established according to the regulative pillar of institution where the basis of
compliance was expedience. This means that these countries took the advantage of the
already existing collections to establish their national libraries.
Goodrun’s second generation of national libraries came into existence between after
the Napoleon period and the end of the World War II. Although their development is
similar to that of the first generation, they emerged as quite different institutions. In
Latin America, national libraries were started as literary and historical collections
housed in splendid buildings, but changes of governments led to reduced funding and
variation of staff. The collections were frequently dispersed and were forced to begin
all over again. Most Latin American national libraries had old history but their
collections were quite new (Goodrun, 1980, pp.392-393). The mechanism of the
establishment of these national libraries was mimetic because they closely resembled
the first generation of national libraries in reasons of creation and origin from the
elitist book collections. However, the mechanism of establishing the national libraries
became coercive because of the change in governments, reduced funding, variation of
staff and frequent disperse of the collections that led to starting new collections from
the beginning over and over again. National libraries of Canada, Australia, and New
Zealand were established by governments to support parliaments and to aid the
legislature. The logic of establishing these national libraries was instrumentality as
they were established to serve the parliamentarians.
The third generation of the national libraries were established at the end of World War
II, mostly in the newly independent countries of the Sub-Saharan Africa. They came
36
into existence as integrated systems with headquarters at the national capital and a
network of libraries in the provinces and districts. These libraries were government
institutions and were expressions of emergent nationalism, symbols of national pride,
prestige and status together with national archives, national theatres, and national
museums (Goodrun, 1980 p. 393). The establishment of this third generation of
national libraries grounded in the basis of compliance was a result of social
obligations and binding expectations. This means that the libraries were imposed on
Sub-Saharan countries by the colonialists and were obliged to have national libraries
There are several reasons behind the establishment of the new generation of national
libraries. The IFLA/UNESCO pre-session seminar on the role and objectives of the
national libraries in the new information environment, held in Moscow in August
1991, used the coercive mechanism when it suggested that every country should
establish a national library as a social obligation. It further encouraged national
libraries without legal deposit acts or with outdated legislation to urge their
governments to adopt laws ensuring efficient fulfilment of national library functions.
This was done on the basis of legitimacy so that the national libraries became legally
sanctioned and morally governed. Together with the national museum and the national
archives, the national library became a physical manifestation of the national culture.
Thus the national library acquired the status of an institution on the basis of legitimacy;
it became comprehensible, recognizable and culturally supported not only on the
national but also on the international level.
2.2.3 The concept of a national library
Various conferences and publications have discussed the concept of a national library.
It is difficult to determine a common definition which makes a national library
national as they differ greatly from one another in distinguishing of their origins,
functions and status in respective countries. However, Schick (1971) provides a
definition of a national library which is still widely cited and puts emphasis on the
functions related to heritage and to the infrastructure:
“Libraries which, irrespective of their title, are responsible for acquiring
and conserving copies of all significant publications published in the
country and functioning as a 'deposit' library, whether by law or under
other arrangements. They will also normally perform some of the following
functions: produce a national bibliography; hold and keep up to date a
large and representative collection of foreign literature, including books
about the country; act as a national bibliographical information centre;
compile union catalogues; and publish the retrospective national
bibliography” (Schick 1971, pp.8-9).
As we see, the national libraries are basically defined according to their activities
(functions), values, legislation and other norms. As we have seen the existing
37
overview of the origins of national libraries can easily be interpreted in the light of
new institutionalism. Therefore, we can assume that there is an underlying intuitive
understanding of a national library in this institutional sense. My institutional approach
to the concept of a national library will deepen this understanding of the national
library as an institution, which is defined by Scott as a social structure that is
composed of cultural cognitive, normative and regulative elements that together with
associated activities and resources provide stability and meaning to social life (Scott
2001).
2.2.4 Functions of a national library
National libraries perform different roles depending on the historical, social and
economic background of the country. Humphreys (1966 p. 159) identified several
functions of a national library by dividing their activities into three categories (Table
2.4). The essential functions include outstanding and central collection of the national
and foreign literature, legal deposit, publication of the national bibliography, national
bibliographic information centre, publications of catalogues and exhibitions. The
desirable functions include inter-library lending, collecting manuscripts, and research
on library techniques. The non-essential functions include international exchange
service, distribution of duplicates, books for the blind, professional training and
assistance in library techniques. This categorization failed to satisfy many national
libraries.
Table 2.4: Categories of the functions of a national library Humphrey 1966, p.159)
Essential
Desirable
Non-essential
Collection of national and foreign Interlibrary lending
International
exchange
literature
services
Legal deposit
Manuscripts collection
Distribution of duplicates
Publish national bibliography
Research on library Books for the blind
techniques
National bibliographic centre
Professional training
Publish catalogues and exhibitions
Assistance
in
library
techniques
Several seminars and meetings of experts in Asia and Africa discussed among others
the functions of national libraries. During the Manila Regional Seminar on the
Development of National Libraries in Asia and the Pacific Area in 1964 by UNESCO
(1964), the delegates came up with several functions. These functions included
providing leadership among the national libraries, serving as a permanent depository
for all publications issued in the country, acquiring other types of materials, providing
bibliographic services, serving as a coordinated centre for cooperative activities and
providing services to governments.
38
The Meeting of Experts in Asia, Colombo, 1967, laid emphasis on the role of national
libraries in planning for library and development (UNESCO, 1968). The experts
described the national library as an organization with dynamic leadership geared
towards the preservation of the national culture, the development of appropriate
systems and procedures which would make available the total library resources of the
community, and the establishment of the relations with national libraries of other
countries. In 1970, the meeting of Experts on National Planning of Documentation and
Library Services in Africa held in Kampala considered the national library as
performing the coordination of library development (UNESCO, 1970). The Meeting of
Experts on National Planning of Documentation and Library Services in Arab
Countries, held in Cairo in 1974, supported the views of the Kampala Meeting, though
it had introduced the concept of Universal Bibliographic Control with the objectives
that should be achieved by a national library (UNESCO, 1974).
Line (1988) revised Humphreys’ (1966) statements on the functions of a national
library as a central collection of nation’s information media built up by legal deposit
and including duplicates for purposes of loan and photocopy, a central loan/photocopy
collection of foreign literature designed to satisfy a high proportion of the more vital
and urgent documents needs of the population efficiently and speedily. He further
outlined the functions of a national library in planning and coordination of inter-library
loan as a supporting system to the duplicate national and foreign collection, as a
publisher of the national bibliography both current and retrospective, and as a national
bibliographic centre. Other functions included planning and coordinating access to
databases and the use of bibliographic information resources, national repository for
the receipt, storage and preservation and supply by loan or photocopy of items
withdrawn from other libraries, and exchange centre for national and international
publications. The by-product functions include publication of catalogues of national
libraries, exhibitions, research into library techniques, professional training, collecting
of information media relating to the country but issued elsewhere, books for the blind
and collections of manuscripts. In some countries, the functions of national libraries
such as collection of national imprint and compiling national bibliographies are carried
out by other institutions, such as national press archives or university libraries (Line
1988).
In his study, Al-Nahali suggested three goals that can be achieved in terms of
operational functions in the developing countries:
“The first goal is to provide a comprehensive central collection of the
country’s literature, including all information production, and to conserve
it as a national heritage for future generations; and to ensure the
availability of and accessibility to the world’s literature on the country
and other subjects in accordance with the nation’s needs. The second goal
is to provide the necessary bibliographic tools that will make foreign
39
literature accessible inside and outside the country, control the country’s
literature and information production, and record bibliographic data in a
unified, standard form. The third goal is to provide dynamic leadership in
the establishment of a nationwide system of library and information
services, and to supply the techniques, technologies and manpower
required for their development.” (Al-Nahali 1987, p. 36-37).
The functions related to the three goals have been elaborated in Table 2.5 below:
Table 2.5: Functions of a national library
Central collection of National
bibliographic
national literature
centre
Legal depository
Production of a national
bibliography
Act as a the central Development
and
collection
of
foreign maintenance
of
a
literature:about the country bibliographic data base
and by the country’s relevant to the country
authors living abroad
Provide access to the Production of a national
national union catalogue
Union catalogue
Leadership
Provide leadership to other
libraries
Participate in the planning
of library services in the
country
Provide
assistance
in
information
handling
techniques
and Planning and Coordinating Conduct
research
on
the inter-library lending
library techniques
Collection
preservation
of
country’s manuscripts
Access to international Administration
of
a
data bases
program for generation of
cataloguing as a part of a
published book and other
information sources
Provide books for the blind Formulation of national
and handicapped
standards for information
handling
Provide indexing services
to articles in the country’s
periodicals
and
newspapers
Acting as a centre for the
exchange of publications
nationally
and
internationally
Provides services to the
government
Provide
training
professional
40
The challenges faced by national libraries in Africa were identified by Lor as:
multiplicity of language, poorly developed book industry, low literacy rates, lack of
reading culture, poorly developed transport, communication and telecommunication
infrastructure, low education standards, unfavourable exchange rates for the
importation of books, and the general public unaware of the role that libraries and
information services play in national development (Lor 2003, p. 143). He identified
three national library orientations:
Heritage orientation is whereby the clients of a national library are learned scholars
and researchers. The emphasis is on the collection. The services offered by the
national library with heritage orientation include: collecting the country’s output of
non-print materials, collecting material published in other countries about the country
and produced by the country’s writers, or in the country’s unique languages, recording
and documenting indigenous knowledge, recording and documenting oral history,
preventing the loss of heritage materials such as the manuscripts and archives of the
nation’s famous authors by sale to foreign collectors and institutions.
Infrastructure orientation of national library has libraties as clients and the emphasis
on leadership. The services offered by this type of library include compiling the
national bibliography, serving as a national bibliographic agency administering ISBNs
and ISSNs, producing national union catalogue, organizing international inter-lending,
building a collection of foreign literature, and coordination exchange of publications in
the country.
Comprehensive national services orientation has people as clients and the emphasis is
on service delivery to end users. The services offered by this orientation include:
public libraries, legislature libraries, government ministries, prison libraries, hospital
libraries and book mobiles and book boxes.
Lor posed a question: “given the challenges faced by national libraries in Africa,
which of the three orientations would best meet Africa’s needs?” (Lor 2003, p. 143)
The three orientations of the national libraries and the services they offer, I have
tabulated the order of the appropriateness to the African libraries (Table 2.6).
41
Table 2.6: Roles and functions of national libraries to be considered most appropriate
in Africa
Orientation
Client
Emphasis
Services
1. Comprehensive
People
Service
Public libraries
national
delivery to end
library service
users
Legislature libraries
Government ministries
Prison libraries
Hospital libraries
Book mobiles
Book boxes
2. Infrastructure
Other
libraries
Leadership
Compile national bibliography
National bibliographic agency
Administer ISBNs and ISSNs
National Union Catalogue
International inter-lending
Collection of foreign literature
Coordinate exchange of
publications in the country
3. Heritage
Learned
scholars and
researchers
Collections
Collect the country’s output of
non-print materials
Collect material published in
other countries about the
country by the country’s
writers, or in the country’s
unique languages
Record and document
indigenous knowledge
Prevent loss of heritage
materials manuscripts and
archives of the nation’s
famous authors by sale to
foreign collectors and
institutions
Repatriation of published and
unpublished materials
reflecting the history and
culture of the country
42
Looking at the various functions of national libraries as outlined by different authors,
one can see that national libraries are institutions according to the logic of
appropriateness of the normative elements (Scott, 2001). Normative elements are
defined as the rules that introduce a prescriptive evaluative and obligatory dimension
into social life and in this case regulate the life of the national libraries. Humphrey
(1966) outlined the functions of national libraries according to essential, desirable and
non-essential. He, therefore, divided the functions of the national libraries according to
the values – that is according to the conceptions of preferred or desirable. At the same
time he constructed certain standards, which can be used for the comparison and
assessment of the national libraries. On the other hand, Lor (2003) divided the
functions of national libraries into three categories: comprehensive national service,
infrastructure and heritage. He therefore defined the functions of national libraries
according to the norms by specifying how things should be done.
2.2.5 Institutional changes in national libraries
This section discusses the research done on the institutional change process of which
the national libraries of Europe have undergone over time. The national libraries do
not remain static after creation. Occasional research reveals that they are bound to
change under a variety of circumstances in many places. Some of this research
revealing the reasons and pressures that led to these changes is presented below.
Most national libraries of Europe belong to Goodrum’s (1980) first generation of
national libraries. They were established during the fifteenth and the sixteenth
centuries comprising of first collections that belonged to the royal families; and from
the new institutionalism perspective, these national libraries underwnet institutional
change (Scott, 2001). This means that they did not emerge from a vacuum; rather, they
displaced the previous institutions namely the royal libraries. One of the late arrivals
on the stage, the Swiss National Library, was established by the Federal government in
1895 (Jauslin 1996) and was legally sanction by law of 1911 to collect literature
produced in Switzerland, written by Swiss authors, or published about Switzerland.
From the 1970s institutional changes occurred in the Swiss National Library
“Due to financial situation of the national government, on which the
library depended, forced it to cut back its services sharply. Drastic budget
reductions, a strict freeze on personnel, an inefficient global strategy, and
a total failure to anticipate the age of information technology led to a
disastrous situation. The smooth harmonious development previously
enjoyed by the institution ground to a halt. As the national library let itself
fall further and further behind the other libraries in the country, its role
as a leader rapidly eroded” (Jauslin 1996, p. 113).
The Swiss national library was deinstitutionalized due to the functional pressure in
1989, when it was merged with the Swiss National Museum, and the Office for the
Promotion of Culture to form the Federal Office of Culture.
43
Institutional changes occurred in national libraries of Europe through mergers with or
a separation from university libraries by parliament decrees as was identified by CottaSchonberg and Nielsen (2008, p.2). The Icelandic National Library was founded by
German and Danish benefactors in 1818 and the legal deposit was enacted in 1874.
The university library was established in 1940 and was legalized as a depository in
1941. A commitee was nominated by the Minister of Education in 1956 to explore the
advantages of merging or partial merging the national library with the university
library. The committee proposed amalgamation of both libraries. In 1957, the
Icelandic Parliament, (Althingi) resolved to do so with the national library as the main
library and the university library as a reference and students library integrate the
National Library of Iceland and the University of Iceland Library. The collaboration
was to start immediately to be followed by subsequent integration. From the start, both
libraries faced functional pressure, because of the growing problems of lack of
accommodation and resources to maintain the two big research libraries separately. It
was realized that it would be better to merge the two libraries organizationally and
financially in order to obtain better use of the the collections, better use of staff and
merging of the offices of teh national librarian and the university librarian In 1966 the
Ministry of Education recommended the integrated library to be placed in a new
building near the university. It took a whole generation before a new building was
finished in 1994 when the national and university library of Iceland opened as one
library institution (Cotta-Schonberg and Nielsen (2008, p. 3).
The Danish Royal Library acquired legal deposit in 1697 and was opened to the public
in 1793, and these two measures formed the basis of its development as the national
library. In 1938, the University of Copenhagen library split into two parts namely the
UL1 for humanities, social sciences, law and theology and UL2 for the natural
sciences and medicine. The UL2 moved to a separate building on the new science
campus of the University of Copenhagen. The Ministry of Culture merged the Royal
Library with UL1 in 1989. The motivation of merging these two institutions was
basically social pressures due to the presense of mulitple competing and overlapping
institutional frameworks regarding the fields of theology, humanities, law and social
sciences. However, according to Cotta-Schonberg and Nielsen, the major factor of the
decision process was normative isomorphism due to the insistence of the new Royal
Librarian who made it a condition for staying in the job. He struggled to define the
conditions and methods of his work by making a clear division between the functions
(Cotta-Schonberg and Nielsen, 2008, p. 49). In 2005, the Minister of Culture merged
the Royal Library with the UL2 at that time the Danish research library for science and
medicine in order to consolidate the cultural institutions uner the Ministry. The
motivation for this merger can be explained as the politcal pressure exerted on the
libraries in order to adapt innovative practices, thus stringthening libray services to the
University of Copenhagen and to create a new organization with an extensive resource
base for innovative development and quality improvement. In Switzerland, Iceland and
44
Denmark, social pressure of deinstitutionalization occurred because of the disruption
of the institutions’ historical continuity during the mergers (Oliver 1992, p575).
In Sweden the legal deposit to the royal library was decreed in 1661, thus creating the
basis of its functions as a national library which was formally established in 1877. In
the same year, the Stockholm University Library was established. In 1953, the Royal
Library became the university library for humanities and social sciences. CottaSchonberg and Nielsen (2008, p. 5) noted that over the years, staff at the university
increasingly felt the need for a clear division of responsibilities between the Royal
Library and the library function at the university. There was normative isomorphism as
the library professionals at the university collectively struggled to define their
occupational autonomy from the royal library (Larsson & Collins, 1977). The Royal
Library gave up its functions as Stockholm university library in 1977, and Stockholm
University Library was established as a separate institution.
The University of Oslo was established by a royal decree in 1811 and in 1815 it was
given the function of a national library. This arrangement as noted by (CottaSchonberg and Nielsen (2008, p. 6) ceased to be advantageous. This was firstly due to
the functional pressure of the competition for funds between the national and the
university library function of the library, which led to the underdevelopment of the
national function consistently. The rationale of one major library evaporated due to
more than 400 academic libraries built all over Norway. One also can detect some
mimetic isomorphism, because the importance of the national library function had
developed to such an extent that it could easily justify the existence of a separate
institution as was the case in most European countries. Thus, Norway wanted to have
an institution similar to the other national libraries of Europe. In 1984, the Parliament
agreed to establish a separate national library. This decision was taken also due to the
economic and unemployment pressures after the closure of the steel mill in Mo i Rana,
in the northern part of Norway and the region was facing economic disaster (Rugaas
1990, p. 42). A solution was found by using the the premises of the steel factory for
housing essential functions of the national library, namely, for archiving the legal
deposit and equipping the laboratories for digitization processes. It had to be paid by
the wealthy Ministry of Business and not by the poor Ministry of Culture and
Education. In 1994, the National Library of Norway was located in Oslo and in Mo i
Rana (Cotta-Schonberg & Nielsen 2008, p. 6). In 1999, the university library functions
were moved into a new building. In 2005, the national library opened in a restored new
national library building. This is an indication that the fully fledged National Library
of Norway was established due to the functional pressure (Oliver, 1992) of the
changes in the economy of the country. These functional pressures (DiMaggio 1988a;
Zucker 1988) were a result of the environmental changes such as competition for
resources and unexpected events in the environment that challenged the sustainability
of the institutional practices, norms, and routines. Secondly, there was the political
pressure due to the shifts in political interests and underlying power distributions that
45
provided support for existing institutional arrangements. In conclusion, many national
libraries of Europe belong to the first generation of national libraries as they initially
were established on the basis of royal collections. They went through the process of
functional and political pressure to merge with or disassociate from the metropolitan
university libraries under a variety of external and internal pressures.
The University of Oslo was established by a royal decree in 1811 and in 1815 it was
given the function of a national library. This arrangement as noted by (CottaSchonberg and Nielsen (2008, p. 6) ceased to be advantageous. This was firstly due to
the functional pressure of the competition for funds between the national and the
university library function of the library, which led to the underdevelopment of the
national function consistently. The rationale of one major library evaporated due to
more than 400 academic libraries built all over Norway. One also can detect some
mimetic isomorphism, because the importance of the national library function had
developed to such an extent that it could easily justify the existence of a separate
institution as was the case in most European countries. Thus, Norway wanted to have
an institution similar to the other national libraries of Europe. In 1984, the Parliament
agreed to establish a separate national library. This decision was taken also due to the
economic and unemployment pressures after the closure of the steel mill in Mo i Rana,
in the northern part of Norway and the region was facing economic disaster (Rugaas
1990, p. 42). A solution was found by using the the premises of the steel factory for
housing essential functions of the national library, namely, for archiving the legal
deposit and equipping the laboratories for digitization processes. It had to be paid by
the wealthy Ministry of Business and not by the poor Ministry of Culture and
Education. In 1994, the National Library of Norway was located in Oslo and in Mo i
Rana (Cotta-Schonberg & Nielsen 2008, p. 6). In 1999, the university library functions
were moved into a new building. In 2005, the national library opened in a restored new
national library building. This is an indication that the fully fledged National Library
of Norway was established due to the functional pressure of the changes in the
economy of the country (Oliver, 1992). These functional pressures (DiMaggio 1988a;
Zucker 1988) were a result of the environmental changes such as competition for
resources and unexpected events in the environment that challenged the sustainability
of the institutional practices, norms, and routines. Secondly, there was the political
pressure due to the shifts in political interests and underlying power distributions that
provided support for existing institutional arrangements. In conclusion, many national
libraries of Europe belong to the first generation of national libraries as they initially
were established on the basis of royal collections. They went through the process of
functional and political pressure to merge with or disassociate from the metropolitan
university libraries under a variety of external and internal pressures.
I have tried in this chapter to combine together the theory of new institutionalism with
the studies of national libraries and reflect on the suitability of this theoretical
framework for investigation of this specific type of libraries. The previous research
and the interpretation of many different examples presented in this part shows that it is
46
possible to apply the institutionalism for understanding the change processes in
national libraries. I decided that it may be suitable not only in the context of Western
countries, but also for African library sector, as the concepts of institutionalism are
quite abstract and seem to be culture and environment independent.
47
3. HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF LIBRARIES IN UGANDA
This chapter introduces a short overview of the historical setting in Uganda, in which
the first libraries were created and then developed into a complex library sector.
Within it the idea of a national library was born and efforts to implement it were
undertaken over the years.
Uganda is set in the heart
of Africa across the
equator with 236,860 sq
miles (91,249 sq. km).
17% of the country is
covered by swamps and
water,
while
forest
reserves and national parks
cover about 12% (Figure
3.1). The population is
31.9 million with 89%
living in the rural areas.
The annual growth of the
population is 3.1% (UN
2008, p.90).
Figure. 3.1: Map of Uganda
The library sector in Uganda was developing from 1922 to 2007 within certain
political, economic, educational, and cultural environment. A closer look at the
development of the library sector and national library ideas reveals four periods that
differ significantly from one another mainly with regard to the role played by the
libraries in this complex societal environment of a particular time.
The first period started from the 1840s and ended in 1945. At this time Uganda was
opened to the outside world by explorers, missionaries and traders. The private book
collections mainly served the needs of the white colonists. However, from 1922 to
1945, the first libraries were established in the country and the foundations for library
work were laid out.
The second period from 1946 to 1962 is marked by the establishment of public
libraries and their spread until Uganda achieved its independence from the British rule.
The third period from 1963 (after getting independence) to 1985 was characterized by
the development of various libraries in very unstable and dangerous environment. In
1971 Amin took over government through military coup. Confusion reigned within the
country, but also long-term planning was introduced as an idea and practice into all
48
sectors of life, including libraries. In 1972 the Asians were expelled from the country
and the regime of Obote II lasted till 1985.
Finally, the fourth period started in 1986 when Museveni took over government
through a guerrilla war and a more stable period in the country started. This period was
beneficial for the development of library sector that grew and diversified. This period
lasts until present time. In 1997, the Local government Act was put in place and led to
the decentralization of public services. Local governments took over most public
services, including public libraries. Illomo (1985, p. 98) suggests that the history of
libraries in sub-Saharan African countries is quite short; because Africa’s economic
development was held back and started late. Therefore, the limited resources were
invested in agriculture and industry that produce material goods quickly. The same is
true for Uganda.
3.1. First period: emergence of the first libraries (ends 1945)
The first period is longest, but from the point of view of librarianship it is the poorest
one. I present here a short overview of the country’s history to illustrate the tradition of
governing, education and culture that has been established to a large extent during
these formative years. The review is based on the historical material published
elsewhere. It includes the most important facts of political and economic life of the
period as a background to the state of education and publishing that serves as an
immediate context for establishment of libraries.
3.1.1 Politics/economy
Uganda consists of people of different nationalities and religions just like other
African countries.There two major linguistic groups namely, the Nilotics in the north
and the Bantu in the south. The Bantu speaking peoples migrated to the area now
called Uganda in 500B.C. and by the fourteenth century the kingdoms of Buganda,
Bunyoro and Ankole were dominant in the area (Uganda, 2009). They were politically
well developed with centralized political systems. These states had kings, nkiiko
(parliaments), a hierarchy of chiefs and laws that governed the relationship between
the rulers and the ruled. In the north and east there were segmental societies (Mutibwa,
1992). The first outsiders to enter Uganda in the 1840s were the Arabs in search of
slaves and ivory. They were followed by the British explorers Speke, in 1862, and
Stanley, in 1875, searching for the source of the River Nile. Although Speke and
Stanley came as explorers, their arrival signified the start of the colonial era. The
political, social and economic changes in the kingdoms triggered by these first visits
were further accelerated when the missionaries arrived by the invitation of Kabaka
Mutesa I. The Protestant missionaries came to the country in 1877 and were followed
by Catholic missionaries in 1879. In 1894, Buganda was declared a British
Protectorate and by 1896, the British protectorate administration had extended its
authority in most of the region and the name Uganda was adopted (Mutibwa, 1992).
Protectorate here means that the British Government, as a governor of a strong nation,
protected the weaker nation of Uganda.
49
In 1899, The British govenrment appointed Harry Johnston as special commissioner to
Uganda who had a mandate to recommend the most effective form of administration.
The evident power of the local African kings convinced Johnston that control must be
exercised through them. Buganda was the most affective kingdom; consequently, the
Johnston policy became effective with the Buganda Agreement of 1900 (Uganda,
2007) With the signing of the Buganda Agreement, Buganda was put under the British
rule, though most of the adminstrative structures were left under the native
government of the Kabaka. Policies were made by the British and implemented by the
Kabaka’s government. In this agreement the British recognised the Kabaka’s status
and the authority of his chiefs and this rendered Buganda the political autonomy and
turned it into a constitutional monarchy. In 1902, the Uganda Order in Council
formalized the legality of British administration in the Protectorate (Kasozi, 1994).
The British respected the natives’ claim to lands they cultivated and the British Crown
claimed all lands not under cultivation. The British administration respected native law
and left the traditional political institutions intact. To some extent this arrangement
may be regarded as institutional development because it was a continuation of the
Buganda administration rather than an exit from it to the British administration. Well
organized administration of the kingdoms was recognized by the British as a
convenient tool for governing of the territories. The chiefs’ collective approval of the
British Protectorate over the region was eased by Johnston’s acknowledgement of their
freehold right to the land, which was agreed upon by the chiefs although this concept
was alien to African tribal traditions (Uganda, 2009). Similar agreements were made
with the kingdoms of Toro in 1900 and Ankole in 1901, thus making a clear pattern of
administration for the Uganda Protectorate. Kampala, the capital of Buganda was
established by the British as the seat of their administration The British employed the
Baganda as agents in the extension of colonial rule. By 1914, British administration
was extended to the North and East of the Nile, but the lack of centralized local
governing in these regions required that it executes direct administration of these
territories (Mutibwa, 1992).
Two world wars did not affect Ugandan territory significantly, though some fighting
between British and German soldiers broke out in the North of the country during the
first one. During the second one, the troops from Uganda have fought in Ethiopia and
Burma and a small number reached Europe as a part of allied forces. It is more
important to mention that the war time (especially, the World War II period) required
that British protectorates become as sufficient as it was possible and British policy was
directed to this goal. This and the emergence of the first local educated generation led
to the gradually increasing power of local actors in political sphere (in 1945 the first
Africans were nominated to the Legislative Council) (Uganda, 2009)
White settlers never have become a significant power in Uganda, as they were
encouraged to move into Kenya’s highlands. From the beginning of the 20th century,
the commissioner was of the view that Uganda was not suitable for the European
settlement and, a few years before World War I, it was pointed out in principle that
Uganda was to be an African state. The white settlers’ choice of Kenya was made
50
because of the relatively cool climate, the fertile volcanic soil of the rift valley.
Additionally, it was not easy for the British to take over the land in Uganda, since,
according to earlier treaties; most of it belonged to the kings and the chiefs. However,
in the 1920s, plantations were established by Asians who employed workers from
other regions and outside Uganda (Uganda, 2007).
The British focussed heavily on the economically promising tracts of Buganda and
Bunyoro and relied on the Baganda as administrators and tax collectors in the outlying
areas. The British showed little interest in other areas of the country. Uganda grew
prosperous as cotton, which was introduced by the British in 1904, was grown with
great success by African peasant farmers. The introduction of cotton in Uganda
improved the standards of living of the peasant farmers, and a source of raw materials
to feed the increasing textile industries in Britain. In turn, the textile was imported into
Uganda and bought by the peasants. Later on, coffee and sugar cane were also
introduced. The main food crop grown by the Baganda was the bananas. Uganda was
connected by railway with Mombasa port in Kenya in 1901. The construction of the
railway line connected a landlocked country (Uganda) to Mombasa port, so that
products, such as coffee and cotton, could be transported cheaply to Great Britain.
Immigrants from British India came in, many of them as merchants and as
construction workers on the railway (Uganda, 2007)
In 1915, the British government ceased to subsidize the Protectorate, as revenue from
increasing exports of cotton and coffee made Uganda economically independent. From
the late 1920s to late 1930s, Uganda started exporting tin, gold, tin-niobium-tantalum
ores and wolfram. The emergence of the cotton ginneries emerged led to the
establishment of rudimental textile industry. In 1927, tobacco, which became a major
export product, was introduced and cultivated by natives in Bunyoro and West Nile.
There was little impact on Uganda’s economy by The Great Depression of the 1930s
since the farmers simply grew food for their own consumption and switched back to
export crops when the crisis was over. When World War II broke out in 1939, Uganda
increased the food production, timber and rubber thus contributing to the Allied war
effort. Between 1941 and 1945, the Uganda Protectorate had a budget surplus and the
major exports included cotton, coffee and tobacco. The East African shilling was
introduced and the government’s labour department supervised the working conditions
of the labourers (Uganda, 2007).
3.1.2 Publishing/Education/Libraries
Uganda is inhabited by many ethnic groups speaking at least 32 languages, though at
present there are two official state languages: English and Swahili. Cultural life and
communication were and to a large extent still are dominated by oral tradition. The
Church Missionary Society and the White Fathers started the publishing of books in
Uganda in 1877 and 1879 respectively. The publishing in Uganda continued to be
dominated by the missionaries during the whole period as they published books to
communicate religious information, local language translations into English and viceversa and also books to be used in schools (Tumusiime, 2008).
51
The study of the development of literacy in Uganda Kigongo-Bukenya (1990) revealed
that, in 1877, the Church Missionary Society and, in 1879, the White Fathers set up
classes for teaching literacy to the converts so that they could teach the Bible or
Scriptures to others. The Arabs followed suit when they also advocated literacy for the
purposes of reading the Koran Mission schools were established in the 1890s.
Different religious denominations competed to impose their religions to the Ugandans
through teaching literacy. Education was not universal as it was meant only for those
who belonged to some religious denomination, thus leaving the pagans uneducated
(Kigongo-Bukenya, 1990).
Mission schools were established in Uganda in the 1890s and in 1924 the colonial
government established the first secondary school for Africans (Uganda, 2004).The
colonial government took over education in 1920. In 1924, it established the first
secondary school for Africans and, in 1925, the education department created. At that
time, the education was accessible for those who could pay fees or gain scholarships.
Education was modelled along the British system and this heritage is still evident
today (Kigongo–Bukenya 1990, p. 128).
Makerere University was first established as a technical school in 1922 with 14
students to study carpentry, building and mechanics. In August the same year, it was
renamed the Uganda Technical College in order to reflect the wider scope of courses
which had to be introduced, such as medical care, agriculture, veterinary sciences and
teacher training (Macpherson 1964). These courses were relevant as they trained the
Ugandans to cater for the growing needs of the country. They could be teachers for the
growing number of schools and develop the economy that relied heavily on
agriculture. As a result of these developments, Uganda acquired its first educated local
administrators who joined government institutions (Macpherson, 1964).
By 1923, the Uganda Society provided library services for the reading needs of the
colonial expatriates in Entebbe, who at that time were almost the only people literate
in English (Kigongo-Bukenya 1990). Additionally, books were in English and most
Ugandans were illiterate. Nevertheless, the developing economy required increased
education levels and the need for the libraries was realised by the authorities. In 1944,
Elspeth Huxley was commissioned to tour East Africa, survey and recommend what
the East African governments should do to improve the provision of books and
libraries (Ilomo 1985, p.98).
3.2 Second period: spread of public libraries (1946-1962)
This period in the development of libraries was rich in political events leading to the
independence of Uganda from colonial powers. For us it is more interesting because of
the essential changes in the library sector that was established and came into existence.
Therefore, though short in time it is marked out for its significance for future
development of libraries in the country. For this reason and because the economic
development was still proceeding in the same direction as before, I concentrate on the
education, publishing and the library development as such and only briefly sketch the
political situation in the country.
52
3.2.1 Politics/Economy
After World War II, the federal system of semi-independent monarchies proved to be
less appropriate when all African colonies were moving towards independence. The
young educated Africans who were the future leaders had no sympathy with the feudal
Uganda. Buganda, which was the most powerful kingdom caused imbalance in
Ugandan politics – with much talk of possible secession by Kabaka and his council of
chiefs.The East African High Commission consisting of Kenya, Tanganyika and
Uganda was formed in 1948 and Economic and social development was the focus of
the protectorate administration (Uganda, 2008)
The British rule in Uganda lasted for almost 70 years and the type of administration
was a European bureaucracy superimposed on a federation of kingdoms and tribes. It
worked relatively well until the independence movements and political parties of the
1950s, when Buganda demanded separation from Uganda and it was only possible to
proceed with a united government after Kabaka Mutesa II was exiled for two years in
1953 (Uganda, 2003)
The economy of Uganda was boosted by high prices for cotton and coffee that were
the most valuable export products. There was also significant development in energy
sector with a hydroelectric project on the River Nile in 1950s. The biggest change was
evident in the social and cultural development of the country (Uganda, 2009).
3.2.2 Publishing/ education
After World War II, the British colonial government commissioned Elspeth Huxley
investigate and report on the book production and the library facilities relevance to the
Africans in East Africa. Huxley (1945) recommended the establishment of a literature
bureau responsible for publication of general and educational books and popular
magazine, as well as for the promotion and encouragement of African authorship.
In 1948, the East African colonial government formed the East African Literature
Bureau (EALB), which was part of the East African High Commission. By the middle
of the 20th century, multinational publishers started coming into East Africa and
established offices in Nairobi, Kenya in order to take advantage of the regional
cooperation in education between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (Tumusiime, 2008).
They were catering for the needs of changing education in the region as well.
By the end of World War II education was biased towards religious teaching and
academic learning and aimed at producing a class of elites, destined to be leaders or
employees in the civil service. (Kigongo-Bukenya, 1990)
Julius Nyerere summarized such education system thus:
“The education provided by the colonial government was not designed to
prepare young people for the service of their country; instead it was
motivated by a desire inculcate the value of the colonial society and to train
individuals for the service of the colonial state. In these countries the state
53
interest in education therefore stemmed from the need for local clerks and
junior officials, it was modelled on the British system, but with even more
emphasis on subservient attitudes and on white-collar skills” (Nyerere
1968, p. 69)
Kigongo-Bukenya (1990, p. 127) asserted that wrong emphasis and selective targeting
in education contributed to wrong skills and segregated the majority, the victims of
illiteracy. By 1950, the government operated three out of the 53 secondary schools for
Africans, three others were privately funded, and 47 were operated by religious
organizations. Both the rural farmers and the urban elites eagerly sought education
(Uganda, 2004)
In 1949, Makerere University College was founded as a college for higher education
affiliated to the University of London. However, the relationship with the University
of London came to a close when the University of East Africa was instituted in 1963.
Its constituent colleges included the Makerere University College, University College
of Nairobi and University College of Dar es Salaam. Makerere University College was
the oldest and largest institution of learning in East Africa (Lwanga 1971, p.131).
3.2.3 Library sector
3.2.3.1 Public libraries
The provision of public libraries services in Uganda, in mid-1940s was part of wartime
and subsequent post-war efforts to improve social services in the country including
public libraries. These efforts were included in the ten-year development plan 194656, but were abandoned because of poor initial planning and under-funding (KigongoBukenya 1990, p. 131).
In Huxley’s recommendations from 1946 the East African Literature Bureau (EALB)
should be responsible for the establishment of public libraries in each of the three East
African states. The original plan was to establish public libraries with headquarters in
Nairobi and branches in Kampala and Dar es Salaam (Huxley 1945). However, it was
impossible to implement the recommendations due to the limited funds. Alternatively,
book-boxes of about 200 books were loaned to schools and community centres, and
postal services to individuals were launched as cheaper forms of library services.
Many schools, community centres and individuals took advantage of these services,
although their quality and range were hindered by limited funds (Huxley, 1945).
In 1946 UNESCO published the public library manifesto recommending that free
public library services should include library materials in all languages of the served
community in order to enhance literacy. The EALB was set up: ... ‘to meet and indeed
foster ever-increasing demand among Africans for books of all kinds, and to
encourage African authorship, all of which cannot adequately be met by the ordinary
publishing trade’ (Bell 1967, p. 69).
54
The EALB started a public libraries programme in 1948 with headquarters in Nairobi
and branches in Kampala and Dar es Salaam. Libraries run in Uganda by the EALB
comprised of branches in towns, circulating book-boxes, loaned to subscribing
institutions and a post loan service to subscribing individuals. Writing on the purpose
of the EALB libraries, Hockey stated:
“... if the work of the Bureau which was mainly concerned with basic
literacy – was to have a lasting effect, it must be supported by library
services which would provide follow-up reading materials for the people
in the rural areas to who the Bureau publications were directed”
(Hockey, 1971 p. 163).
The main breakthrough in the establishment of public library services in Uganda, like
in Kenya and Tanzania, came with the despatch from the Secretary of State for the
Colonies, ‘... offering capital aid to public library services upon acceptance by the
governments of viable plans for the initial establishment and development of such
plans’ (Hockey 1971, p. 165). In 1960, S.W. Hockey was entrusted with the duty of
working with library committees in each of the East African country to appraise
library services and to initiate further development. Hockey (1971) recommended the
setting up of national library services with headquarters in the capital city in order to
maintain and develop library services. These library headquaters were to be authorized
by a statute to become library boards with wider powers. This era was the beginning of
the public library services in Uganda, when after the World War II, the British
colonialists deemed necessary to extend social services to its colonies.
3.2.3.2 Library education
The idea of establishing library education institutions in East Africa was also a major
break through in library development for Uganda and other African countries.
During the UNESCO seminar on public library development in Africa held in 1953 in
Ibadan, Nigeria, it was resolved that: “a limited number of library schools of high
calibre be established in Africa to provide full scale training at leadership level as soon
as practical circumstances permit” (UNESCO, 1954)
Furthermore, at the regional seminar on the development of public libraries in Africa
held at Enugu, Nigeria in 1962, the participants stressed the need to teach in library
schools, subjects relevant to the African environment (UNESCO, 1963). They
therefore suggested:
-
-
“The provision of library education and qualifications which would make
librarianship a profession worthy ranking alongside other traditional
professions.
The emphasis on special library needs of the future
The adaption of existing teaching practices to suit local circumstances
The publication at library schools and elsewhere of original material dealing
with African problems” (UNESCO, 1963)
55
In his report on the development of library services in East Africa of 1961, Hockey
stressed the need to have well trained indigenous librarians and recommended that: “if
the proposals for the establishment of central library services are approved, at the same
time consideration should be given to the establishment of a School of Librarianship
for East Africa” (Hockey, 1960 pp. 4-5). The East African Governments accepted in
principle to meet the recurrent expenditures of the national library services, however, a
school of librarianship was thought to be beyond their financial means.
3.2.3.3 National library ideas and functions
This period was also characterised by the emergence of the idea of legal deposit and
national library in Uganda. This process was related to the Makerere College Library.
In 1946 attempts were made to make Makerere College Library a deposit library for
the whole of East Africa, but they were opposed by Kenya and Tanganyika because
both countries were about to have their own colleges and they felt that this function
should be under their own jurisdiction (Macpherson 1964, p. 138). Despite the
opposition a good number of publications produced in these countries were deposited
at Makerere College Library. The well developed college entered into a special
relationship with the University of London in 1949 and began to prepare students for
degrees and diplomas of that university. In 1956, the library has become an official
depository for documents from the United Nations and its agencies such as FAO,
UNESCO and others (Macpherson, 1964).
The first legal deposit act in Uganda appears in the University College of East Africa
(Deposit Library) Ordinance No. 26 of 1957 which was passed by the then governor F.
Grawford. The Ordinance was “to make provision for the deposit and preservation of
copies of books printed and published in the protectorate” (Ordinance, 1957). One of
the reasons for making Makerere College Library a legal depository related to the
scope and quality of the collections (Lwanga 1972). The book production sources in
East Africa sent most of their publications to the Makerere College Library and it
became necessary to create a section which was named “East Africana and Special
Collections.” After the independence of the East African countries, the section was
renamed “Africana/Special Collections Section” and it contained materials from the
1890s, government documents and some East African Community publications. The
section also included private archives, and manuscripts in local languages and English,
(Lwanga 1972, p. 40).
The other reason to turn Makerere University College Library into a legal depository
and de facto a national library of Uganda was that the University was the oldest and
largest institution of higher learning in East Africa; the library was lauded as the
“largest concentrated collection… in East and Central Africa” their holdings “second
only to Ibadan University Library in all of Black Africa” (Lwanga 1972, p. 40). There
are several reasons why national or deposit libraries are established in the designated
institutions. In this case, it was obvious that the colonial government legitimized
Makerere College Library to be the legal depository of the country was because it
56
already had a rich collection of not only the national imprint but also books from the
East African region.
3.3 Third period: laying foundation for the library sector (1962–1985)
The period immediately after the establishment of the independence resulted in high
political instability that affected all spheres of life, including education, culture and
library development. On the other hand, this was a time when the basis and traditions
of further development of independent Uganda was laid. The country emerged from
this period with better understanding of its own values and needs that was also
beneficial to the expansion of library services in later period. The system of public
libraries, school libraries, the education for professional librarians were established,
the first library acts were adopted and the importance of libraries for the development
of the country were realized by different local actors during this turbulent period.
3.3.1. Politics/ Economy
Before the acquisition of independence, the Buganda conservatives were worried
about the prospect of democratization and the possibility of the East African federation
of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, which would reduce the political importance of the
kingdom. In the early 1960s, Milton Obote was the leading Uganda politician and
founder of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC), a party which drew support from the
northern regions of the country where the leader also comes from. This party opposed
the hegemony of the southern Buganda kingdom. It can be viewed here that this
situation widened a gap between the northerners and the southerners introduced by the
British policy to concentrate most institutions and consequently develop the southern
region, but recruit administrators and officers from the northern ones (Uganda, 2009).
Other political parties emerged, namely, the Democratic Party (DP) and the Uganda
Peoples Congress (UPC). They held elections in March 1961 after Britain had granted
Uganda self-government. Benedicto Kiwanuka of DP became the first Chief Minister.
In April 1962, in the second round of elections, members to the new national assembly
were elected and Milton Obote, the leader of the majority coalition became the prime
minister, thus, leading Uganda to independence on October 9, 1962 (Uganda, 2009).
Obote was confronted by the problem of Buganda; he accepted a constitution which
gave a federal status and a degree of autonomy to the four kingdoms namely Buganda,
Bunyoro, Tooro and Ankole of which Buganda was by far the most powerful. He then
approved the election of Kabaka Mutesa II to the president and head of the state, a
position which was largely ceremonial. This collaboration was short lived and in May
1966, Obote sent the army led by his newly appointed army commander Idi Amin to
attack the Kabaka’s palace and drove him into exile in Britain. Obote immediately
introduced a new constitution, and abolished the kingdoms which ended Uganda’s
federal structure and provided for an executive president, a post which he appointed
himself as well as holding the portfolio of a prime Minister. With the help of the army
and police, he terrorized the political opponents. This era was the beginning of reign of
terror and insecurity, which affected the political, economic and social development of
the country (Uganda, 2009).
57
On 25 January 1971, Obote’s government was toppled in a coup led by Idi Amin.
Obote went into exile in neighbouring Tanzania where he maintained a small army of
Ugandan exiles. Idi Amin’s regime is commonly referred as ‘the reign of terror’. The
economy was severely damaged especially when in 1972 he suddenly expelled all
Uganda’s Asians who were the nation’s trading middle class. By 1979, Uganda was
bankrupt in a grip of warfare and the government depended on massive loans from the
Arab states friendly to Amin. He persecuted all the tribes except his own, and it is
estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 Ugandans were reported to be murdered
or tortured during his seven years rule. In 1978, Amin took a step further and invaded
Tanzania which gave an opportunity to Julius Nyerere the president of Tanzania not
only to repel Amin’s army but also to conquer him completely. Consequently, the
Tanzania’s troops together with Obote’s private army, reached Kampala in April 1979
which forced Amin into exile in Saudi Arabia (Uganda, 2009).
In 1980, Uganda experienced two interim governments led by the returning Ugandan
exiles. Yoweri Museveni was briefly minister of defence during the interim
government. However, in May 1980 General Tito Okello Lutwa organized a coup
which brought Obote back into power. General elections were held six months later
and UPC Obote’s party won the majority and Obote was confirmed president. These
elections were widely regarded as rigged and Museveni refused to accept this turning
back of the clock. Consequently, he withdrew into the bush and formed a guerrilla
group, which was subsequently known as the National Resistance Army (NRA).
Consequently, Uganda swayed back from dictatorship to a repressive regime held in
check only by anarchy. During this regime Obote used violent means to reimpose his
rule, while the country continued to suffer economic chaos and tribal massacres which
were carried out by the armed factions that went beyond control. During the 1980s the
NRA steadily controlled the southern and western Uganda In 1985; Tito Okello Lutwa
again intervened and drove Obote back into exile in Zambia. Tito Okello Lutwa
became the president of Uganda (Uganda, 2009).
In regard to the economy, soon after independence the Uganda first development plan
was to raise the standard of living for all Ugandans in order to eliminate poverty
altogether As Uganda’s economy rested on agricultural sector, the government put
more emphasis on it by subsidising the agricultural equipment and fertilisers, by
expanding services in the rural areas, and by supporting agricultural research. During
the first decade of post-independence the public sector also expanded. This brought the
employment to educated Ugandans who received good wages and improved their
standards of living (Uganda, 2009).
The export economy was flourishing until Idi Amin ruined the economy in 1970s. The
fertile Uganda’s soil allowed people to grow food and survive the economic
breakdown, though the black market flourished. After the overthrow of Amin’s
regime, the leaders of the country tried to reconstruct the economy with the help of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors, but the troubled political process
and economic hardships obstructed this process (Uganda, 2009).
58
3.3.2 Publishing/Education
Soon after independence in 1962, Uganda, like many newly independent African
countries, prioritized education as a fountain of future social and economic
development. The government built many schools and purchased books to support the
increased enrolment at the different levels of education. Multinational, state and local
publishing firms took advantage of the boom years that characterized most of the
1960s and early 1970s (Tumusiime, 2008). Tumusiime described the social-political
environment of the time that favoured book publishing as follows: the government’s
heavy investment in education targeting low student book ratios in schools and
colleges; competition between publishing houses which ensured competitive prices
and high quality books; freedom to publish and respect given to scholars who were
well paid and had time to do research, teach and write books; the existence of public
and institutional libraries, which were well funded and could afford buying books; the
existence of professionally managed chain of bookshops which provided outlets for
publishers; and trained book professionals who were deployed in various publishing
houses, bookshops and libraries. As a result, the book industry was vibrant, and the
reading culture improved due to the the variety of books available both in English and
indigenous languages. The publishing industry played an important role in the national
development by supporting education programmes, providing employment enhancing
intellectual debate especially at Makerere University, and increasing literacy levels
(Tumusiime, 2008 p.2).
During the 1970s and early 1980s Uganda lost its economic potential which affected
publishing industry in various ways. There were few multinational publishers and local
writers, loss of foreign exchange, high production costs, limited government support,
limited local and international markets, poor government policies, high tariffs,
ineffective education policies and laws (Mutula and Nakitto 2002, p. 119). According
to Tumusiime, the collapsing of the book publishing industry during this period were
due to lack of support for books and education from Amin’s military government,
reduction of education budget, the fleeing of the authors and academicians from the
country, the massive photocopying and other forms of infringement of copyrighted
materials, especially in education, and the closure of bookshops due to lack of books to
sell (Tumusiime 2008, p. 3).
After independence, many villages especially in the south, built schools, hired
teachers, and appealed for and received government assistance to operate their own
village schools (Uganda, 2004).
The school system was structured in a hierarchical manner in 7-4-2-3. This included 7
years of primary, 4 years of secondary ‘ordinary level’, 2 years of secondary
‘advanced level’ and a minimum of 3 years at university level. However, there was
only one university, Makerere University with over 4,000 students. At the end of each
stage, there was a national examination. Education was free at the college level but
students had to pay fees for primary and secondary education. The formal school
system was not capable of providing educational facilities for many school-age
children. Additionally, there was a high rate of school dropout. This structure,
59
therefore, made the education system highly selective and pyramidal in nature.
Consequently, illiteracy was high and this caused tremendous problems for the public
librarians, whose patrons were mainly the small number of elite graduates of high
school and colleges (Kibirige 1977).
According to the Common Man’s Charter, 1969 the government planned to eliminate
illiteracy in Uganda by the year 2000 (Obote, 1969). To achieve this in 31 years, it
targeted of 200,000 new literates annually. Ali (1978, p. 8) was of the view that this
policy was based on the assumption that the birth rate would be constant and that the
educational system would expand. But due to political problems, educational
institutions did not grow in numbers and this might have worsened the drop-out rate to
68% between classes’ 1 to 7 (age 6-13) (Ali 1978, p. 14).
The 1969 sessional paper justified the ‘pay and be educated’ policy as follows:
‘... the limitation of our resources demands cautious planning ... As long
as education is available only to a proportion of the population it seems
equitable that those enjoying the privilege should make a contributions to
its cost’. (Ministry of Education, 1969)
The result of the policy was low intake numbers in the primary schools. One out of
every seven children who joined primary school got admitted into a secondary school,
while a few more went to technical schools, leaving the majority to drown in illiteracy.
Free education was offered in the advanced level schools, but harm had already been
inflicted. After all, the dropout rate, even at this level was alarming. Of those who
qualified to enter institutions of higher learning, only 2-3% could be actually admitted.
Originally, most subjects in schools were taught according to the British syllabus until
1974, and the British examinations measured a student’s progress through primary ad
secondary school. In 1975, the local curriculum was implemented by the government
and for a short time, most school materials were published in Uganda. School
enrolments continued to rise and as the economy continued to deteriorate and violence
increased, local publishing almost ceased and examination results deteriorated
(Uganda, 2004).
During the 1970s and 1980s, the education system suffered because of the economic
decline and political instability. The administrative structure was based on regional
offices, a national school inspectorate, and centralized and national school
examinations. More and more children were enrolled in schools and expenditures
increased, which was an indication of the high priority Ugandans attached to
education. However, at all levels of the education system, there was lack of the
physical infrastructure and consequently, the quality of education declined. The school
standards suffered, teachers fled the country, the morale and productivity deteriorated
along with incomes, and facilities were damaged by wars and vandalism.The liberation
struggle caused many areas to be declared war zones, and education ceased. Teachers,
60
students abandoned teaching and learning to join the struggle for survival (Uganda,
2004).
After the fall of the Amin’s regime, the World Bank and other donors came in to help
revive Uganda’s education sector. Between 1982 and 1988, US $35 million was spent
on procuring books mainly for government-aided primary schools. The books were
purchased from multinational publishers. While some of these books were adapted
from editions in other countries to include Ugandan names and terms, the bulk were
off-the shelf purchases, merely to meet the dire need for books in the schools
regardless of the content (Tumusiime 2008, p. 4). Although a lot of investment was put
in the procurement of books it was not quite effective. In an evaluation report of the
programme, it was revealed that: the books imported were not relevant to the needs of
the students they were intended for; the boxes in which the books were delivered,
including their contents, were used as seats in the head teachers’ offices – a sign that
books had little value; the whole investment had little benefit for Uganda, let alone its
book industry. There was little input from Ugandan authors, publishers, illustrators,
printers and booksellers (Tumusiime, 2008)
The education system has retained the same structure as before 7-4-2-3.
3.3.3. Library sector
3.3.3.1 Situation of public libraries
The major setback of ‘the pay and be educated policy’, for library development, was
the perpetuation of illiteracy among those who could not go to school. This meant
limited library demand and no local support for library development. It created a
minority class reading in English, a foreign language; and did not encourage local
authorship, which was a setback.
After a fact finding tour of library services in Uganda, Hockey (1960) recommended a
four tier library system with central headquarters at Kampala. It was to be responsible
for the administration of libraries in the whole country, including book selection,
purchasing, processing and distribution to regional libraries, staffing (including
training), maintenance of union catalogue, liaison with the school library service, and
the operation of extension services. The Regional Headquarters were responsible for
lending and reference services, provision of children’s library services, supervision of
branch libraries within the region, and operating book box, mobile and postal library
services. District libraries were to provide grass root library services under the direct
supervision of regional librarians. Branch libraries were to run lending and references
services and to operate in densely populated areas. They were responsible for the book
box and mobile services for isolated and scattered communities, institutions and
organizations and the postal services to serve individuals in the remote areas (Hockey,
1960).
According to Hockey’s (1960) recommendations, the Public Libraries Act, 1964 was
enacted to provide for the establishment of a Public Libraries Board. The Board was
61
appointed under the Ministry of Culture and Community Development, and was
charged with the responsibility of establishing, equipping, managing and maintaining
libraries in Uganda. The Board’s membership consisted of a Chairman, four regional
representatives, a representative of the City Council of Kampala nominated by the
council and three other members all of whom were appointed by the Minister of
Culture and Community Development. However, the Act did not stipulate that the
composition of the Board would necessarily include professional librarian, or made it
obligatory for the Board to employ a professional librarian as chairman or any other
professional members of staff. When discussing the Public Libraries Bill, in
Parliament, it was observed that there was lack of reading culture among Ugandans,
lack of library policy and lack of books in indigenous languages (Hansard 1964, p.
2847).
The EALB handed over its library services to the Public Libraries Board (PLB) at the
end of 1964. The PLB was in charge of eleven branch libraries, book box, mobile and
postal services. Most public libraries lacked staff, books, funds and functional library
buildings. There was no proper planning and running of the library services. The result
was a mushrooming of branches all over the country, inconsistent with available
resources, and hence leading to poor library accommodation, furniture and equipment,
and book stock. This extended further the poor general impression and status of
librarianship as a profession in Uganda (Kigongo-Bukenya, 1990).
In the late 1960s public library service extended to 20 branches grouped under four
zones with library headquarters in Kampala for the Victoria Zone, Fort Portal for the
Ruwenzori Zone, Mbale for Masaba Zone and Gulu for the Nile Zone. This was done
with the aim of decentralizing provision of mobile, postal, and book-box and branch
library services. The many problems reported to the government in the organization of
public library services were confirmed by a number of commissions of enquiry set to
examine them (Kigongo-Bukenya,1971).
Development of library services in Uganda was one of the projects under the second
five-year development plan 1966/67-1970/1971. In this plan, the government allocated
funds for the capital development of the public libraries. The immediate aim of the
plan was to have a library service in each district supplemented by mobile library
services. The government requested the Public Libraries Board (PLB) to prepare
estimates and sketch plans for the proposed library development. Plans were made for
building, equipping, furnishing and stocking the Uganda National Library and
heardquarters in Kampala, four regional libraries and 16 branch libraries in the major
towns in the country. Kampala Public Library was to be improved and extended and
the plan was to be implemented in phases (Uganda, 5 year Development plan, 1969).
Unfortunately, there were no funds to implement the plan of building the headquarters.
However, the PLB opened five more branch libraries, extended book box services to
some hospitals and major prisons, and started operating mobile library services to
eastern and western Uganda with government funds.
62
There was concern about the deteriorating library services in the country. The
government therefore instituted a commission of inquiry in 1967 under the
chairmanship of T.T.T. Nabeta. The terms of reference were to survey the state of
library services and facilities, to assess the plans for library development from the
local communities, and to recommend future development (Matogo, 1975, p. 309).
The committee observed that most library users were school children and teachers in
the rural areas, readership was better in the urban areas, there was lack of reading
culture due to the absence of suitable literature. The committee also noted that most
local authorities were ignorant of the Public Library Act, 1964 and they maintained
that the library services were the sole responsibility of the PLB (Nabeta, 1968).
The Nabeta Committee came up with the following recommendations: to establish
well organized, stocked and manned public libraries in order to cope adequately with
the rapidly increasing readers’ needs resulting from the fast expanding educational
facilities; the local authorities to provide library accommodation initially and then
construct library buildings later; to employ library assistants for future training by the
Board; to provide more literature for school children and teachers, and gradually for
other users; to develop regional libraries in order to reduce costs and delays from the
central administration; to appoint school librarians and the school libraries inspector;
to provide elementary training to teacher librarians at the East African School of
Librarianship in collaboration with PLB (Nabeta, 1968).
These recommendations resulted ine PLB closing branches, which were poorly
stocked, badly accommodated and inefficiently managed. However, the Nabeta report
did not provide a solution to the PLB problems and the government was anxious to reestablish the public library services on a firm foundation (Matogo, 1975).
A Nekyon Committee was established in 1969 to inquire into the administration and
financial affairs of the public library services. The Committee further had to establish
whether or not PLB is discharging its duties as laid out in the Public Libraries Act,
1964, to find ways, in which PLB could raise its own funds to become less financially
dependent on government, and then recommend the best procedure to re-organize the
services into a far more effective corporate body (Matogo, 1975).
The The Nekyon Committee recommended: to appoint a director, not necessarily a
professional librarian but with administrative ability and experience; to merge the post
of a director with the post of the chairman of the Board and upgrade the status of the
director to the same rank as those of directors of other similar bodies; to increase
library personnel in all branches; to purchase more books and to provide better and
more suitable buildings for the service. The Committee urged the local authorities to
be more actively involved in the provision of library services in their areas; to retain
and increase mobile library services to cover all four regions; to continue and improve
the postal library services; and to extend the book box service to all community centres
(Nekyon, 1970).
63
This report could have made an improvement of public library services in Uganda,
however, it was shelved and no action was taken by the government. This shows lack
of government commitment on the development of public library services in Uganda
right from the start.
The frustration with this indiference was expressed in one study:
“All said, there is a Board and an administration both enthusiastic and
forward looking: the thinking and planning has been made but all have
reached a dead end becauze of unconcerned library authorities which do
not fight for library development plans and as a result funding is
inadequate” (Kigongo-Bukenya, 1985, p.79)
(
When Idi Amin took over power in a coup in January 1971, libraries suffered even
more. There was a ban on imported publications and censorship of local publications.
Funds for books mainly from the British Council, U.S. Information Agency and
UNESCO were ceased due to the hostile political situation. Many qualified and
experienced staff and expatriates fled the country.
Kawesa summarized the situation as follows:
“In 1973, a dark period began for libraries. There was an
exodus of traditional users of existing libraries of all sorts –
Asians, academicians, research fellows and associates. A
shortage of foreign exchange and a lack of general appreciation
of the role of libraries in the priorities of funding authorities
moreover meant that a considerable number of periodical
subscriptions could not be renewed. For example, Makerere
University Library had more than 2,000 exchange partners and
regular donors mainly in the U.S.A and the UK, but exchange
agreements were cancelled as libraries in Uganda failed to
reciprocate. Library budgets dwindled and developments almost
came to a stand-still” (Kawesa 1986, p. 827)
However despite this situation, the government continued planning the work in
different sectors including libraries. The plan for library development was again
included in the Third Five-Year Development Plan, 1971/72-1975/76 but funds were
again not provided for its implementation. The PLB encouraged local authorities to
raise funds through fundraising campaigns. The construction of the Teso Public
Library building was started by the local government. Then the central government
came in to support the project with funding. Similarly, Tororo Public Library building
was extended and, by 1976, 21 branch libraries were opened. In the Action Program
1977/78-1979/80 public libraries were supplied with books. During the liberation war
of 1979, most public libraries buildings were destroyed, books were looted or
destroyed (Kigongo-Bukenya, 1990)
64
Right from the 1960s libraries various governments in Uganda have paid lip-service to
library development because of lack of funds and planning to implement the library
plans. Kigongo-Bukenya is of the view that this may be due to the absence of political
leaders like Nkwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania who
personally got involved in library development. After the liberation war, during the
rule of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) government, an effort was made
to rehabilitate public libraries (Kigongo-Bukenya, 1990 p. 137).
The PLB annual report 1973/74 shows that during this period, there were 18 branch
libraries, and mobile, book box and postal services. The stock in the system was
75,000, which means 120 people per one book. There were however only 40,000
registered readers, a meagre 5% of population being reached by the services (PLB
annual report, 1974). According to UNESCO, the total book stock in Uganda should
have been 370,000 in 1967-68 and 650,000 in 1975 (UNESCO, 1971, p. 34).
During the rest of the period, the situation deteriorated further. The Arua, Masaka and
Mbarara branch libraries were destroyed during the liberation war of 1979. Library
books were looted or destroyed during the civil wars. The funds for books were
reduced sometimes disappeared completely in the aftermath of war. Acquisition,
which at that time derived mainly from the British Council, the United States
Information Agency, UNESCO and other agencies, ceased for a time, due to the
hostile political situation; many qualified and experienced staff fled the country and
expatriates would not risk work in the Uganda’s libraries. The situation was very
gloomy in 1987, when the books in the entire system had dwindled to 35,000, that is
285 people per one book; and registered readers down to 15,000 – 0.015% of
population being reached (Kigongo-Bukenya, 1990).
3.3.3.2 School libraries
School library services seek to familiarize children with the sight and use of books, to
provide material for the children’s own recreational reading and exploration, and to
supply additional reading material for the subjects of interest to children at the
appropriate level, ranging from reference books to simple stories. Hockey’s
recommendation was that the school library services should be developed by the
National Library Services, as in Jamaica, where the School Library Department is
responsible for primary, secondary and other educational institution libraries. They
make use of the concentration of qualified staff in the selection, purchase and
processing of library materials (Hockey, 1960). For unspecified reasons, Uganda’s
school library services were left outside the scope of the PLB activity. There have
been efforts to rectify the mistake by appointing a committee to identify areas of
cooperation between PLB and the Ministry of Education in joint provision of libraries
in schools.
The survey of pre-school institutions in Uganda (Kigongo-Bukenya 1985, p. 45)
revealed that there was hardly any provision of library services to the children in them.
This situation was attributed to the fact that pre-school education was not a
government concern in Uganda. This meant that there was no central planning and
65
control of this elementary but important stage of education. While provision of preschool library service was neglected, that for primary schools was even worse, and
forgotten. The Hockey report revealed that on the basis of development of school
library services, visits were mainly carried out in secondary schools (Hockey, 1960).
Soon after independence, the first education commission was appointed in 1963
chaired by E.B. Castle. In his report he reiterated the need for expansion of education
and improving the quality of education He reported that one of the valuable means of
deepening and broadening studies in secondary schools is to encourage general
reading. He therefore recommended special attention to be paid on the organization of
school libraries, which should be placed in charge of suitably qualified teacherlibrarians, trained in the basic principles of library management. The commission
recommended up to 5% of the school fees to be earmarked for the purchase of books
and journals until such a time as the library is reasonably well stocked (Castle, 1963,
p.9).
The first policy directives on libraries in schools, were limited to secondary school
libraries (Uganda, Ministry of Education, 1969; 1973) thus neglecting the primary
school libraries. The situation got even worse when the British Council which had
donated funds and financed a librarian for the Uganda School Library Association to
run a primary schools book-box scheme, discontinued it during the 1970 political
storm which obliged the British Council to close its services in Uganda.
The expansion of secondary education, called for the change of syllabus and the
improvement of the quality of education, and therefore a need for more educational
facilities. The International Development Agency undertook construction and
equipment of 17 secondary schools in Uganda with a library wing. Due to the change
of syllabus, there was a shift from teacher–centred education, which demanded
availability and organization of teaching and learning resources necessary for
experiments and independent study. There was therefore a great need for secondary
school libraries. Castle gave the needed impetus by recommending the establishment
of libraries secondary school, and recommended library grants amounting to 5% of the
school budget and in 1969, this was reinforced (Ministry of Education, 1969).
Despite the developments of school libraries in the late 1960s, Harry Kibirige’s study
of secondary school libraries summed up the situation in 1975 as follows:
“Field observations ... illustrate five main elements of school library
development in Uganda. In the first instance, the sample shows a marked
disparity between the best and the worst organized school library.
Secondly, staffs operating most school libraries are untrained and
inexperienced. Thirdly, service was invariably inadequate and in some
cases obsolete. On the other hand accommodation was in several instances
reasonable, although it may not be always put to proper use. Finally, in
most cases, there was no evidence to show that the concept of the school
66
library as a teaching/learning resource centre was fully appreciated”,
(Kibirige 1977, p. 73).
Subsequently, the Haidar Ali report suggested that a Department of Libraries
should be set up at the Ministry of Education, charged with the responsibility of
running educational libraries (Ali 1978, p. 14). The PLB subcommittee chose the
middle ground and suggested that the Ministry of Education should take charge
of textbook collection development, but should fund the PLB to organize and run
libraries under a department for school libraries of the PLB (Ministry of Culture
and Community Development, 1976). Unfortunately, recommendations from the
reports were not realized.
During the early 1980s, out of 4,000 primary schools, more than 100 government
aided secondary school and 300 private secondary schools, there were very few which
had libraries which were not well developed. However, the Ministry of Education
decided to pay salaries of the trained librarians. Earlier on, the appointment of school
librarians were at the will of the Headteachers whose salarieswere from the local votes
administered independently by the headteacher (Abidi and Kiyimba, 1983 p. 8).
3.3.3.3 East African School of Librarianship
The library education has been developing further in Uganda.
In 1963, the East African School of Librarianship (EASL) was established at Makerere
University College and was faced with administrative and financial problems right
from the start.
Rockefeller Foundation financed the conference in 1963 which led to the school’s
immediate establishment. It also provided secretarial assistance and a lecturer for one
year. The first director Knud Larsen appointed by Unesco worked very hard to set up
the school but had inadequate resources to back up the school’s rapid pace of
development The second director, Geoff Comm had no library school experience.
Besides, the resources were inadequate, so he eventually resigned. Both appointments
were short lived and therefore the school suffered from lack of coordination and the
continuity of general policy (Saith, 1971 p. 176)
The School’s survival depended upon external aid. The British Council donated funds
for office expenses, books, and scholarships for students to attend library conferences.
The Danish government sent a lecture H. Lemming in 1965 and paid the salary, due to
the appeal made by the first director Knud Larsen who was Danish himself. In 1967,
one more Danish lecturer was provided for two years. When Larsen left Makerere at
the end of 1965, he tirelessly worked for the success of the school. The same year at
the conference on library work in Africa, he gave a paper in which he appealed to
Swedish librarians to help the EASL (Larsen, 1968 p. 38). As a result, in 1967 and
1969, the Swedish librarians raised scholarship funds to students studying at the
EASL.
67
Apart from providing the services of a director, UNESCO contributed funds to the
purchase of equipment and books. That aid from external agencies namely, the British
Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Danish Government, The Swedish
Government, UNESCO and other sources played a significant role in the development
of the EASL (Kaungamno and Ilomo, 1979)
Towards the end of 1966, the EASL was still faced with lack of accommodation, lack
of finance and lecturers, and uncertain future. Until 1966, Makerere’s contribution to
EASL consisted of providing premises, general administration and taking care of the
general welfare of the school, its staff and students. There was also the provision of
flats at subsidized rent for the staff and payment of administration expenses for
stationary, postage, printing and telephone services. Additionally, communal facilities
such as the use of libraries were provided. Eventually, EASL was integrated to
Makerere University and in 1967/68 it was included in the University’s Development
Plan. Thus, funds were provided by Makerere’s budget, which made the EASL less
dependent on the external aid. From 1967, Makerere provided part-time lecturers one
full-time lecturer. Since its inception in 1963, the EASL had been moved three times,
which had a demoralizing effect on both the teachers and students and created a
setback on the school’s programmes and methods. In 1968, Makerere University
decided to house EASL temporarily in new Mathematics/Science building, which was
a great improvement on the previous accommodation, however, a permanent solution
was to erect a new building for the School. The Uganda Government agreed to
advance a loan to Makerere University for the construction of the EASL building
(Kaungamno and Ilomo, 1979)
Since 1963, the School conducted certificate course in library studies, diploma course,
and introductory library studies course for Bachelor of Education students and special
documentation courses. The students came from Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda
and Zambia (Kaungamno and Ilomo, 1979).
Before Makerere University College assumed the status of a national univesity on July
1, 1970, both the visistation Committee to the College set up by the president of
Uganda and the Council of the college commende the proposal for professional
training of graduates to Makerere University.In 1971, the counci for Library Training
in East Africa approved the proposal in principle and observed that the EASL, having
achieved a satisfactory permanent basis, should enter a new pahse of its development
with the end object of providing courses at all elvels (Saith, 1972, p.336)
Regarding library education and future plans, Lwanga reported that the Council for
Library Training in East Africa had considered the establishment of graduate studires
in librarianship was considered a goal after 1975; the reason being that EASL could
barely cope with the diploma course because teachers were not available. A graduate
school would pose even greater problems in recruiting teaching personnel. Lwanga
also felt that there would be a danger of overproduction within a few years of the
founding of the School (Lwanga, 1971, pp 39-40). There was a need to organize
68
refresher courses for the working librarians to enable them improve their professional
skills (Abidi, 1972, p. 12)
3.3.3.4 National library ideas and functions
This period of the library development was also characterized by significant events in
the sphere of national library functions.
First of all, the legal depost acts acquired the status of national laws and were adopted
by the Parliament of Uganda.
The University College of East Africa (Deposit Library) Ordinance, 1957 was revised
by an act of Parliament to become the Makerere University College (Deposit Library)
Act, 1964, because Makerere University became a full fledged premier university for
the Eastern African Region in 1963. It already was famous and recognized throughout
the world because of its excellent libraries, staff and students. Therefore making its
library a deposit library was a natural action for the government.
This Act did not represent a fundamental change; instead it merely replaced the old
name “University College of East Africa” by the new name “Makerere University
College.” The rest of the provisions in the Act remained unchanged.
The aim of the Act was to make provision for the deposit and preservation of copies of
books printed and published in Uganda. The Act made it a legal obligation for the
publishers of every book published in Uganda to:
“Within one month after publication, deliver, at his expnse, a copy of the
book to the Librarian of the Deposit Section of the Library of Makerere
University College, who shall give a receipt for it; if written demand is
made within three moths after publication, deliver, within one month after
receipt of that wiriteen demand, or if the demand was made before
publication, within one month after publication, to the Minister, one copy of
the book” ( Laws of Uganda, 1965, p. 2561)
In case of failure on the part of the publisher to comply with the provisions of the Act,
the publisher was made liable to a fine of Sh. 100 and /or delivery of the publication in
respect of which the conviction was recorded. The Act gave the power of exemption to
the Minister who could exempt any publication from the provision of this Act. The
“Book” was defined as every part or division of the book, newspaper, periodical,
magazine, review, gazette, pamphlet, sheet or letter press, sheet of music, map, plan,
chart or table separately published ( Laws of Uganda, 1965 p. 2561).
In 1969, the Parliament of Uganda passed the Deposit Library and Documentation
Centre Act, 1969. The Act provided for the establishment of a Deposit Library and
Documentation Centre (DLDC) under the administration of the IPA currently known
as the Uganda Management Institute (UMI). Institute was founded in 1963 with the
69
aim of conducting courses for the Ugandan civil servants. This DLDC Act, 1969 was
made a legal obligation for the publishers of the books published in Uganda or any
other person ordinarily resident in Uganda who may be author of a book published
outside, to deliver at their own expenses a copy of the book to the DLDC within one
month of the release of the publication. The failure to comply with the provisions of
this Act was made an offence liable to conviction and a fine of Shs 100=. The
exemption of any publication by statutory order from the provisions of this Act was
made the authority of the Minister responsible (Laws of Uganda, 1970 p. 350).
The DLDC was to provide the decision makers in the government with relevant
information. When introducing the Deposit Library and Documentation Centre Bill to
Parliament, the responsible Minister indicated that the DLDC will improve the
knowledge and skills of the public officers. The documents were kept in archives and
districts without funding and trained personnel to organize them. Public officers and
students wasted time in search for lost, scattered and misfiled documents. Many
valuable documents were produced but had a limited circulation. It was essential that a
record was kept of Uganda’s historical and current developments (Hansard, 1969). The
Minister then suggested that the centre would be responsible for centralizing all
documents of historical and political importance particularly relating to the
government service, process and store documents under correct conditions. The DLDC
would also compile a bibliography, carry out research, encourage local authorities and
other bodies to deposit their publications for safe keeping, create awareness of the
general public about the history and activities of the government, and make efforts to
collect documents on Uganda which will be made available to public officers
(Hansard, 1969).
The DLDC had the advantages for being directly under government, as the
international assistance could easily be obtained for smooth functioning and further
development of the DLDC. The Commonwealth Secretariat provided a documentation
expert, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided a
documentation specialist, staff training, and a vehicle; and the German Foundation for
International Development (DSE) and UNDP offered staff training (Abidi and
Kiyimba, 1983).
Thus, two legal deposit Acts were adopted in Uganda with two different audiences to
serve.
The weaknesses of both Acts were that: the Makerere Act did not include grey
literature, however, much of useful literature appeared in this form; grey literature
collected by the DLDC was accessible mainly to the government officials, but not to
the wider public; the penalty of Shs 100 was too low for defaulters; there was a lack of
machinery to implement the Acts and lastly, the Ministers were given much powers of
exempting from all or any of the provisions of this Act (Kawalya, 2000).
The lack of the mechanisms of the implementation of the Acts can be illustrated by the
following example. In 1975, the DLDC received a vehicle from the UNDP and staff
70
support, so it started collecting documents from government departments and
convinced the district authorities to deposit their proceedings regularly. However, the
UNDP assistance was over, the vehicle broke down and the collection of documents
ceased Thereafter, very few departments responded to depositing their publications.
The government publications which used to be collected from the Government Printer
at Entebbe could not be collected on regular basis. The DLDC could not enforce this
by suing the defaulters because the Act was weak and the fine negligible(Abidi and
Kiyimba 1983).
Despite two legal deposit acts, none of the institutions in the country had a mandate by
law to produce a national bibliography. Therefore, it was started as a personal
initiative. Professor Bryan Langlands who the head of the department of Geography at
Makerere University made an effort to compile a “Uganda Bibliography” in 1963.
This bibliography was published in the Uganda Journal, but space could not allow
comprehensive coverage. It ceased publication in 1976 when he left Uganda during the
Amin’s regime. Makerere University Library started producing a “Uganda
Bibliography” section in the Makerere University Library Bulletin and Accessions List
from 1965, but also ceased publication in the early 1976 due to lack of funds and
limited staff (Kigozi, 1990, p.116).
The DLDC compiled indexes of the district team and planning committee minutes,
newspapers, and a Uganda Public Administration Bibliography all of which were
suspended because of lack of funds and staff. However, in spite of these challenges,
which were caused by the general economic problems of the country, the DLDC
developed a rich collection of reports, newspapers, periodicals, monographs, maps and
individual papers. The DLDC produces the Accessions List (a national bibliography)
annually, which also incomprehensive due to the weak legal deposit act (Kawalya,
2000).
From the point of view of my study, this period of the library development in Uganda
is very important, as at the beginning of it the Parliament of Uganda was actively
involved in discussing library legislation that became a foundation for the whole
library infrastructure, and, in particular, created the basis for executing the functions of
the national library by three different organizations: the Makerere University Library,
the Deposit Library and Documentation Centre and the Public Library Board.
3.4 Fourth period: full scale development of libraries (1986 till present)
My study falls within this period of library development in Uganda (1997-2007).
Therefore, in this chapter I will introduce shortly the issues that are important for
understanding of present developments in Uganda in general. A large part of the
characteristic of the library sector in Uganda falls under the results chapter 5. This
chapter only touches upon some important events that have happened prior to 1997.
71
3.4.1 Politics/economy
In January 1986 saw the National Resistance Army (NRA) took over power and
Museveni proclaimed a government of national unity and declared himself as the
president. Uganda was back under the rule of law although there are some areas in the
north where rebellions still exist. The economy, education, transport and the health
sectors improved. There was international investment and Uganda emerged from the
two decades of appalling chaos to suddenly almost a model for Africa. However, the
western world found fault with one-party rule which they thought was undemocratic.
Despite this flaw, good ideas from any part of political spectrum were welcomed, and
even kingdoms were restored (Uganda, 2009).
Among the first priorities of Museveini’s government was the re-building of a nation
state from a country reduced after 15 years of misrule and violence into feuding
factions. All the ethnic groups were involved in the government, as well as most of the
main political parties, and Museveni succeeded in this. Efforts were made to re-build
the economy and infrastructure with the assistance of large-scale foreign aid. The
Asians who were expelled from Uganda by Amin in 1972 were invited to return. The
economic liberalization programme was introduced in order to control the budget,
encourage agricultural production, and attract foreign investors (Uganda, 2003).
When the National Resistance Movement (NRM) took over government in 1986, it
formed a National Resistance Council (NRC) whose aim was to form a new
constitution. Between 1993 and 1994, a constitutional assembly was elected to debate
on a new constitution as the beginning of the process of returning Uganda to a
democratic government. In the 1990s Museveni grew in stature as an African
statesman (Uganda, 2003).
Museveni viewed the western model of multiparty democracy as simplistic to assume
that a single pattern can be appropriate in every circumstance. He gave an example in
Africa where political parties are based on tribal or religious allegiances which are
likely to frustrate democracy. His argument is that the most important elements were
the benefits taken for granted in a functional multiparty democracy such as universal
suffrage, the secret ballot, a free press and the separation of the executive, legislative
and judicial powers. He therefore described Uganda as a ‘no-party democracy’ and
claimed that people of widely differing views could argue their case to the electorate
as competing individuals, and campaigning as a party was banned. Museveni however,
regularly promised a date for the legitimization of political parties. The 1967
Constitution of the Republic of Uganda was replaced by the 1995 Constitution of the
Republic of Uganda. Within this Constitution, the NRC came up with the new local
government system of decentralization (Uganda, 2009).
Museveni’s government had a shift of political interests and redistribution of power
when according to the 1995 Constitution, the functions, powers and responsibilities
were transferred from the government to the local authorities including the public
library services. The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda limited the
executive powers to the NRM, the party which emerged from Museveni’s guerrilla
72
army. This constitution also allowed for a referendum on the future introduction of a
multi-party system. In 1996, presidential election returned Museveni to power with
74% popular vote (Uganda, 2009).
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995 [as at 15th February
2006] Section 176 of the local government system states that:
(1)
“subject to article 178, the system of local government in Uganda shall
be based on the district as a unit under which there shall be such local
governments and administrative units as parliament may by law provide”
(p. 138)
By 1997, Uganda was made up of 45 districts, which are governed under a Republican
Constitution with decentralized powers to the local authorities. The government
enacted the Local Government Act, 1997 which gave full effect to the decentralization
of functions, powers responsibilities and services at all levels to local governments. It
ensures democratic participation and control of decision making by the people
concerned and establishes sources of revenue and financial accountability. The local
government council elections were successfully held by adult suffrage. Uganda was
then on a firm course of the democratization process with basic democratic institutions
in place (UNDP, Development report, 1997).
The activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the north, the West Nile Bank
Front (WNBF) in northwest and the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) in the west
brought a lot of undue pressure on the budget as well as leading to destruction of
infrastructure in the respective regions. A parliamentary committee was set up as a
step towards finding a lasting solution to stop the war. In addition, security was
ranking first among priority sectors in the country. The population was 20.4 million
(1997 estimate), the life expectancy at 48 years. At present the tensions in the North of
the country are not yet fully resolved, but there is some progress towards more
permanent solutions. Despite growing economy, Uganda also experiences the impact
of the changes on the world markets for agricultural products. Together with Tanzania
and Kenya, Uganda is a part of East African Community Customs Union from
2005(UNDP Development report, 1997)..
3.4.2 Publishing /Education
In 1989, Tumusiime (2008, p.5) outlined the outcome of the evaluation report for
publishing in Uganda. According to the report, the Uganda book industry stakeholders
demanded a book policy, which emphasised the need for a clear system of content
vetting, selection process, user involvement and book distribution.
Under the umbrella of Uganda Publishers and Booksellers Association (UPABA), the
book policy was adopted in 1993 and it stated that: the government publishes
curriculum guidelines; publishers write books following the guidelines; government
constitutes vetting committees for books submitted by different publishers; three books
(and later five) titles per subject have to be selected and lists of selected books given
73
out to schools to choose from; publishers market their books; schools order them from
the local Official Textbook Supplier (OTS) (Bookshop) and; OTS buys books from the
publishers and distributes them to schools and is paid by the Government.
Since the book procurement policy was put in place in 1994, it achieved some degree
of success, albeit with some difficulties. In some cases, the emphasis in implementing
the policy was put on unimportant aspects which led to disastrous consequences for
the industry and the players. For example, high quality books would be eliminated
simply because the bidders had errors in the tender documents. However, the
publishing industry benefited and the achievements included: an increase of publishing
houses from two to over 50 registered publishers; an increase of 300 bookshops spread
throughout the country from less than 10 bookshops in major towns; and, over 100
titles published annually as compared to almost nothing in the 1960s (Tumusiime,
2008)
In the early 1990s, the Uganda’s book industry was liberalized along with the other
sectors in the country’s economy. The government instituted policies and programmes
that favoured publishing industry to some extent and include: buying books for
primary schools, which helped some local publishers to develop their capacity;
distribution of educational books through the national bookshop network, which
benefited the local bookselling industry and created new outlets for publishers; and
dedication of some Universal Primary Education (UPE) fund for districts for the
procurement of supplementary reading materials. These developments have not only
helped local publishing industry to publish textbooks but also trade, tourism, fiction,
children and academic books are being published locally (Tumusiime 2008, p. 7).
The challenges faced by the publishing industry as outlined by Tumusiime (2008)
which include government bureaucracy that disregard the sustainability of the book
industry book industry beyond just buying books for the immediate period; an
uncompromising attitude of donors, which are often influenced by consultants whose
views do not always coincided with those of local stakeholders, such as, overemphasis
on technical specifications of books instead of content; absence of regional trade in
books due to various barriers; weak controls in the districts in the procurement of
books, the system is still fluid and cumbersome thus causing extensive losses for the
fragile players in the industry, publishers are the only investors in the whole process;
lack of sound library network and even the few libraries that exist lack books; the lack
of market does not attract the business community to invest in bookshops; lack of coordinated programmes between government agencies, civil society and donor
agencies in dealing with literacy promotion and the development of libraries and
resource centres and; lack of media support to raise the profile of books in politics and
society.
The publishing industry is flourishing due to various circumstances. Education has
been revived at all levels, including the increase in school, college and university
enrolment, which favours publishing growth and supply of the much needed books.
Uganda has 25 universities, 123 colleges, 2500 secondary schools and 16,000 primary
74
schools. There is an improvement in Information Technology (IT) for easy availability
of information, the use of internet to transmit PDF for printing abroad and, print on
demand (POD) technology. Liberalisation of the economy and the publishing
environment together with the ending of state involvement in publishing augurs well to
the growth of private sector publishing (Tumusiime 2008, p. 8)
By 1990, literacy rate was estimated to be at 50%, and improving this ratio was
important to the Museveni’s government. It, therefore, embarked on establishing
education as a priority by adopting a two-phase policy. The short term goals were to
rehabilitate buildings, establish minimal conditions for instruction and to improve
efficiency and quality of education through teacher training and curriculum upgrading.
The long-term goals included establishing Universal Primary Education, extending the
seven-year primary cycle to eight or nine years, and shifting the emphasis in
postsecondary education from purely academic to more technical and vocational
training (Tumusiime, 2008).
The Government White Paper on Education entitled “Education for National
Entegration and Development, 1992 which is on the education policy provides
equitable access to quality and affordable education to all Ugandans; propelling
Uganda towards achieving Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP); meeting
commitment to achieve education for all (EFA) and the Millenium Development
Goals (MDGs); providing relevant education; enhancing efficiency; and strengthening
partnership The White Paper includes pre-primary education as a starting point of
formal education, although it is at the hands of private agencies and parents, the
priamry school level which is seven years of schooling and the secondary education
which takes four to six years (Ministry of Education and Sports, 1992).
The Universal Primary Education (UPE) was introduced in 1997. Primary education
was one of the top five government priorities. The impact of this policy was enormous,
with primary school enrolment moving from 2.8 million in 1996 (before UPE) to 5.3
million in 1997 (post UPE). The increase in the number of pupils implied an increase
in demand for trained teachers, classrooms, and other facilities. The number of
primary schools rose from 7,350 in 1987 to about 12,000 in 1997. This growth in
public primary sector was assisted by growth in private sector provision of schools and
it clearly showed a lot of confidence in the education sector by the private market. To
compound it all, the number of primary teachers rose from 65,100 in 1986 to about
95,000 in 1997. The quality of basic education was to be improved by increasing the
supply of textbooks and instructional materials, as well as by expanding in-service
teacher training to cover all districts. The government’s objective was to achieve the
UPE. The strategy was to finance four children per family. The government wished to
see increasing resources flowing into primary education together with cost-effective
options for teacher training, textbook provision and classroom construction. It
developed the Education Sector Investment Programme (ESIP) whose main objective
was to ensure universal access to primary education, with net enrolment reaching
100% by 2003. The national illiteracy rate was still high at 38%, with 26.3% for male
and 49.8% for female. Adult illiteracy was greater among women (50%) than men
75
(26%) and was twice as high in poor rural areas than in urban areas (UNDP
Development report 1997, p. 11).
3.4.3 Library sector
The emphasis of the government on the education brought the issues of the school
libraries to the fore.
Looking at the school libraries, the school census of 1989 showed that only 15% of the
schools had libraries, but most of these libraries did not have any books. In the same
year, the third Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC) stated the objectives of
secondary education was to enable individuals to develop personal skills of problem
solving, information gathering, interpretation and independent reading (Uganda,
Ministry of Education and Sports, 1989).
In 1992, in response to the EPRC report, the government white paper expressed the
need to address the question of school and public libraries, which are important in the
processes of universalization, vocationalization, expansion, and democratization of
education. The state of libraries in educational institutions either had no facilities at all,
or, where they exist, the books were outdated (Uganda, Ministry of Education and
Sports, 1992).
In 1995, the library professionals and the Ministry of Education and Sports in
conjunction with the East African School of Library and Information Science
(EASLIS) held a seminar on school libraries in Uganda. The objective of the seminar
was to formulate a school library policy. A draft policy on school library service
provision was produced by the Uganda Library Association (ULA) to be adopted by
the Ministry of Education and Sports. However, as Batambuze put it “All the
recommendations and even the election pledge landed on barren ground as they were
left to hang in a policy vacuum” (Batambuze, 2003, p. 2833)
Museveni’s election manifesto of 1996 included a pledge on school libraries under the
UPE programme, “Six million pupils will require 21,429 schools. Each school will
require a library, which means a total of 21,429 libraries...” (Museveni, 1996).
However, this has not yet been achieved.
The public library buildings were rehabilitated and restocked with books with the
assistance of development partners. The present state of the public libraries in Uganda
is presented in chapter 5.
3.4.4 National library ideas and functions
After the revival of publishing in Uganda, the situation of the execution of the national
library functions became better, though the same problems persisted as before. The
deeper analysis of these problems is conducted in the chapter 5. Here, I would like to
draw the attention to the developments of the national bibliography as a national
library function.
76
During the African Standing Conference on Bibliographic Control (ASCOBIC), held
in Nairobi, Kenya in 1986, the delegates were encouraged to start publishing national
bibliographies for those countries which had not done so. This conference was
attended by the staff of Africana/Special Collections Section of MULIB.
Consequently, they started compiling the Uganda National Bibliography in 1987
(Kigozi, 1990, p. 116). According to her study Kawalya (2000, p. 43) revealed that the
Uganda National Bibliography (UNB) started as a quarterly publication, but as time
went on it became irregular and then ceased publication in 1997 (Table 3.1). Most of
the documents listed in the bibliography were theses and dissertations of Makerere
University. It was not comprehensive because of the weak legal deposit Act: the fine
was too meagre and could easily be ignored by the publishers, the mechanisms of
systematic document collection were lacking.
There is also lack of space, lack of transport to collect the documents, limited storage,
staff and funds to publish the bibliography. Lwanga concurs that
“… by the end of 20th century, however, the legislation was so poorly
implemented that Makerere University Library received only a very small
fraction of the Ugandan publications” (Lwanga 1972, p. 40).
However, although the frequency of a national bibliography depends upon the size of
the national imprint and professional and technical resources available to prepare
records and produce the printed bibliography, the production of the UNB should be
more frequent than every three years.
Table 3.1: Frequency of the Uganda National Bibliography 1987-1997 by MULIB
(Kawalya 2000, p. 43)
Year
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991-1993
1994-1996
1997
Volume no.
Vols. 1, no. 1-4
Vols.2,nos.1&2,
& 3&4
Vo. 3 nos.1-4
Vol. 4
Vol. 5
Vol. 6
Vol. 7
Frequency
Quarterly
Bi-annual
Status
Published
Published
Annual
Annual
3 years
3 years
annual
Published
Unpublished
Unpublished
Published in NBU vol.1, 2005
Published in NBU vol.1, 2005
The Accessions List of the DLDC which was suspended in the mid 1970s because of
lack of funds resumed publication in 1993. It was published annually although it was
not comprehensive as well because of the same reason – weak legal deposit Act.
3.5 Summary
The national library system based on the legal deposit acts was the most stable of all
the library structures throughout the period from 1958 to 1996 and was not destroyed
during the years of turmoil from 1979 to 1985. However, it suffered the same
77
problems as the rest of the library sector such as school and public libraries in terms of
political neglect and economic non-sustainability. The libraries also faced the other
problems, not only the lack of resources, but also the long-standing habits of the
government institutions to disregard the legal provisions, and lack of control over
governmental commitments, and the ignorance of politicians regarding library matters.
These were actually the norms that were prevalent in the Ugandan institutions. The
point of departure of my empirical study covers the years from 1997 to 2007. But as
the historical context shows, the national library functions have been performed by
several institutions and have developed over the years, although most of them do not
appear in their Acts. By the beginning of 1997 the national library system consisting of
three institutions was already established in Uganda (See Table 3.2) playing the
functions and roles, as well as embodying the values and norms of national library.
The MULIB was a legal depository in charge of the collection of national imprint and
foreign literature, collection and preservation of manuscripts and non-print materials,
the users were mainly academicians, scholars and researchers, and its emphasis was on
the collections. The DLDC was legally sanctioned to collect the national imprint,
produce the Accessions List and index newspaper articles; its the clients were mainly
government civil servants and other authorities and its emphasis was also on
collections. The PLB is mainly a comprehensive national library service and put its
emphasis on service delivery to public libraries.
78
Table 3.2: Some functions of a national library performed by MULIB, DLDC and PLB
(Based on table 2.5 p. 27 on the roles and functions of national libraries to be
considered most appropriate in Africa (Lor, 2003).
MULIB
1
2
Legal depository
Collection of national imprint
3
Collection and preservation of
manuscripts
Production of national
bibliography
Collection of foreign literature
Collection of the country’s
output of non-print materials
4.
5.
1.
Heritage
1.
Learned scholars and researchers
1.
Collections
DLDC
PLB
Functions/services
Legal depository
Public library services
Collection of national
imprint
Production of
Accessions list
Indexing services to
articles in newspapers
Orientation
Heritage
Clients
Government
servants
Emphasis
Collections
Comprehensive
national library service
civil Public libraries
Service delivery to
public libraries and
consequently to the end
users
The publishing industry was one of the first industries to be established in the late 19th
century by the missionaries basically to spread religion until after World War II. It had
a slow growth, and was only boosted soon after independence when the politicians
invested heavily in education and literacy. Just like other sectors, education and
publishing industry were affected during the Amin regime and publishing came to
almost a standstill. The industry was boosted after 1985 due to relative stability.
However, the publishers’ obligations of the norms of depositing their books to the
MULIB and DLDC have been disregarded to a great extent over all periods.
Generally, the publishers relied solely on schools as their customers, which is an
indication that it was a norm for publishers to publish educational materials demanded
by the market. Few books for reading for leisure were published mainly due to the lack
of the market as there is no reading culture as most people just read to pass
examinations. However, both publishing and educational systems were important as
foundations for the national library system.
The political and economic situation plays a vital role in the development of the library
sector. However, since independence the politicians have paid lip service to the library
79
sector which is not regarded as a priority, thus ignoring the library sector, its values
and needs became a norm in governmental and state institutions. Though they enacted
laws to establish the legal deposit and public libraries, as well as established two
commissions of inquiries to improve the public library services, the recommendations
were shelved and never acted upon. A complicated interplay of legislative,
governmental, cultural, educational structures defining libraries as institutions and,
especially, a national library as institution can be traced throughout the whole period
of library development in Uganda.
80
4. METHODS
This study investigates the process of the establishment of the NLU from the
institutional perspective. As was shown in the Introduction, it seeks to answer the
following research questions:
1. What were the factors in the library sector that created the premises for the
establishment of the NLU? This question will be answered through
interviews in order to get an understanding of the deinstitutionalization
process of the existing national library system that led to the
institutionalization of the NLU; through the functional, political and social
pressures.
2. What was the motivation and actions of the politicians that led to the
establishment of the NLU? The politicians’ activities are related to the
functional and political pressures of the deinstitutionalization process of the
PLB and institutionalization of the NLU. The answer to this question will be
the analysis of the Hansard when the politicians debated the National Library
Bill, 2001.
3. What were the roles, motives and actions of the library professional
community that led to the establishment of the NLU? The library professional
community interviews will answer this question. They played a major role
both in the deinstitutionalization and institutionalization processes. These
processes are comprised of functional, political and social pressure; and
corcive, normative and mimetic isomorphisms.
4. What role does the NLU play in the library sector at present? By analysing
the documents such as the National Library Act, 2003. I will be able to find
out the roles, norms and activities of that the NLU has been sanctioned to
perform. Additionally, documents like the annual reports from 2003 to 2007,
will inform me about the activities, achievements and challenges that the
NLU has faced over the years during the institutionalization process.
In this chapter, I describe how I have conducted my empirical study and explain the
choice of methods for data collection and analysis by referring to the new
institutionalism and to the normative institutionalism, in particular. Then I describe the
method and choice of data collection in detail, and, finally, explain how I have
analysed the empirical and documentary material.
4.1 Research design
My theoretical framework (Figure 2.2) is based on new institutionalism perspective.
This is where several scholars have contributed to the causes of institutionalization in
organizations and the processes by which organizations acquire social capability and
endorsement as a result of conformity to the norms and expectations of the
institutional environment. My study does not examine in depth many features of one or
a few cases over duration of time and therefore it is not a case study. It investigates the
reasons for deinstitutionalization, the institutionalization process and the institutional
change of the NLU. I collected data about the views, actions and roles of the
81
politicians and the representatives of the library community in various institutions
about the already established NLU, through documents and interviews. It is directed
towards two main processes – political and professional – and aims to trace their
overlap and interplay in relation to the establishment of a major national institution – a
national library.
I adopted qualitative research strategy, because I applied the normative
institutionalism approach, which views the norms of institutions as a means of
understanding how these institutions function and how they determine and shape the
behaviour of the professionals and politicians. My research questions begin with
‘what’. According to Gubrium and Holstein (2001) these types of questions have been
associated with the qualitative inquiry. It was imperative to use the qualitative
approach because the answers to my research questions needed a rich and deep
description of the motivation, process, actions and roles of different actors in the
establishment of the NLU. Additionally, the qualitative approach enabled me to collect
detailed information from the respondents and get a deeper understanding of the
processes and other phenomena under my study. Qualitative research puts emphasis on
detailed examination of the research object that arises from the natural flow of social
life as has happened with the transformation of the PLB into the NLU. In addition, the
study presents authentic interpretations of the social and historical contexts of the
Ugandan library sector presented by my respondents.
Before I embarked on the process of collecting data I requested for permission to do
research in Uganda from the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology
(UNCST) as this is a requirement for any person who wants to do research in the
country. I was given a letter of introduction to the Resident District Commissioners
(Governement representatives to the districts) where my research was going to be
undertaken (Appendix A) and an identity card (Appendix B). I then prepared my
interview guide which was tested during my pilot study, and then collected the
relevant documents from various institutions and libraries.
While designing the study, I realized that there would be a number of documentary
sources recording the political process, but very few would give me an insight to the
processes that took place in the professional community. Therefore, I decided to
combine qualitative content analysis of the relevant documents with in-depth
interviews. The observation method was mainly used at the NLU and the selected
public libraries to study the environment under which they perform their activities.
The data collection methods used in my study therefore includes face to face in-depth
interviews, documents and text analysis and observation. The following sub-sections
discuss how and why I selected my respondents, designed the interview guide, and
conducted the interviews. It also explains how I selected and analysed my documents.
4.2 Conducting the interviews
As said earlier, the involvement of the professional community in the establishment of
the NLU was not extensively recorded in documents, though some of them were a
direct outcome of this involvement and allowed a researcher an indirect glimpse into
82
their actions. Nevertheless, the interviews with the members of professional
community seemed the best source of data regarding their motivation and roles in the
process of founding the National Library.
4.2.1 Selection of respondents
The choice of the respondents depended on my research questions. The interviewees
were selected purposefully, because they hold a leading position in the institutions
involved in the establishment of the NLU, or were directly affected by its
establishment. According to Patton, the logic and power of selecting respondents with
a purpose leads to the selection of information rich respondents for an in-depth study
(Patton 2002, p. 230). He further defines information rich respondents “as those from
which one can learn a great deal about issues of central importance to the purpose of
inquiry” (Patton 2002, p. 230).
I purposively selected 20 respondents from various institutions who could provide me
with in-depth information and an understanding of the reasons and process of
establishing the NLU (Table 4.1). The respondents from the NLU were the key
participants in the inception, process and activities of the NLU and they have the
experience of over 25 years in the former PLB. They were asked what pressures
triggered off the deinstitutionalization of the PLB and the institutionalization process
of the NLU. I also wanted to know whether during the institutional change, there were
any entropy pressures, which accelerated the process, or any inertial pressures that
were blocking the process. The input of my respondents in many ways determined the
direction of the NLU, as they have some knowledge and experience of its work and
transition from the PLB to the NLU. Therefore their insights were deemed vital. It was
critical to establish the views and opinions of these respondents regarding the
establishment of the NLU and its role in the Ugandan library sector at present. I also
wanted to know how they were coping with the institutions change, their new roles,
and the (re)creation of the norms and values of the NLU.
Respondents from the MULIB and DLDC were selected because both institutions have
been performing some functions of a national library since the 1964 and 1969
respectively. I therefore wanted to know the relationship between their institutions and
the NLU and how the norms, values and roles of their institutions were affected by its
establishment.
Table 4.1: Institutions that participated in the study and the respondents’ codes
Key participants in the Interviews with library
process
professionals
NLU (A1-A7)
MULIB (B1-B2)
DLDC (G1)
ULIA (E1-E2)
Public libraries (F1-F4)
Interviews from
institutions
EASLIS (C1- C3)
UPA (D1)
other
83
The respondents from the East African School of Library and Information Science
(EASLIS) were selected because of their expertise in library and information
development in the country. I also wanted to know their views and perceptions about
the NLU and how it affected the norms, values and roles of other related institutions in
the country. The executive members of the Uganda Library and Information and
Information Science Association (ULIA) were selected as representatives of the library
professionals in the country. I sought to know their contribution during the process of
the institutionalization of the NLU, and their views about the new institution, as well
as about the National Library Act, 2003; and how it has affected the norms, values and
roles of the library sector in the country.
The Uganda Publishers Association (UPA) was selected because of the legal
obligation of the publishers to deposit their books to NLU, MULIB and DLDC. I
perceived a need to seek their opinion about the three legal deposit Acts that served as
the legal basis for the key national library function.
The leaders of the public libraries were involved in the study in order to provide a
better understanding about their views on how the institutional change affected them
when the governance of the public libraries was decentralized and taken over by the
district authorities and how this change affected their roles, norms and activities.
4.2.2 The interview guide
An interview guide is defined as a list of questions to be explored during an interview
ensuring that the same basic questions are pursued with each respondent. Its advantage
lies in making interviewing systematic and comprehensive (Patton (2002, p. 343).
My interview guide consisted of open-ended questions that solicited in-depth
responses about the respondents’ experiences, perceptions, opinions, and knowledge
relevant for my study (Appendix C).
The first section consisted of closed questions that provided basic data about my
respondents, namely: the position, the qualifications, working experience, and the job
description. The second section comprised mainly of open-ended questions also
referred to as unstructured or free-response questions. These open-ended questions are
characteristic of a qualitative study as outlined by Neuman because they permit a vast
number of possible answers (Neuman 2006, p. 287). Respondents can give detailed
answers and can qualify and clarify responses; and unexpected findings can be
discovered. The formulations of the questions permit adequate answers to complex
issues and allow the respondents to show their creativity, self-expression and provide
rich details. The purpose of collecting responses to open-ended questions is to enable
the researcher to understand and capture the points of view of respondents without
predetermining their points of view through prior selection of questionnaire categories
(Patton 2002, p. 21). As Lofland put it “to capture participants ‘in their own terms’,
one must learn their categories for rendering explicable and coherent the flux of raw
reality” (Lofland, 1971, p. 7).
84
The questions varied from one respondent to another especially with regard to the
institutions they represented. This is because these institutions played different roles
during the institutionalization process of the NLU. While others did not take any part
in the process but were either affected by the new institution or had some expertise in
the library and information sector of the country. In every case, I felt that their
opinions were vital for my research.
4.2.3 Pilot study
The interview guides are usually open to bias, and are likely to include questions that
are vague or can be misinterpreted by the respondents. In order to minimize this effect,
I carried out a pilot study to ascertain the reliability of the interview guide by
interviewing five respondents from the NLU and one librarian from a public library.
Neumann revealed the need to test the guide using a small number set of respondents
similar to those of the main study (Neumann 2006, p. 276).
However, my pilot study was carried out in the same institutions where I was going to
carry out my main study; this was inevitable since there were no alternative
institutions or respondents with the same characteristics as those of the NLU or public
libraries. After the pilot study, I made the necessary corrections and adjustment so that
there was logical flow of the questions. I was able not only to make the necessary
adjustments and improve on the interview guide but also to improve on my
interviewing techniques.
4.2.4 Interviews
The importance of interviews is to find out those things which we cannot directly
observe such as feelings, thoughts and opinions or behaviour that took place at some
previous point in time. It is impossible to observe how people organized the world and
the meanings they attach to what goes on in the world. It is therefore necessary to ask
those people questions about those issues (Patton 2002, pp. 340-341).
Qualitative interviews provided me with the insights into the individual respondents’
personal experiences of the motives, actions and roles of the establishment of the
NLU. I therefore conducted in-depth interviews face-to face in order to capture the
respondents’ views and experiences as they were perceived and commented after the
process of the establishment of the NLU. The face-to-face interviews with open-ended
questions allowed me to probe and ask for clarification or elaborations on their
responses. They also added depth, detail, and meaning at a very personal level of
experience. From these responses, I was able to understand and capture their opinions,
beliefs, and perceptions of what happened during the establishment of the NLU.
The face-to-face interviews give higher response rates as compared to telephone
interviews and they allow the interviewer to observe the surroundings (Neumann 2006,
p.301). Since all my interviews were conducted in the respondents’ respective offices,
I was able to observe the environment of the NLU and the public libraries, which
helped to answer part of my research, question four. It should be further noted here
85
that the interviews were important in answering the research questions one, three and
four.
4.3 Document and content analysis
Records, documents, artefacts, and archives are referred to as ‘material culture’ in
anthropology. They constitute rich information sources about organizations (Hill
1993). Neuman defines content analysis as a technique for gathering and analysing
data in the content of a text (Neuman 2006, p. 322).
The documents in my study are divided into three categories (Table 4.2):
1) The records related to the legislative process of the institutionalization of the
NLU include the rules and procedures for the parliament, the National Library
Bill, 2001 and the proceedings of the Parliament of Uganda (Hansard 11, 12, 17
September, 2002);
2) Secondly, the legislative documents include the Constitution of the Republic of
Uganda, 1995; the Local Government Act, 1997; the Makerere University
College (Deposit Library) Act, 1964; the Public Libraries Act, 1964; and the
Deposit Library and Documentation Centre Act, 1969.
3) Finally, the record of significant events include the minutes of meeting of the
PLB staff to discuss the possibility of the establishment of the NLU; minutes of
meeting of the MULIB professional librarians held on 17 March, 2002 to
discuss the National Library Bill, 2001; the Speech of the director of the NLU
on the launching of the first volume of the NBU 2005; the New Vision
newspaper 31 January, 2005 when the NLU celebrated its second anniversary
and included articles about its achievements; and the NLUannual reports
(2003/2004 to 2006/2007) which recorded the events and activities of the NLU
during a particular year (Table 4.2).
86
Table 4.2: Document analysis
Record of legislative
process
Rules and procedure for
the Parliament
Legislative documents
1995 Constitution of the
Republic of Uganda
National Library Bill, 2001 Local Government Act,
1997
Hansard
Makerere University
College (Deposit Library)
Act, 1964
Deposit Library and
Documentation Centre
Act, 1969
Public Libraries Act, 1964
Record of a significant
events (state of the art)
Minutes of meeting of the
PLB staff to discuss the
possibility of the
establishment of the NLU
Minutes of meeting of the
MULIB professional
librarians held on 17
March 2002 to discuss the
National Library Bill, 2001
Speech by the Director of
the NLU on the launching
of vol.1 of the NBU, 2005
The New Vision
Newspaper 31 January,
2005
NLU annual reports,
2003/2004 to 2006/2007
National Libratry Act,
2003
The importance of records and documents is highlighted by Patton as “... records
provide a behind the scenes look at programme processes and how they became into
being” (Patton 2002, p. 294). Documents revealed goals and decisions taken in the
meetings and recorded in the reports and policy statements and the flow of debates that
I would not have found otherwise. Various documents and records enabled me to
answer my research questions. The research question one about the factors in the
library sector that led to the establishment of the NLU was answered by various
legislative documents (Table 4.3). The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995,
devolved the services; the Local government Act, 1997, decentralized the social
services including public libraries; the Makerere University College (Deposit Library)
Act, 1964, and the Deposit Library and Documentation Centre, 1969, defined each
institutions and how they performed functions of a national library; the Public
Libraries Act, 1964, was affected by the Local Government Act, 1997, on the
decentralization of the public services and was repealed; the second and third-fiveyear-development plans of 1966/67-1970/71 and 1971/72-1975/76 informed of the
governmental plans to establish a national library, but these plans were not
implemented. These documents were also supplemented by interviews from the key
participants in the process of establishing the NLU.
87
Table 4.3: Documents related to the factors that led to the establishment of the NLU
Research question 1
What were the factors
in the library sector
that led to the
establishment of the
NLU?
Document analysis
1995 Constitution of the Republic of
Uganda
Interviews
Library professional
community
Local Government Act, 1997
Makerere University College
(Deposit Library) Act, 1964
Deposit Library and Documentation
Act, 1969
Public Libraries Act, 1964
The Second-five-year
development plan 1966/67- 1970/71
The Third five-year-development
plan 1971/72-1975/76
Research question two is about the motivations and actions of the politicians that led to
the establishment of the NLU was answered mainly by analysing the documents
(Table 4.4). These documents include: first, the rules and procedures that give a
description of the process of instituting an Act of Parliament from the writing of a
concept paper by the relevant stakeholders to the Third reading of the Bill when it is
passed as an Act of Parliament, thus, being legally sanctioned. Second, the National
Library Bill, 2001, was prepared by the Social Services Committee (politicians) and
the stakeholders (professional library community) to be debated by the politicians in
the parliament. It outlined why it was necessary to establish the NLU and provided
recommendations on how to do this.
The Hansard is the verbatim record of the parliamentary proceedings. I was able to
capture the politicians’ expressions, views, motives, actions and contributions to the
National Library Bill, 2001, in the Parliament. It would have been very difficult to
interview the politicians who are busy people, and even if I interviewed them, there is
a possibility that they could not remember what they said verbatim, four years before I
began my research. The politicians legitimized the Constitution of the Republic of
Uganda, 1995, adopted the Local Government Act, 1997, decentralised the social
services, and repealed the Public Libraries Act, 1964.
88
Table 4.4: Documents on the motivation and actions of the politicians that led to the
establishment of the NLU
Research question 2
Document analysis
What was the motivation and
The Hansard: parliamentary debate on the
actions of the politicians that led National Library Bill, 2001
to the establishment of the NLU?
1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda
Local Government Act, 1997
Public Libraries Act, 1964
The National Library Act, 2003
Rules and procedure for the Parliament
Research question three about the roles, motives and actions of the library professional
community that led to the establishment of the NLU was answered by a combination
of interviews and documents (Table 4.5). The documents included the concept paper
and the minutes of meeting by the PLB staff on the need to establish the NLU.
Minutes of the meeting of MULIB professional librarians to discuss and contribute to
the National Library Bill, 2001, held on 17 March, 2002. The National Library Bill,
2001, which was an outcome of the concept paper of the PLB staff and was discussed
by the Social Services Committee and the professional library community before it
was introduced to the Parliament for debate.
Table 4.5: Documents on the roles, motives and actions of the professional library
community that led to the establishment of the NLU
Research question 3
Document analysis
What were the roles,
National Library Bill, 2001
motives and actions of
the library professional
community that led to
the establishment of
the NLU?
Minutes of meeting of the PLB
staff discussing the possibility
of establishing the NLU
Minutes of meeting of MULIB
professional librarians
discussion of the National
Library Bill, 2001 held on 17
March 2002
Concept paper of establishing
the NLU
Interviews
Library professional
community
The documents answering question four about the role the NLU plays in the library
sector at present include the National Library Act, 2003, which is a set of actions,
89
roles, and norms the NLU was sanctioned to perform (Table 4.6). I was able to find
out how far these norms have been performed during the NLU’s institutionalization
process. The Annual reports of the NLU Board reveal the activities and challenges the
NLU is facing in its infancy stage. The list of public libraries in Uganda shows the
lack of public libraries in most the districts in the country that the NLU has to
coordinate. The New Vision Newspaper of 31 January, 2005, highlights the
achievements of the NLU on its Second Anniversary. In the speech at the launching of
the first volume of the NBU, the director of the NLU highlighted the importance of the
document and the need for authors and publishers to deposit their books at the NLU.
The three volumes of the NBU reflected the number of copies of publications
deposited at the NLU and the number of publishers who abided by the rules and norms
of the Act. The documents were supplemented with interviews from the library
professional community.
Table 4.6 Documents answering the roles the NLU plays in the library sector at
present
Research question 4
Document analysis
Interviews
What role does the NLU National Library Act, 2003 Library
play in the library sector at
community
present?
National Bibliography of
Uganda Vols. 1-3
New Vision Newspaper
January 31, 2005
NLU Annual reports
Speech by the Director of
the NLU at the launch of
the NBU vol.1
List of public libraries in
Uganda
professional
All documents were easily accessible from the relevant institutions apart from the
minutes of the Social Services Committee, which discussed the National Library Bill,
2001, before it was introduced in Parliament. However, this limitation was solved
when I gained access to the Hansard on the internet. The electronic version included
the report of the Social Services Committee that was presented by the chairperson of
the committee during the Second Reading of the National Library Bill, 2001, on
September 11, 2002.
I obtained the NLU annual report for 2003/2004, however, the annual reports for the
years 2004/2005, 2005/2006, and 2006/2007 were drafts. This was due to the absence
of the National Library Board, which was to sunction them and be made available to
the public. These reports enriched research question four on the roles the NLU is
90
playing in the library sector at present. I was able to get the review of the performance,
the challenges and future plans of the NLU.
4.4 Ethical issues
During the interviews, I tried as much as possible to focus on the purpose of the study
in order to collect good quality data. The respondents were assured of confidentiality
or at least that it will not be possible to trace the data to the person who provided it. I
therefore used codes such as A1, A2 instead of the names. This is particularly
important since I used some quotations when reporting the results of the study
verbatim. Although no names were revealed, there are limits to anonymity as the
institutions, to which the respondents are affiliated, are disclosed, so within the
confined limits of the library community, guesses are possible. I interviewed 20
respondents, which is quite a small number. Additionally, in some institutions I
interviewed one respondent and, therefore, there is a possibility of guessing who they
are. The recordings of the interviews are also kept safely, but they can be provided to
the examiners of the thesis if necessary.
In order to make the study credible, I tried as much as possible to be neutral and
collect data with an open mind to avoid bias. However, I have to admit that my
neutrality may be limited.
It is difficult for a researcher to be fully objective. I am a professional librarian with
long experience in Library and Information Science, so it is likely that my knowledge
and experience may influence the study. I am employed at the Makerere University
Library and my work experience may have influenced the interpretation of the data in
the way that I may be unaware of. Additionally, most of my respondents are
colleagues in the profession and some are higher in the hierarchy, therefore, this may
influence their responses to my questions and how explicit they may be.
I made attempts to describe the research process thoroughly in this study and to
increase its reliability and validity. Reliability means dependability or consistence
(Neumann 2006, p. 196). In order to improve the reliability of my data I pre-tested my
interview guide during the pilot study and necessary corrections were made. In order
to improve on the reliability of my study, I used multiple research methods namely,
interviews, documents, and observation.
Validity simply means truthfulness (Neuman 2006, p. 196). I tried as much as possible
to capture the views of the respondents and provide a detailed account of their
responses. My research applied qualitative method which tends to be analytical
generalizations. I therefore, tried to ensure that the findings from the interview study
can give guidance to what may happen in a different situation. To some extent, the
findings can be generalized and applied to other national libraries in similar situations,
or processes of the establishment of national archives or other institutions.
91
4.5 Summary
The pilot study was conducted during July, 2005, and the main study was conducted
from October, 2005, to February, 2007. Table 4.7 shows the dates when both the pilot
and the main studies were conducted and the name of institutions which participated in
the study.
Table 4.7: Time frame
Date
5-7July, 2005
12 July 2005
Oct. 2005- Feb. 2006
Aug.- Nov. 2006
Activity
Pilot study
Pilot study
Main study
Main study
24 Jan.-1 Feb., 2007
Main study
Institution
National Library of Uganda
Kampala Public Library
National Library of Uganda
EASLIS, MULIB, UPA ULIA
Kampala public Library
Mbale, Teso and Masindi public
libraries
Twenty respondents were interviewed between 2005 and 2007, the dates on which
they were interviewed, the respondents’ codes and the length of interviews in minutes
(Appendix D).
The research employed qualitative approach and the methods used for collecting data
were in-depth interviews and content analysis of the documents. These methods
focussed mainly on the reasons for the establishment of the NLU, the process of its
institutionalization and the environmental change of the library and information sector
after the enactment of the National Library Act, 2003. The analysis is focussed on
institutional change of library services in Uganda. The empirical materials include
interviews with librarians from different institutions namely Public Libraries
Board/National Library of Uganda, Makerere University Library, Deposit Library and
Documentation Centre, Uganda Library and Information Association, Uganda
Publishers Association, East African School of Library and Information Science and
Public Libraries. I interviewed 20 respondents from seven institutions. I also employed
documents, namely, the Hansard, annual reports, minutes of meetings and newspapers,
and policy documents. All interviews were conducted in the librarians’ offices and this
gave me an opportunity to see the working environment of the NLU and the public
libraries and which enabled me to study the environment of the library buildings and
other infrastructure.
92
5. RESULTS AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the results of my study in the light of my theoretical framework.
I combine the results which are derived from the interviews and documents. The
structure of the analysis is related to my theoretical framework (Figure 2.2). The
chapter is divided into two main sections. The first section ‘before the National
Library Act, 2003’ deals with the situation of the library sector and activities from
1997 where my study begins up to the adoption of the National Library Act, 2003. It
starts with the analysis of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the
Local Government Act, 1997 as they had a very strong impact on the situation in the
library sector and in fact created motivation for the establishment of the NLU. This is
followed by the state of the library sector in the country. Thereafter, the analysis
concentrates on the role played by the politicians and library professionals in the
process of the institutionalization of the NLU. It ends by analysing the
institutionalization process of the NLU as understood by the stakeholders. The second
section, ‘the development of the National Library of Uganda 2003 – 2007’ analyses
the changes that occurred after the establishment of the NLU and the role the NLU
plays in the library sector at present.
5.1 Before the National Library Act, 2003
5.1.1 Decentralization of public library services
The Constitution of Uganda of 1967 was replaced by the Constitution of the Republic
of Uganda 1995. This institutional change of the constitution was not only due to the
fact that the 1967 Constitution was outdated but also due to several reasons: the history
of Uganda, which as we have already seen, has been characterized by political and
constitutional instability, which included the struggle against the forces of tyranny,
oppression and exploitation. The NRM government was committed to build a better
future by establishing a socioeconomic and political order through a popular and
durable national constitution based on the principles of unity, peace, equality,
democracy, freedom, social justice and progress. The Constitutional Assembly was
therefore established through general elections to debate the Draft Constitution which
was prepared by the Uganda Constitutional Commission. The Constitution of the
Republic of Uganda was adopted in September, 1995 (Constitution of the Republic of
Uganda, [as at 15th February 2006], p. 21).
In the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda:
Clause 176 (1) “the system of local government in Uganda shall be based
on the district as a unit under which there shall be such local governments
and administrative units as Parliament may by law provide” (p.138).
In clause 176 (2), the following principles shall apply to the local government system:
(a) The system shall be such as to ensure that functions, powers and responsibilities
are devolved and transferred from the government to local government units in
a coordinated manner;
93
(b) Decentralization shall be a principle applying to all levels of local government
and, in particular, from higher to lower local government units to ensure
peoples’ participation and democratic control in decision making;
(c) The system shall be such as to ensure the full realization of democratic
governance at all local government levels;
(d) There shall be the establishment for each local government unit a sound
financial base with reliable sources of revenue;
(e) Appropriate measures shall be taken to enable local government units to plan,
initiate and execute policies in respect of matters affecting the people within
their jurisdictions;
(f) Persons in the service of local government shall be employed by the local
governments; and
(g) The local governments shall oversee the performance of persons employed by
the government to provide services in their areas and to monitor the provision
of government services or the implementation of projects in their areas
(Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, [as at 15th February 2006, p.138).
In 1997, the Parliament enacted the Local Government Act:
“An act to amend, consolidate and streamline the existing law on Local
Governments in line with the constitution to give effect to the
decentralization and devolution of functions, powers and services; and to
provide for decentralization at all levels of Local Governments to ensure
good governance and democratic participation in, and control of decision
making by the people; and to provide for revenue and the political and
administrative set-up of Local Governments; and to provide for election of
Local Councils and any other matters connected to the above” (Local
Government Act, 1997 p. 9)
The objectives of the Act are:
(a) To give full effect to the decentralization of functions, powers, responsibilities
and services at all leves of Local Governments;
(b) To ensure democratic participation in, and control decision making by the
people concerned;
(c) To establish a democratic, political and gender sensitive administrative set-up
in Local Governments;
(d) To establish sources of revenue and financing accountability; and
(e) To provide for election of Local Councils (Local Government Act, 1997, pp. 910)
The Local Government Act, 1997, decentralized all public services in Uganda
including public libraries to the districts. This means that at present the local
authorities are in charge of establishing, equipping, managing, and maintaining the
public libraries, the functions which were performed by the PLB.
94
5.1.2 The state of the national library sector 1997-2003
5.1.2.1 The state of public libraries
The roles and functions of the PLB are identified by Lor as the functions that the
national library should consider as most appropriate for African countries (Lor 3003;
Table 2.5). These functions include comprehensive national library services to the
public libraries and through them to the general public. The functions of the PLB were
to establish, equip, manage, and maintain public libraries.
There were several programmes, which were included in the PLB’s activities, which
include: providing to local governments standards, advise, norms, manuals and
guidelines in respect of public library buildings, staffing, stock and information
processing, storage and retrieval; inspecting and ensure that public libraries confirm to
national policies, guidelines and standards; carrying out and coordinating staff
development programmes for people working in libraries and information services;
supporting the setting up of rural community libraries; and supporting and promoting
adult literacy and education by identifying and stocking literature for post-literacy
reading campaign and organizing book exhibitions.
However, by the end of its activities, the PLB practically failed to fulfil its main
obligation of establishing public libraries in each district, thus, rendering 50% of the
districts without public libraries (Appendices E and F). The communities without
public libraries have no access to free library services and therefore to information.
In the report of the Social Science Committee the inadequate numbers of public
libraries in the country and the sorry state of the existing ones was emphasized:
“There are 26 public libraries, a number far less than Uganda’s 56
districts. These libraries are in an alarming situation. Some are located in
personal houses; some are in rented premises and a few others are in
dilapidated premises.” (Hansard 11 September, 2002)
This situation resulted in the fact that inhabitants of Uganda could be entirely
unaware of the existence of the library services as such as Kapkwomu Ndiwa
(Representing Kongasis, Kapchorwa) revealed:
“In some districts, the use of a library is unknown…”
September 2002)
(Hansard 11
The process of transferring the public libraries from the PLB to the local governments
took place between 1998 and 2000.
The local authorities included the public libraries in their district structures. However,
different districts placed their public libraries under different departments. For
example: Teso and Mbale Public Libraries are under the Community Development
Department. The Kampala Public Library is under Education, Information and Sports
95
Department, while Masindi Public Library is directly under the Town Clerk. In
addition, the public libraries services are under the Ministry of Local Government,
while the PLB which creates guidelines and standards to the public libraries is under
Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development. Some public libraries namely,
Mbale and Tororo have library committees (Hansson and Kawalya, 2007, p. 286).
While evaluating the public library services in Uganda, Were outlined the activities of
library committees in the districts.The Library committees are sub-committees of the
PLB and the membership includes the Town Clerk, the district administrator, and four
other people appointed on the basis of their influence and interest in education and
libraries. The funds for the committee are raised locally through fund raising activities,
grants from local authorities, direct cash donations from people in the committte’s area
and any funds from the PLB for specific projects (Were, 1994, p. 50).
PLB encouraged the formation of library committees for a number of reasons:
To involve members of the community in matters affecting the development of their
library; the PLB would have an opportunity to consult the local community and hear
their views on matters affecting their library thus protecting the community’s library
interests; the local community would have the opportunity of participating in the
planning and development of their library; and the committee enables the interaction
between the library users and the PLB thus resulting into better communication and
improved services (Were, 1994, p.51).
The objectives of the Library Committee are: to assist the PLB in developing,
promoting, and running library activities in the district; to advise the PLB in regard to
stocking, equipping, managing and maintaining the public library; to study and
discuss the library’s problems and how to solve them; to plan organize, encourage and
facilitate library development activities on self-help basis; and to organize, in
consultation with the PLB, library activities such as book exhibitions and library
weeks which aim at cultivating the community’s interest in libraries and reading
(Were, 1994, pp.51-52)
From the importance of the library committees outlined above, only a few public
libraries such as Mbale, Tororo and Teso, have library committees. The inadequate
nature of the library materials found in these libraries was discussed by the MPs during
the parliamentary debate on the National Library Bill, 2001.
Deusdedit Bikwasizeki, Representing Buhweju County, Bushenyi emphasized
the fact that libraries do not have new materials:
“In most cases, you find that the materials in these libraries are so old and
obsolete.” (Hansard, 12 September, 2002).
On the other hand Steven Bamwanga, (Representing Ndorwa county west,
Kabale) complained that the library material is not only old and in bad condition,
but also not used by anyone:
96
“If you visit some of these public libraries ... you will find that apart from
being in dilapidated buildings and in personal houses, most of the books
are as old as the Public Libraries Act which was passed in 1964. These
books are all on dusty shelves and they are on cobwebs of history.”
(Hansard, 12 September, 2002).
Byatike Matovu, (Representing Entebbe Minicipality, Wakiso) understood that
the main cause of the conditions, in which libraries exists, is their status in the
eyes of the local authorities:
“The libraries in many areas rank very low on the local council’s
priorities.” (Hansard, 12 September 2002)
Bitangaro the Minister of State (Gender and Cultural Affairs) agreed that public
libraries were in a bad state. However, he pointed out that there were some libraries
that were performing very well. He gave an example of Fort Portal, Mbale, Kampala,
Jinja, and Lira. Those in a sorry state were Tororo, Hoima, Masindi and Kamuli public
libraries. The funding of these public libraries was inadequate, making it difficult to
fulfil government policies with low resources.
The state of public libraries therefore is still facing the same problems since their
inception when the Public Libraries Act, 1964 was enacted. These challenges included
lack of functional library buildings, funding, staffing, and relevant current library
materials. However, the politicians have been lamenting about the challenges without
action to recitify the situation.
Kampala Public Library
The Kampala Public Library was handed over to Kampala City Council (KCC) in
1999 and is under the Department of Education, Information and Sports. The
management did not know much about public libraries and how they are run, but with
time they have come to appreciate and are now aware about their importance. The
library has one computer which has broken down. There is limited space for users and
staff, lack of current library materials and shortage of staff.
The state of the Kampala Public Library faces the same challenges as before
decentralization. However, respondent F4 added:
“We were better off under the PLB as far as funding was concerned. We
were enjoying a steady flow of funds from PLB, this is because they are
colleagues in the profession; they know the importance of public libraries.
Currently funds are not easily forthcoming from the KCC management,
which makes more promises that action (Respondent F4)
97
However plans are underway to improve the situation. Four computers have been
ordered. There are plans to expand the library building including the children’s wing
(the children’s library at Ben Kiwanuka Street was closed after the eviction by the
landlord who wanted to develop the land). When the extension of the building has
been constructed there will be more space for users, a computer laboratory, an
auditorium for seminars and educational films, office space, space for book shelves
and CDs. Additionally, more qualified staff will be recruited more computers will be
procured.
Respondent F4 concluded:
“I hope that these plans will be put in practice, and not be just pay a lip
service as was the case with the governments of the 1960s and 1970s”
(Respondent F4).
Mbale Public Library
Mbale Public Library was one of the best performing libraries in the country. I
therefore decided to visit the library and find out how it is performing its services
under the local authority. Mbale Public Library had been renting the building which
belongs to the Bugisu Cooperative Union (BCU) since 1958. In 2005 due to financial
constrains the BCU leased the building to Barclays Bank. Since the local authorities
could not afford the amount of money required for the lease of the building, the library
was evicted. A plot of land was identified for the construction of the library depending
on the availability of funds. The library was housed in the District Administration
building. I observed that it is divided into five rooms. Three rooms were for reading
area and book shelves, the fourth room was the ‘American corner’ with computers,
internet, video and TV; and the fifth one was the librarian’s office. The
issue/information desk was in the corridor. Most of the books, shelves and reading
tables were kept in three different stores in the basement because they could fit in the
available rooms. This situation hinders the library to render its services effectively and
efficiently due to congestion. The library is operating under Community and Social
Services Department. Regarding the decentralization of the Mbale Public Library,
Respondent F1 revealed that:
“When Mbale Public Library was decentralized, we were demoralized
since during the first six months we did not recieve salaries and funds for
water, power and rent. This killed our morale and led to the deterioration
of the library services”. (Respondent F1)
The ‘American Corner’ was started in 2002, which is an initiative by the USA,
Department of State. The USA government had realised that many people did not
know about USA so they identified special areas to start this project. Mbale Public
Library was selected because it was well organized. The American Embassy in
Uganda donated books about USA, two computers, a printer, book shelves, and paid
98
subscription for the Internet. The project registered success as the demand for books
increased. The American Embassy then donated six computers, and Shs 5 million for
internet subscription to Uganda Telecommunications Limited (UTL), repairs and for
the software.
The local authorities did not see the relevance of libraries. They were not interested in
reading and did not know why the library had to buy books every year. “...but you
bought books last year, where did they go?” they would say.
Teso Public Library
It has limited space and furniture and some books were kept in the boxes in the
librarian’s office and those in the library are locked in cupboards for fear of thefts. The
children’s library section is shared with the adults since the main library is not yet
roofed. During the first six months after the decentralizaton of the library, there there
was no funding and no salaries. The situation improved, athough the library is not a
priority in the district. There is limited space, and furniture, although the district
bought some chairs and tables, but they are not enough. After decentralization,
Respondent F2 reported that the library did not get any funding, for six months. The
library gets donations from: Book Aid International (BAI) through the NLU,
Development Network of the Indigenous Voluntary Association (DENIVA) and Care
& Share, World Bank Book Project. The Teso Public library is under department of
Community Development.
Masindi Public Library
The library was managed by only one librarian, who had been working there for only
six months, so she did not experience the transitional process of the decentralization of
the public library to the district. Masindi Public Library was housed in a dilapidated
rented building with limited space and lack of furniture, the paint on the walls was
peeling off, the roof was leaking, and it had broken windows, some books are stored in
boxes, and some on tables because of lack of shelves. Respondent F3 informed that the
NLU could not donate books to the due to its poor state. However, Respondent F3
was optimistic that when the conditions improve and more shelves acquired, the
library will receive donations from the NLU. The library is directly under the town
clerk.
In Septermber 2009, the first phase of Masindi Public Library building housing the
children’s library was opened. The building was constructed using funds from the
Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the NLU, the Local Government
Development Programme, and the local tax collections. The NLU donated furniture
and books. The construction of the second phase will start in 2010. The Masindi local
authorities were praised by the Director of the NLU for reconginizing the importance
of library services in community and national building (National Library of Uganda,
2009)
99
5.1.2.2 The relationship between MULIB, DLDC and PLB as institutions
By 1997, MULIB, DLDC and PLB were carrying out some activities of national
libraries. A national library can be defined as a library responsible for the collection
and preservation of national and foreign literature, legal deposit, publication of a
national bibliography, and compilation of a union catalogue.
Differences and similarities between MULIB and DLDC
There are a number of differences and similarities between the functions and roles of
the MULIB and the DLDC (Table 5.1). Both institutions complement each other as
parts of national library but also duplicate each others activity.
Table 5.1: The differences and similarities between Makerere University Library and
Deposit Library and Documentation Centre.
Act
Functions
Number of
copies for the
deposit
Collections
MULIB
Makerere University College
(Deposit Library) Act, 1964
Deposit and preservation of
books
One
Books, government and
international documents,
theses and dissertations,
microfilms, micro cards,
photographs, archives,
manuscripts and audio
materials
Dissemination National Bibliography of
Uganda, irregular ceased in
1997, DATAD, USDL
Preservation
Binding, microfilming,
digitization
Building
Functional
DLDC
Deposit Library and
Documentation Centre Act,
1969
Deposit and preservation of
books
One
Books, government documents,
theses and dissertations
Accessions list is annual,
regular and up to date
Binding
Non-functional
Similarities
Two functions to deposit and preserve publications are common for both institutions.
Publishers have to deposit one copy of each book published in Uganda to each
institution.
MULIB until 1997 published the Uganda National Bibliography (UNB) while DLDC
still publishes the Accessions List. Both publications are incomprehensive because of
100
the outdated legal deposit acts, which do not include non-book materials and have
weak penalties, which are ignored by the publishers. There are duplication and
wastage of resources since both institutions are performing the same activities. It was,
therefore, necessary to produce one national bibliography, which would include the
location of where the documents could be found, that is to combine the function of the
national bibliography and the union catalogue.
Differences
MULIB was made the official depository for documents from the UN agencies and
related bodies. While both institutions collect the Ugandan government documents,
MULIB also collects government documents from other countries. MULIB is the
biggest and oldest library in the country and preserves the national imprint in various
formats. These include microfilms, microcards, photographs, and audio materials.
MULIB embarked on the preservation of the collection through microfilming and
digitization.
The Accessions List produced by the DLDC is regular and up to date, the Uganda
National Bibliography was irregular and ceased publication in 1997 (Table 3.1). Most
of the legal deposit collection of the MULIB contains theses and dissertations
produced by Makerere University, while most collection of DLDC consists of
government documents.
MULIB, DLDC and PLB as a national library system
National libraries are defined according to their functions. Humphrey (Table 2.3)
categorized the functions of a national library as essential, desirable and non-essential
(Humphrey 1966). The overview of the functions of the MULIB, DLDC and PLB
shows that they fully cover all three categories (Table 5.2) defined by Humphrey.
The essential functions carried out by MULIB include legal deposit, collection and
preservation of national and foreign literature, publication of national bibliography
(UNB), and collection of the country’s output of non-book materials. It also performs
the desirable function of collecting manuscripts. MULIB ceased performing one of the
essential activities of producing the Uganda National Bibliography in 1997. The
DLDC’s essential functions comprise legal deposit, collection of national imprint, and
publication of the national bibliography (Accessions List). The PLB is basically a
public library service whose functions include establishing, equipping, managing and
maintaining public libraries (a non-essential function).
101
Table 5.2: The distribution of the national library functions in Uganda.
MULIB
Legal deposit
Collection of national
foreign literature
Manuscripts Collection
DLDC
PLB
Legal deposit
Public library services
and Collection of national Establishing,
imprint
equipping, managing
and maintaining public
libraries
Publish national
Bibliography
Publish national bibliography
Collection of the country’s
output of non-print materials
However, the performance of the national library functions by the institutions with
other goals is usually problematic.
The MULIB has the dual functions of a university library as well as a national library.
The government does not fund its activities as a national library. There is no vehicle to
collect the national imprint and there is limited space for the storage of the deposited
documents and their users. There are not enough personnel to carry out the national
library activities. The MULIB has to serve the constantly growing number of students,
which increased from 10,000 in 1996/1997 to 25,000 in 2002/2003 (Mulira et al. 2008,
p. 4). Additionally, it has to serve the staff and researchers. But the responsibility to
the students was seen as the priority job that cannot be put aside to perform other
tasks. Respondent (A7) emphasized further:
“MULIB could not handle these responsibilities; it has a big number of
students.” (Respondent A7)
This means that MULIB cannot perform the functions of the national library of
collecting and preserving the national imprint and publishing the national
bibliography. At the same time being a university library, serve students, staff
and researchers, with limited space, staff, and funds.
The conflict between the user groups served by the MULIB and the DLDC and
the potential users of the national imprint or benefiting from other national
library activities was evident to the professional librarians:
“Any nation needs to preserve its documentation heritage and make it
available for use. …Yes, we had MULIB and DLDC who were doing a good
job of acting as national libraries. But the two institutions had their own
clientele the students and staff. The general public could not go and access
information from the two institutions. So the country needed a neutral place
where as many people as possible can go and have access to information.”
(Respondent A5).
102
One of the respondents perceived the situation differently and did not consider the
activities of the MULIB and the DLDC as equal to the performance of the national
library functions:
“There is no institution of that nature in Uganda that performed the
functions of a national library. MULIB and DLDC are depository libraries
performing some of the roles…” (Respondent A7)
Thus, despite the fact that there were three organizations in Uganda to greater or lesser
extent acting as national libraries, the situation was not perceived as satisfactory by the
members of the library community. The overlap of the activities between these
institutions also caused some problems. In addition, the decentralization of the public
libraries has put the Public Library Board in the position that threatened its existence
and pushed it to look for the ways to survive.
5.1.3 Adopting the National Library Act in Parliament: political process
As in any other country, there are certain rules governing the process of passing a law
through the Parliament of Uganda. In other words, the process of instituting an Act of
Parliament of Uganda is outlined by rules and procedures of Parliament (Uganda
Parliment, 2006)
The adoption of the National Library Act had to go through it as well. However,
before this process can start there has to be a group of interest that will put effort in
creating a concept paper for the new act, starting the whole procedure and following it
up. In the case of the National Library Act, this role was performed by the leaders and
the employees of the PLB. Before starting the detailed and deep analysis of the
creation, discussion and passing the National Library Act in 2003, I would like to
outline the elements of this concrete process in general.
5.1.3.1 The process of the adoption of the National Library Act, 2003
As I have explained earlier, the MULIB and the DLDC had inadequate functions and
resources to perform the national library functions efficiently and effectively. Thus the
distributed national library in fact stopped to exist and did not fulfil the work of the
collection and preservation of the national imprint as expected. The PLB has lost not
only its function but also legitimacy and faced a threat of annihilation. Its staff became
a force behind the next stage of full deinstitutionalization of previous institutional
structures and a start of the creation of a new institution. The following events
depicted in Fig 5.1 led to the adoption the new Library Act and establishing the NLU.
The institutionalization process of the NLU started in 1998 when after the Local
Government Act, 1997, the PLB senior members of staff came up with the idea of
establishing the NLU. The PLB staff planned, drafted a proposal and wrote the
concept paper. In 1998, the concept paper was approved by the PLB Board.
The next step in the process relates to the government action. After, a concept paper is
written by the relevant stakeholders, it is sent to the Cabinet by the concerned minister
103
for discussion and approval. If the Cabinet approves, the Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs drafts the Bill, which is introduced to the Parliament for the
First Reading.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development received the concept paper
from the PLB Board, studied it and sent to the Cabinet for discussion and approval in
1999.
Two years later in 2001, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs drafted the
National Library Bill, 2001.
Figure 5.1: Events marking the process of the institutionalization of the NLU from the
concept paper to the National Library Act, 2003.
Note: the rectangles signify the actions of professional librarians, the circles –
political elements in the process.
In the Parliament the procedure demands that the Member who has officially
submitted a Bill introduces it to the Parliament. There is no discussion or questions
asked during this introduction. The draft Bill is referred to the appropriate committee,
which examines it in detail, makes inquiries related to the Committee, considers
expedient or necessary issues and reports to the House within two months from the
104
date the Bill is referred to the Committee. This is an entirely formal event and,
therefore, was not visualized in fig. 5.1.
However, there were two important events related to the National Library Bill prior to
its discussion in the relevant parliamentary committee that are included in the figure.
The draft was discussed in the meetings by various interest groups, namely, the
Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) and the MULIB professional
librarians in March, 2002.
According to the Article 90 of the Constitution (Uganda constitution 1995, p. 56) the
House appoints Parliamentary Committees to enable it to discharge its functions
efficiently. The session committees examine and comment on policy matters affecting
ministries covered and initiate or evaluate action programs of those ministries and
sectors and make appropriate recommendations. They also examine critically the bills
brought by the government to the House before they are debated, examine critically
government recurrent and capital budget estimates and make recommendations for
general debate in the House. Finally, they monitor the performance of the ministries
and departments to ensure government compliance.
On 19 March 2002, the Social Services Committee of Parliament (SSC) and the
members from interested groups discussed the draft bill. The stakeholders were the
representatives from PLB, MULIB, DLDC, Kyambogo University Library, the
Ministry of Public Service and Cabinet Affairs, the Uganda National Archives UPA
and the ULIA.
After the discussion in the Committee the Bill is debated in Parliament. The
Chairperson of the Committee, to which the Bill was referred to or a member of the
Committee designated by the Committee or by the Speaker, presents to the House the
report of the committee on the Bill. A debate ensues on the merits and principles of the
Bill, on the basis of the explanatory memorandum and the report from the Committee.
The Bill is read in the Parliament three times and after the third time is passed as an
Act of Parliament.
The National Library Bill, 2001 was read for the first time on 11 September 2002
when the Clerk to the parliament read aloud the short tile of the Bill. September 12,
2002 was the second reading of the Bill, which was comprised of the report of the
SSC. The debate followed by the MPs on 17 September, 2002, the Bill was read for
the third time after making amendments and was passed as an Act of Parliament. The
National Library Act came into effect in January, 2003 (Figure 5.1).
105
5.1.3.2 The PLB activity after decentralization of public libraries (the
process begins)
After the overview of the process related to the adoption of the National Library Act, I
return to the examination of each step in this process. I start with the reasons of the
initiation and preparation of the concept paper by the PLB.
The decentralization of public libraries and transferring the responsibility for them to
the district authorities started in 1998 and ended in 2000. The SSC reported that the
PLB was left with the responsibility of inspection, monitoring, issuing standards, and
guidelines, developing human resource and co-ordinating government initiatives and
policies at national level. These functions would be best performed by the national
library backed by a legislation that explicitly defined its powers and functions
(Hansard, 11 September, 2002).
The general view of the PLB staff that came up with the idea of establishing the NLU
was that they felt that the activities left at the PLB headquarters were not enough for a
national organization. So they took the advantage of the existing weak national library
system and wanted to establish a full fledged national library where the general public
could go and access information.
On the other hand, the idea of a national library in Uganda was not entirely new as one
of the respondents has pointed out:
“The idea of establishing a national library has always been there since
1964, but because of the political and economic problems, it was not
possible to do so” (Respondent A1).
The members of the PLB felt that they have revived it and also brought to the
fruition the efforts from earlier periods:
“…We were just building on the second and third five year development
plans, 1966/67-1970/71 and1971/72-1975/76) This is whereby plans were
made for building, equipping, furnishing and stocking the Uganda National
Library. However, because of the political and economic problems, the idea
could not be implemented. We therefore view this as matter of just revisiting
the idea”. (Respondent A7)
But the respondents were quite open about the fact that the staff on all levels was
worried about the possibility of closing down the PLB and that it was one of the most
important reasons for their efforts to revive the idea of the NLU:
“The Minister of MoGLSD was planning to retrench all the staff of PLB
headquarters and transfer the director, as commissioner and his/her deputy
as assistant commissioner and a secretary to the MoGLSD headquarters to
106
perform the above activities. There was fear that we were going to be
retrenched” (Respondent A7).
One of the respondents clearly states that:
“We did not want to lose our jobs” (Respondent A4).
The other one spoke more about finding new meaning to the professional
existence within the organization named the PLB by changing its function to a
nobler one:
“Work had been taken away from the PLB and so we had to redefine a new
role. This was a very timely intervention. The PLB was going and there was
a need for an institution to take up leadership role, and a noble task of
preserving the intellectual heritage...” (Respondent A3)
Another one regarded the national library as a prestige:
... it is the status of the nation. Many countries in the world have national
libraries. It was also necessary to fill the gap created by dissolving the
PLB. Professionally, there was a need to have a national body to perform
the fuctions of a national library (Respondent C2).
While working on the contents of the Bill, the PLB staff made consultations with the
librarians of the Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) and the Tanzania National
Library Services (TLS), because these two bodies were playing the roles of both the
national library and public library (A7). They were trying to consolidate the functions
of a national library with those of the public library services. They consulted
extensively the UNESCO guidelines for legislation of national libraries for definition
of terms (Table 5.5) and adopted them for the concept paper. They also examined the
Namibian and Norwegian legal deposit acts, which were perceived as the most modern
ones.
107
Table 5.3 National libraries and information needs ( Line, 1990, p. 29)
1.
2.
3.
Functions
Collection and preservation
of documents of national
interest and importance
Creation of and access to
bibliographic records of
publications
Documentation provision:
the national resource
4.
Access to publications
5.
Exchange of publications,
especially, with institutions
outside the country
Access to information
6.
7.
Services to libraries and
other information units
8.
Leadership and advice to
libraries and information
units
9.
Planning and coordination
10. Research and development
a)
b)
a)
b)
a)
Needs
Acquisition of a complete collection of
materials generated in and relating to the
country
Preserving that collection for posterity
Bibliographic needs:
Creation of bibliographic records of the
published production of a country
Access to the records of other countries
Management of national collections
b) Building up of foreign collections
a) Access to reference resources and
consultation
b) Remote supply: loans or copies
a) Primary information
b) Processed information
c) Preparation of information guides (abstracts,
indexes)
a) Cataloguing (cataloguing books before they
are published so that other libraries are saved
the bother of cataloguing these books again
and again)
b) Facilitating libraries to lend to each other
books
a) Leadership
b) Advice
a) National planning coordination with
emphasis on resource sharing,
standardization and international liaison
a) On matters of national importance
b) On matters affecting a group of librarians
c) On matters affecting the national library
itself
These needs of the national libraries were mainly used when clarifying the relationship
between the NLU and other libraries:
108
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
A national library fills the information gaps left by other libraries i.e. public
libraries, academic libraries, departmental libraries, and libraries attached to
private institutions.
Creates mechanism and possibility for optional utilization of information
resources within and outside the country by:
(a) creating bibliographies that help libraries and the users of the national
library to know what information materials are available in the
country and outside the country and where they can be found. (union
catalogue);
(b) working with major libraries in the country to establish mechanisms
for libraries to share their information resources through interlibrary
loans and shared acquisitions;
(c) making available to other libraries access to publications of foreign
governments and international organizations;
(d) making available to other libraries photocopies and other documents
through other national libraries.
Creates forum, mechanisms and possibilities for cooperation among
different types of libraries in areas of:
(a) policies;
(b) plans;
(c) standards;
(d) lobbying and advocacy;
(e) education and training (National Library Bill, 2001: Clarifications on
issues raised by the SSC on 19 March 2002, p. 2 doc.)
The PLB library professionals ensured that the Minister of Finance Planning and
Economic Development signed the certificate of approval indicating that funds will be
available for the activities of the NLU. (A7)
Respondent A4 described the hard work of persuasion of the officials and politicians
on all levels as follows:
“We managed to convince the Permanent Secretary of the MoGLSD, the
Cabinet and the Social Services Committee of Parliament of the need for
a national library. The president has also agreed that we needed a
national library and it was a good idea. May be he was looking for votes
and wanted to leave a milestone….” (Respondent A4).
Despite the fact that the PLB had limited funds, the staff went out of their way to
spend it in order to speed up the process:
“A lot of money was spent during this process especially in
photocopying. We had limited funds and each Member of Parliament
(MP) had to get copy of the Bill (about 280 copies). Whenever there
were changes made, new copies had to be made” (A4).
109
5.1.4 Role of librarians in the adoption of National Library Act, 2003
The PLB staff remained the most influential group of professional librarians
throughout the whole process of the adoption of the National Library Act, though they
did not succeed in everything that they have planned.
PLB professionals wanted the copyright office, which is currently in the Ministry of
Justice and Constitutional Affairs, to be transferred to the NLU.
Respondent A3 explained the foundation for this requirement:
“We wanted to use the US model; whereby the copyright office is in the
Library of Congress” (Respondent A3)
This Social Service Committee agreed with this suggestion, however, there was a need
to harmonise this item with the provisions of the copyright law, which at that time was
being debated on in Parliament. Their idea was eventually rejected. The copyright
office is currently in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Nevertheless, in most cases, the Bill reflected the wishes and the demands of the PLB
leaders and staff than those of other professional groups.
Respondent C2 expressed the opinion of some professionals that it would be beneficial
to have subject national libraries:
“I would prefer to have the National Library of Medicine, the National
Library of Agriculture and so on, as is the case for the US, so that
national libraries are based on disciplines” (Respondent C2).
However, although A3 agreed that subject national libraries are good, they very
expensive ventures for a poor country like Uganda, which has problems of sustaining
national library services in terms of financial and human resources.
When the draft bill was brought before the Social Services Committee for discussion,
the MPs in the Committee noted that professional interest groups were not involved in
previous process, except the PLB, which drafted the concept paper. The Committee
therefore suggested that all the stakeholders were brought on board to discuss the draft.
The following stakeholders were invited: MULIB, DLDC, National Archives, the
Ministry of Public Service and Cabinet Affairs, Kyambogo University Library,
Uganda Publishers Association, ULIA, Uganda Local Authorities Association and
Uganda Urban Authorities Association.
This issue was addressed by the respondent A3 who mentioned that other groups of
interest than librarians could have been involved in the discussion and formulation of
the provisions of the Act:
110
“Originally, the idea of the establishing of the NLU was internally done
by PLB, as it was their idea, and by the time the other stakeholders were
put on board the Bill was already in the Parliamentary Committee. The
process should have started with all the stakeholders. It was an
oversight. Additionally, there were no representatives from authors,
readers and booksellers who are also stakeholders of the NLU”
(Respondent A3).
Without regard to the delayed involvement, the librarians from other libraries had an
opportunity to express their views.
A meeting of professional librarians of the MULIB was held on 15 March, 2002
(Makerere UniversityLibrary, 2002) to discuss to the draft of the National Library Bill.
Members were requested to make amendments where they were required. These
amendments would then be presented at a consultative workshop of the interested
groups or stakeholders about the Bill which was scheduled to take place on 19 March
2002.
The members of the MULIB noted that:
ƒ the Bill did not clearly define which libraries were to be coordinated;
ƒ public libraries should be clearly defined in order to eliminate confusion;
ƒ the NLU should concentrate on the traditional functions of a national library
such as collection and preservation of national imprint, publishing a national
bibliography and compilation of a national union catalogue.(Makerere
University Library, minutes of meeting 2002)
They also noted that some parts of the draft Bill were ambiguous. While defining the
concept of a national library, the MULIB members noted that the national library
concept varies from country to country. They then defined the national library as a
recipient of copies of copyrighted publication in addition to two or three designated
libraries. They also stressed that a national library plays a leading role in providing
library services to the entire population (Makerere University Library, minutes of
meeting 2002).
The meeting made a number of suggestions to change the draft Bill. One of them
concerned the number of the libraries receiving the legal deposit copies, namely,
clause (4) of the National Library Bill. They suggested that the existing deposit
libraries namely MULIB and DLDC should remain in force. They referred to the
practices in Britain where three additional libraries have deposit acts besides the
British Library (Makerere University Library minutes of meeting, 2002).
Another proposed change was directed towards protecting the role of the MULIB as
the depositary of the international publications. Namely, in the Clause 4t, of the
National Library Bill, the sentence should read that the NLU has “to act as a second
depository of publications by foreign governments to MULIB…” (National Library
Bill, 2001) This was an indication that the members of MULIB wanted to remain the
111
first depository institution of the international publications. The argument brought
forward was that MULIB has been a depository of international documents since 1956;
therefore, it has already got a big collection.
One more proposal was made about the composition of the National Library Board,
which should include university and tertiary institutions and private sector
foundations. The nominations of the representatives to the Board should be done by
the institutions and not by the Minister. By including tertiary institution to the Board,
the MULIB was most likely to get a representative as it was the oldest university
library and a legal depository. The meeting of the MULIB professional librarians
ended by nominating four members to represent the institution at the Social Services
Committee meeting on19 March, 2002, to discuss the Bill.
The Consultative meeting scheduled for 19 March 2002 was cancelled due to lack of
time since that was the very day the interested groups were to meet with the Social
Services Committee.
Respondent B1 commented on the tough time schedule of the meeting with the Social
Services Committee that left the interested persons dissatisfied with the discussions.
During the Social Services meeting with the stakeholders to discuss the Bill,
each institution was given only 15 minutes to present their observations and
suggestions which I think was not enough time to elaborate on the issues
(Respondent B1)
Respondent A2 pointed out that the wish of the MULIB to be the second national
library was rejected by the Social Services Committee because the MULIB was
already overcrowded with students and it was very difficult for other members of the
public to use that library.
The late inclusion of other professional librarians into the discussion resulted in
growing tension and distrust between the groups. Respondent B2 revealed that the
PLB staff wanted rich collection of the MULIB to be taken to the newly established
national library as a starting point:
“Some members of the PLB wanted the whole Africana collection of the
MULIB to be transferred to the NLU. But we were against it as we did
not want to lose the precious special collection of rare books, theses, and
dissertations. Members agreed that the MULIB has a right to keep its
collection of theses and dissertations since they are like examination
papers and the clientele for these documents are mainly at Makerere
University” (Respondent B2).
Respondent B1 expressed the concern about the relationship of the NLU with other
libraries, especially, with regard to well established and professionally run academic
libraries:
112
“I was concerned about what will be the relationship between the NLU
and other libraries. What would be the role of the NLU with other
libraries? What powers would the NLU have over other libraries? How
can the NLU provide professional and advisory services to MULIB?
How long will it take for NLU to supersede MULIB? My view was to
indicate in the Act that we should be working together, there should be
collaboration” (Respondent B1).
As one can see from the above quotation, there was much uncertainty about the future
of the libraries. This uncertainty caused other libraries to act defensively. Regarding
the relationship between MULIB, DLDC and NLU respondent G1 explained that:
“We tried to argue the parallel existence of the MULIB and DLDC with
NLU, because we would act as the backup. There was fear that the MULIB
and DLDC acts would be repealed, but they were not” (Respondent G1).
Respondent G1 pointed out that MULIB and DLDC were invited to attend the Social
Services Committee meeting after the PLB staff had already drafted the Bill and got
involved in the process of establishing the NLU when it was already in its final stage.
He then suggested that:
“We should have been involved right from the writing of the concept paper
as this would have been an opportunity to revise the MULIB and DLDC
Acts... but it was too late to do that. However, I think that both acts should
be revised to reflect current situation” (Respondent G1).
This was the time when the MULIB and the DLDC had the opportunity to update their
legal deposit acts so as to perform their functions effectively. The involvement of the
MULIB and DLDC from the inception of the NLU idea as well as participation of
authors, readers and booksellers in the process would have added more perspectives to
that idea and resulted in more support for the NLU at later stages.
According to the draft Bill, the NLU Board should include among others a member
from the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda, the Uganda Local Authorities
Association, and a person qualified in library and information science. In the meeting
of the ULIA, it was suggested that a representative of the Association, not any person
in the LIS profession, should be a Board member. Other associations should have their
representatives in it too. ULIA had suggested a representative to the Board from a
Library and Information Science School. ULIA wanted the head of the NLU to be
called the director general, and the heads of departments the directors. All the
suggestions made by the ULIA were rejected by the Social Services Committee and
the last one by the colleagues who thought that it was too radical.
113
The PLB staff did a lot of lobbying to convince the members of the Social Services
Committee of the need of establishing the NLU. The Social Services Committee was
eventually convinced but it was not easy.
Commenting on the functions of the NLU drafted in the Bill, respondent A1 agreed
that there were too many functions, and some of them were not the traditional
functions of national libraries. He explained that while drafting the National Library
Bill, 2001, the PLB staff had included the following functions:
“o) to provide to local governments standards, advise, norms, manuals and
guidelines in respect of public library buildings, staffing, stock and information
processing, storage and retrieval;
p)to inspect and ensure that public libraries confirm to national policies, guidelines and
standards;
q) to carry out and coordinate staff development programmes for people working in
libraries and information service;
r) to support the setting up of rural community libraries;
s) to support and promoting adult literacy and education through the identifying and
stocking of post-literacy reading campaign and book exhibitions” (National Library
Bill, 2001).
However, the members of the Social Services Committee noted that there were too
many functions so they were reduced to:
“Clause 4
h) to support and promote adult literacy and education through the identification and
stocking of post-literacy reading materials;
i) to support the setting up of rural community libraries; and
j) to promote the habit and culture of reading through reading campaigns and book
exhibitions” (National Library Act, 2003)
These functions were included in the National Library Act, 2003 because:
“The PLB had embarked on these programmes, which are of great
importance to the country. There is therefore a need for the NLU to
continue with them so that they do not end up in total failure” (Respondent
A1).
This is another proof that the greatest role from the idea generating to the final editing
of the National Library Act was played by the PLB staff. The rest of the professional
library community, though having vital interests in the issue, was brought into the
discussion at the late stage and only marginally affected the final outcome of the
legislative process.
5.1.5 Politicians’ role in the process
The ignorance of the national library by the politicians was revealed during the Social
Services Committee meeting.
114
Respondent A7
“I realised that the public and most politicians do not understand the
concept of a national library, as one MP asked: ‘Is it necessary to have a
national library? Do we really need it? What about the national archives?’
” (Respondent A7)
Respondent A7 concluded that this comment was an indication why the library sector
in the country lagged behind. Respondent A7 believed that it was because of the
ignorance of the general public and the politicians about the importance and role of
libraries in the country.
During the process of the adoption of the National Library Act, politicians revealed
that they were not aware of many library related issues. Nevertheless, they have
displayed concern and hold all the power for passing the legislation. I present further
the analysis of the political debate around the issue of the establishment of the
National Library.
The debate by the MPs on the National Library Bill 2001 was recorded in the
parliamentary proceedings, the Hansard, September 11, 12, and 17, 2002). This record
constituted the source of the data for this part in my study. I also used the report of the
Social Services Committee presented at the reading of the Bill.
The Bill was read for the Second Time in the parliament on 11th and 12th September,
2002, by the Minister of State (Gender and Cultural Affairs) Mr. Samuel Bitangaro.
He outlined the objectives of the Bill which were:
ƒ to establish the NLU,
ƒ to provide for the depository and preservation of publications,
ƒ to set up an information referral service and library co-ordination, and
ƒ to define the functions of the NLU in order to enhance its status.(Uganda
Parliament, 2002)
He informed members that Chapter 121 of the Public Libraries Board Act of 1964 was
overtaken by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda of 1995 and the Local
Governments Act of 1997, whereby the responsibilities of the PLB of establishing,
managing, equipping and maintaining public libraries are taken over by the districts.
He ended by requesting the Public Libraries Act, 1964, to be repealed as obsolete.
5.1.5.1 Report of the Social Services Committee on the National Library
Bill, 2001 to the Parliament
During the second reading of the bill to the parliament, the Minister Bitangaro,
outlined the reasons for the establishing of the NLU mainly related to the new
legislative acts and the consequent dissolution of the essential functions of the PLB
that created possibilities and freed resources for new developments.
The Chairperson of the Social Services Committee of Parliament Dorothy Hyuha read
out the report of the Committee. The Committee expressed the inadequacy of the
115
public libraries services in the country such as being housed in dilapidated rented and
non-functional premises. There is also lack of public libraries since 50% of the
districts in the country did not have public libraries. Although the government
recognised the importance of public libraries, there is no policy on their establishment
and maintainance. The provision of information is of paramount importance in the
development of the country and therefore cannot be ignored. However, since public
libraries have been poorly funded and neglected, the Committee was concerned about
the Government ability to finance a national library.
The Committee was not clear about the organizational structure of the NLU. Proper
linkages between NLU and other libraries were not clearly set up in the Bill. This
created the doubt on the ability of the NLU to sufficiently perform the coordinaion
function, which was regarded as cardinal. The criteria for selecting the members of teh
Board were not clearly laid down in the Bill. The Minister was given power to appoint
the Board members, but the mode of identification remained obscure. The procedure to
be used in the appointment of the NLU Board members would be approved by the
Cabinet. This would leave loopholes on favouritism, nepotism, tribalism and other
kinds of unfairness. Proper standards and criteria for filling the Board were imperative.
It was observed that affirmative action had not been complied with as stated in the
Constitution. Amendments to this effect were therefore proposed. It was noted that a
lot of power had been given to the Minister in the appointment of employees and
expenditure of funds in the Bill. The NLU Board should have a degree of autonomy in
the decision making, preparation of budgets, recruitment and determination of
remuneration and benefits of the employees.
Regarding legal deposit, MULIB and the DLDC should retain their positions as legal
depository centers while the NLU takes precedence in this regard. This was suggested
because Uganda had many universities, and giving Makerere University and the
Uganda Management Institute under which DLDC falls the role of legal deposit would
be unfair. The Committee noted that theses and dissertation do not fulfill the criteria
of being generally available to the public as they were written for specific institutions
as requirements of academic awards. The penalties for a person who does not provide
legal deposits were reduced from 30 to 10 currency points as the former was excessive
(a currency point is equivalent to twenty thousand shillings). It was noted that though
the Board was given powers to carry out inspection, guidelines and regulations, no
punitive measures were provided in case of violation. This would limit the powers of
the Board. Amendments to this effect were proposed.
The Social Services Committee made the following recommendations: the government
to strengthen its role of encouraging districts to establish new public libraries where
they do not exist and to support the existing ones. A clear policy on the establishment
and maintenance of public libraries was necessary. The government should fund the
National Library as one of its priorities. Proper criteria for identifying members of the
Board should be established. Women and visually impaired persons should be
represented on the Board in consonance with the affirmative action policy. The linkage
between the National Library and other libraries should be clearly laid down in the
116
establishment structure. The Minister’s role in the National Library should be reduced
to enable the Board to have latitude in decision-making. Students’ theses and
dissertations should be exempted from legal deposit due to the high costs of
production of theses and dissertations should be exempted from legal deposit due to
the high costs of production of these documents. In conclusion, the NLU is a very
important institution as it provides library co-ordination, promote research and
education in library and information services, offer referral services to users, preserve
and conserve national heritage of books and documents among others.
This is a proof that although the politicians may be ignorant of the differences between
libraries, but they know the political consequences of certain legal acts. This can be
identified with their concern about the lack of funding for public libraries, and the how
a new national library will be financed. On the issue of the procedures of the
appointment of Board members, they were able to note the loopholes in regard to the
possibilities for corruption on one hand, and lack of power in the Board on the other.
The politicians also showed concern about other libraries’ role and resources and the
duty to protect the interests of all the interested parties.
5.1.5.2 Politicians and libraries, reading culture and social aspects
Despite the fact that it was the National Library Act and the Social Services
Committee report has outlined main shortcomings in it, the politicians participating in
the discussion were mainly concerned with two closely related issues: the state of the
public libraries and the reading culture in the country.
State of public libraries
During the debate on the National Library Bill, 2001, the politicians expressed their
concern about the state of public libraries in the country, which left a lot to be desired.
However, it was pointed out that although some public libraries such as Hoima,
Tororo, Masindi and Kamuli are in a bad state; there are others that were performing
very well such as Fort Portal, Mbale, Kampala, Jinja and Lira. In total there were 26
districts with public libraries out of the 56 districts. There was a need to establish 34
public libraries in the districts which lacked them. All the established public libraries
had full time employees. The funding of the public libraries was inadequate, making it
difficult to fulfil government policies with low resources. The lack of public library
policy was highlighted
Mwandha, representative of persons with disabilities, commented that:
“This means that government does not seem to have a policy on public
libraries. What a shame! How can you pass a law in a vacuum? Laws
are normally passed to implement government policies. I want the
Minister to tell us why they do not have a policy and when are they
going to have a policy on public libraries?” (Hansard, 12 September,
2002)
117
With regard to the decentralization of public libraries Mwandha pointed out that all the
MPs were aware that the local governments were suffering from poverty. Their
budgets were totally inadequate to meet their needs. In the Social Service Committee
report and the Minister’s statement there was no assurance that the local governments
had the capacity to finance public libraries.
“I have a big fear that when we have priorities out there in the districts
where available resources could be applied to other things like fighting
diseases, providing roads and education and so on; the idea of providing
libraries may be a secondary idea. Therefore the entire library system
may actually die” (Hansard, 11 September 2002).
Kapkwomu Ndiwa, the Member of Parliament for Kongasis County, Kapchorwa
revealed that after the decentralization of the public libraries, the local authorities had
mixed feelings about taking over the public libraries. Tororo district for example did
not want to take over the Tororo public library as it was housed in a dilapidated
building. Kapkwomu then requested the Members of Parliament assist the local
authorities in setting up modern public libraries with computers, which would enable
the circulation and exchange of library materials among the public libraries.
Additionally, Aggrey Awori, the Member of Parliament for Samia Bugwe, Busia,
suggested that 50% of funds budgeted for the public libraries should be invested in
ICT for the public libraries so that the users are able to access the Internet. In addition
to encouraging the establishment of public libraries, there was a need for enabling the
private sector to start public libraries. This is because most public libraries have
obsolete library materials. While the owner of a private library could ensure that it
contained current and relevant library materials.
There was a suggestion of bringing back the public library services to the centre, the
reasons being that they would collapse due to lack of funding at the districts. However,
the Minister Bitangaro was of the view that with a reviewed policy on public libraries;
the nearer the services to the people the better.
The discussion of the state of the public libraries revealed deep concern of the MPs
about the future of the libraries in the country. On the other hand, the described state
was a direct consequence of the Act adopted by the Parliament earlier obviously
without proper analysis of the impact on different public services.
Reading culture
The discussion of the Bill provided a good opportunity to discuss another topic that
evidently caused serious trouble for politicians – the reading culture.
Many politicians expressed their concern about the lack of reading culture in the
society, which may cause a lot of problems, especially in decision making when
leaders may agree on something without enough background information on it. A
118
sector-wide approach was suggested to ensure the building the reading culture. The
Minister of Education and Sports was encouraged to find methods of inculcating it.
Ruth Tuma, a woman representative of Jinja District, identified an example of lack of
reading culture as the lack of wish to use libraries:
“….In Jinja we have public libraries but you only find students who are
doing revision there. Nobody goes there to borrow books, to read for
leisure, or to be able to contribute something to the community….”
(Hansard, 11 September, 2002)
She suggested including “building a reading culture…” in the Bill, and proposed the
introduction of mobile library services of the 1960s and 1970s, which used to loan
books to schools. In this way, students learned how to borrow books and read, thus,
the reading culture of the students was improved.
Another suggestion was put across by Steven Bamwanga the Member of Parliament
for Ndorwa County West, Kabale, who pointed out that democracy of reading
opportunities, should lead to achievements in political, economic and social
programmes. In order to improve the reading culture, there should be a public library
in each district, which would enable many people to go and read books in order to
acquire knowledge instead of going for video shows or drinking. There was also a
need to encourage society to read in order to have human resource development. If the
PLB was well organized, books and other reading materials would be solicited from
our development partners, which would help to fight illiteracy in society. He further
stressed that:
“Reading should not be left to those people going to school, but should
involve adult literacy campaigns that could benefit the people from the
villages. As you know, an illiterate population cannot participate
meaningfully and effectively in the political, economic and social
national programmes” (Hansard, 11 September 2002).
Another set of arguments was put across by Deusdedit Bikwasizehi, the Member of
Parliament for Buhweju County, Bushenyi who argued that public libraries were not
fully utilized, not only due to lack of reading culture but also to lack of current
relevant reading materials. He suggested the establishment of private libraries, which
would stock current and relevant library materials and advised the government to
encourage people to invest in the library sector.
Byatike Matovu, the Member of Parliament for Entebbe Municipality, Wakiso,
suggested to start the improvement of reading culture with schools and to make the
settings of the public libraries attractive. This would keep the children off the streets
during vacation and they go to the public libraries to read. There was a need for public
libraries for the students where they can go and study during holidays. If the public
libraries were well equipped and well managed, the education standards would
119
improve. The parents found it extremely expensive to buy books for their children and
the availability of them in libraries could be a solution. It was also suggested that
public libraries could acquire books from the people who had valuable private
libraries.
The Minister Bitangaro clarified that with respect to the reading culture:
“the government has done what it could. My ministry has advocated
seriously for adult literacy, raising the literacy rates from 51% in 1986
to 63% today (2002). We have tried our best but certainly, it is the old
story of taking a horse to the well, but forcing it to drink is another
thing. It is a question of advocacy which all of us should get involved,
especially we as leaders.” (Hansard, 12 September 2002)
Thus the reading culture discussion was closely associated with the state of public
libraries and both occupied the longest time in the debate. These issues seemed most
relevant in relation to the establishment of a national library and revealed the extreme
problems of the library sector in general.
Supporting the National Library Bill
Regarding the National Library Bill, the members of the Parliament supported it. They
were satisfied with the recommendation that the NLU would receive the books
published in the country as opposed to giving them to any of the educational
institutions. Having a central location where all publications of any nature could be
located was regarded as an advantage to the previous dispersed locations.
A suggestion was put across to make provision in the law to ensure that the NLU could
produce literature in Braille for the visually impaired so that they were able to access
this literature in the public libraries. This was regarded as important function because
more and more visually impaired people were becoming literate. The government was
advised to allocate resources benefiting the national library functions.
The politicians also noted that Minister was given too much power in appointing all
the members of the Board. They suggested that the respective associations nominate
their member, who in turn would be appointed by the Minister to the Board and a
researcher should be included on the Board. The director of the NLU should appoint
officers in consultation with the Board and not the Minister.
The MPs also agreed that the NLU should provide more assistance to public libraries
than what was stipulated in Clause 4b) of the Bill, but did not specify the nature or size
of this assistance.
Although the MPs supported the National Library Bill, the flow of the discussion
showed some confusion with regard to the nature of the library and the law under
discussion. For example, John Nkuuhe, the Member of Parliament for Isingiro South,
Mbarara and Kapkwomu Ndiwa the Member of Parliament for Kongasis County,
120
Kapchorwa preferred it to be called the ‘Public Libraries Bill’ and not the ‘National
Library Bill’. Nkuhe explained his position as follows:
“Reading through the Bill and the report, I wonder why they decided to
change it from the ‘Public Libraries Act or Bill’ to now the ‘National
Library Bill’. Are we just going to consider one building? In fact when you
read this, you get the impression that it is just one building with books that
is at stake here.” (Hansard, 12 September, 2002)
It is obvious that the MP was confusing a library as an organization with certain
mission and goals with a library as building housing books. This MP, however,
realised that the library policy was changed essentially by the Local Government
Act and perceived the discussion as one related to the revision of the functions of
the previous PLB and not a national library as such:
“Because of decentralization and the Local Government Act, the Public
Libraries Act becomes irrelevant to me. It is immaterial, because all that
they need to do under the new arrangement is to no longer buy books for
small libraries, and so the policies, the advice and all sorts of sharing of all
these functions can still continue. I would really have been more
comfortable to stay with the same Act, the same title or the Bill, but with a
different mandate” (Hansard, 12 September 2002).
Several other MPs supported the idea reasoning that there was not just one library but
many of them; and therefore there was a need to co-ordinate the activities of public
libraries and the NLU was regarded as an organization that should perform this
function.
Meanwhile, the professional librarians preferred it to be called a National Library Bill,
since they saw the NLU as a body responsible for the collection and preservation of
the national imprint. This duality of approaches was reflected not only in the
discussion but also in the outcomes – legal documents produced as a result namely the
National Library Act, 2003 which include both national library and public library
functions.
After completing the general debate, various agreements and justifications were made,
among which were:
In clause 5 (a) it was agreed to deposit one copy of the videogram or film and ten
copies of government documents. Thus videograms or films acquired the status of the
documents that also have to be deposited. The number of deposited government
documents was justified by higher public demand for them for development and policy
implementation. Besides, it was supposed that the government can afford to provide
more copies. Thus, the foundation of the legal deposit was extended and modernized
to some extent.
121
In Clause 19 (2) the fine of 30 currency points was replaced with 10 currency points
since the former was too high. The fine was lowered as the publishers were required to
deposit to three legal depositories instead of the previous two, and high costs of
publishing in the country were taken into account.
In clause 23 (3) “all staff employed by the Public Libraries Board immediately before
the pronouncement of this Act shall automatically be transferred to and become
employees of the National Library”. This action was justified by the need to find the
employment for the present staff and also to ensure that the library will be functional
from the beginning.
After the deliberations and making the relevant corrections, the National Library Bill,
2001, was read for the Third Time and was passed on 17 September, 2002. The Public
Libraries Act, 1964, was repealed, and was replaced with the National Library Act
which came into effect in January, 2003. The new Act was a mixture of the functions
from the previous law and the new ones. The combination of the National Library Act
the Local Government Act it became the legal foundation for the whole library sector
in Uganda.
5.1.6 The National Library of Uganda as a legitimized organization
The National Library Act, 2003, stipulates the establishment of the National Library of
Uganda, the depositing and preservation of publications, the setting up of an
information referral service and library co-ordination and provision for other related
matters (National Library Act, 2003). The tasks of the new library formulated in the
Act were many and quite diverse in scope.
I have used Al-Nahari’s classification of the national library functions to sort the
functions of the NLU (see Table 2.4) Al-Nahari categorized them into three goals that
can be achieved in terms of operational functions in the developing countries. The
categories include central collection of national literature, national bibliographic centre
and leadership (Al-Nahari 1987).
122
Table 5.4: The functions of the NLU (National Library Act, 2003 Clause 4)
Central collection of national
literature
1 Acquire and organize for use a
. comprehensive collection of
library materials published in
Uganda, by Ugandans, and on
Uganda
2 A depository for national and
. foreign governments’
publications as well as the
United Nations and other
international organizations for
purposes of promoting research
and scholarship and for the
preservation of published
national culture and intellectual
output
3 Acquire for a fee, from any
person or institution, any
manuscript or literature that
may be considered to be of
interest to the country
4
National bibliographic
centre
Compile and publish a
national bibliography of
books published in
Uganda as a means of
promoting awareness of
the availability of these
books and encouraging the
sale of these books in the
country and abroad
In collaboration with
publishers in Uganda to
carry out the cataloguing
of books before they are
published so as to ease the
processing of these books
by various libraries
Establish and maintain a
National Union Catalogue
of holdings of major
libraries in the country and
to provide information and
referral services, including
specialized information
services, at the national
and international level
Allocate International
standard Book Numbers
and International Standard
Serial Numbers to
publishers in Uganda
Leadership
Develop national
policies on public
libraries
Provide to local
government standards,
advice, norms, work
manuals and guidelines
in respect of public
library buildings,
staffing, stock and
information processing,
storage and retrieval
Inspect and ensure that
public libraries conform
to national policies,
guidelines and standards
Provide technical,
professional and
advisory services in the
field of librarianship to
government
departments, local
governments and the
public sector
123
Central collection of national
literature
5
6
7
8
National bibliographic
centre
Act as a national agency
for national, regional and
international information
systems
Leadership
Carry out research in the
field of library and
information provision
and disseminate results
to government, local
governments and the
public
Create electronic databases Design and carry out
in areas of national interest pilot projects in new
areas of library and
information provision
and disseminate results
to local governments
and other organizations
Act as the agency for
Carry out and conational and international
ordinate staff
lending and exchange of
development
library materials
programmes for people
working in libraries and
information services
Support and promote
adult literacy and
education through the
identification and
stocking of post-literacy
reading materials
Support the setting up of
rural community
libraries
Promote the habit and
culture of reading
through reading
campaigns and book
exhibitions
Carry out advocacy at
the local and
international level in
matters relating to
libraries
124
The functions of the NLU as a central collection of national literature are comprised of
three activities: the acquisition and organization of a comprehensive collection of
Ugandan publications; a depository for national and foreign governments’ publications
as well as United Nations and other international literature organizations for purposes
of promoting research and scholarship and for the preservation of published national
culture and intellectual output; and acquisition at a fee from individuals or institutions
literature of interest to the country. Among these three functions, the NLU has so far
acquired and organized the collection of Ugandan publications. The collection is not
comprehensive due to the ignorance of the publishers about the National Library Act,
2003 and lack of mechanism to ensure that they comply with the Act. The last two
activities have not been performed due to lack of funding, staff and space to store the
international documents.
There are seven activities the NLU is supposed to perform as a national bibliographic
centre and they include: Compile and publish a national bibliography of books
published in Uganda as a means of promoting awareness of the availability of these
books and encouraging the sale of these books in the country and abroad; in
collaboration with the publishers in Uganda, to carry out the cataloguing of books
before they are published so as to ease the prcessing of these books by various
libraries; establish and maintain a National Union Catalogue of holdings of major
libraries in the country and to provide information and referral services, including
specialized information services, at the national and international level; allocation of
International Standard Book Numbers and International Serial Numbers to publishers
in Uganda; to act as a national agency for national, regional and international
information systems; to create electronic databses in areas of national interest; and act
as the agency for national and international lending and exchange of library materials.
Out of these seven activities, the NLU has published the National Bibliography of
Uganda with funding from the Government. The rest are not yet done due to lack of
funding, staff and space.
The leadership category is composed of eleven functions and these include: develop
national policies on public libraries; provide local governments with standards,
advisw, norms, work manuals and guidelines in respect of public library buildings,
staffing, stock and information processing, storage and retrieval; inspection of public
libraries to ensure that they conform to national politicies, guidelines and standards;
provision of technical, professional and advisory services in the field of librarianship
to government departments, local governments and the public sector; carry out
research in the field of library and information provision and disseminate results to
government, local governments and the public; design and carry out pilot projects in
new areas of library and information provision and disseminate results to local
governments and other organizations; carry out and coordinate staff development
programmes for people working in libraries and information services; support and
promote adult literacy and education through the identification and stocking of post125
literacy reading materials; support the setting up of rural community libraries;
promote the habit and culture of reading through reading campaigns and book
exhibitions; and carry out advocacy at the local and international level in matters
relating to libraries. The NLU has performed almost all the functions in this category.
This is due to the fact that most of these activities were already being performed by the
PLB. Additionally, some of these functions are funded by the development partners
such as the Swedish International Development Agency and the Book Aid
International. Furthermore, the parliament discussion was mainly on this category with
more emphasis on public libraries and the promotion of reading culture. It can
therefore be deduced that the NLU was designed mainly to play the leadership role of
a national library in the country.
5.1.6.1. Differences and similarities between MULIB, DLDC and NLU
Differences
There are some differences among the libraries playing roles of legal deposit libraries,
that is those that had this role before, the MULIB and DLDC, on one hand, and the
new one – the NLU, on the other (Kawalya, 2009
The Acts of the former two institutions are outdated, with weak penalties and do not
include the non-book materials, while the NLU Act is up-to-date and includes nonbook materials. The publishers have to deposit one copy at MULIB and one copy at
DLDC, while they are required to deposit three copies of books, ten copies of
government documents and one copy of videogram or film at the NLU(Table 5.5).
Despite the fact that the legal deposit of the MULIB is limited to the books, it has a
rich collection of books, government documents, theses and dissertations, microfilms,
micro cards, photographs, archives, manuscripts and audio materials. The collection of
the DLDC includes government documents, books, theses, and dissertations. Both
these libraries play the dual role of a deposit library as well as of the libraries of
academic institutions. The collection of the NLU consists mainly of books of general
nature and government documents.
One of the functions of the NLU is to compile and publish a national bibliography,
while in the first two Acts the deposit libraries are not obliged to do so. The MULIB
compiled the Ugandan National Bibliography from 1987. It was irregular and ceased
publication in 1997, while the Accessions List of the DLDC and the NBU are current
and annual.
MULIB is also engaged in preservation activities and microfilms, binds and digitizes
some of its national imprint, while DLDC and the NLU do binding.
126
Table 5.5: Differences and similarities between Makerere University Library, Deposit
Library and Documentation Centre and the National Library of Uganda (Kawalya,
2009, p.9)
Functions
Deposit and
preservation of
books
DLDC
Deposit Library
and
Documentation
Centre Act, 1969
Deposit and
preservation of
books
Number of
copies for the
deposit
One
One
Act
Collections
MULIB
Makerere University
College (Deposit
Library) Act, 1964
Books, government
documents, theses
and dissertations,
microfilms, micro
cards, photographs,
archives,
manuscripts, audio
materials
Dissemination National
Bibliography of
Uganda, 1987-1997
(irregular)
Database of
African Theses
and Dissertations
(DATAD)and
the Uganda
Science Digital
Library (USDL)
Preservation/ Microfilming,
conservation
binding, digitization
Books,
government
documents, theses
and dissertations
NLU
National Library Act,
2003
Three of books or
documents, ten of
government documents,
and one of a videogram
or a film
Books, government
documents
Acquire and organize for
use a comprehensive
collection of library
material published in
Uganda, by Ugandans,
and about Uganda.
Compile and publish a
Ugandan national
bibliography.
Accessions list
from
1993 – annual
National Bibliography of
Uganda from 2005 –
annual
Binding
Binding
127
Apart from these functions related to the main role of a national library, each library
has a specific set of functions as a university library (MULIB), a library of a
governmental department (DLDC, and a co-ordinator of the public library sector
(NLU).
Similarities
The three legal deposit libraries namely MULIB, DLDC, and the NLU are playing the
role of collecting, processing, preserving and disseminating national imprint. There is
no mechanism to put into force the three legal deposit laws, it is left to the will of the
publishers whether to deposit or not. The publishers now find it expensive to deposit to
the three deposit libraries putting into consideration that they are doing business and,
therefore, aim to maximize profits. So, most of them avoid depositing. Furthermore,
some publishers are unaware of the existence of these laws; this situation leads to the
publication of incomprehensive national bibliographies. There is a lack of transport,
funding, staffing and space to store the legal deposit.
5.1.7 Conclusions
Before the establishment of the NLU, there existed three institutions namely, MULIB,
PLB and DLDC, which carried out the activities of a national library. However, with
the enactment of the Local Government Act, 1997, there was a shift of political
interests when the government decentralized all the social services including public
libraries to the districts, thus bringing services nearer to the people. The activities were
redistributed between the districts and the PLB. The districts became responsible for
the establishment, management, and equipping the public libraries. This rendered the
PLB inadequate in its institutional structures and guidelines as it was only left with
limited activities such as co-ordination, inspection, monitoring, issuing of standards
and guidelines to the decentralized public libraries. The PLB was weakened and faced
discontinuation, which led the PLB staff to come up with the idea of the
institutionalization of the NLU.
The MULIB and the DLDC were legally charged with the collection and preservation
of the national imprint. However, their institutional structures and guidelines were
inadequate to perform these activities in terms of lack of funding, weak obsolete legal
deposit acts, shortage of staff, and space. Additionally, both institutions were faced
with increased social fragmentation as they performed the dual functions of national
library and academic libraries, especially, with the increasing number of students.
There was also the competition for resources between the national and academic
library activities. The DLDC produced an incomprehensive regular and up to date
Accessionsl List. The MULIB on the other hand produced an incomprehensive and
irregular Uganda National Bibliography. The MULIB was faced with a problem of
sustainability of this institutional practice which led to its discontinuation in 1997.
Putting into consideration the state of the inadequate structures of the national library
system in the country, the PLB staff felt the need for establishing a full fledged
national library, which would be accessible to the general public. Additionally, they
128
found it necessary to sustain some institutional practices that were performed by the
PLB and were of great importance to the society.
During the process of writing the concept paper on the institutionalization of the NLU,
the PLB staff tried to model the NLU after other national libraries that they percieved
to be successful such as based on the Namibian and Norwegian legal deposit acts,
which were perceived as being modern. Furthermore, the professional librarians
wanted to have a national library as they did not want to be left behind most countries
having them. They sought to transfer the copyright office to the NLU according to the
example of the Library of Congress, and considered the possibility of establishing
subject national libraries as in the USA, which has national library of agriculture,
national library of medicine and so on. As an alternative, creation of several national
libraries was discussed as in the case of the UK that has National Library of Wales and
National Library of Scotland.
The drafting of the National Library Bill involved library professionals who
collectively struggled to establish the legitimacy of their occupational autonomy. The
MULIB and the DLDC ensured that their Acts were not repealed. They had wanted to
get involved right from the writing of the concept paper, which could enable them to
update their legal deposit acts, but were brought into the process too late. It was
claimed by the PLB staff that it was an oversight to involve otehr stakeholders at a
later stage. The MULIB wanted to be the second depository library for international
documents. Regarding representation to the Board, the MULIB suggested a
representative from a tertiary institution; the ULIA suggested a representative from the
library association and one from a school of library and information science. The
MULIB and the ULIA wanted to actively be involved in the management of the NLU.
The MULIB ensured that their rich collection of rare books, theses and dissertation
were not transferred to the NLU. It also wondered how the NLU would provide
advisory services to the already well established libraries, such as MULIB. MULIB
preferred collaboration with the NLU and tried to prevent the NLU from playing the
leadership role. Thus, the power struggle among the professionals was manifested in
the process.
The politicians expressed their concern about the state of public libraries in the
country, which had inadequate structures: libraries in dilapidated premises, inadequate
funding, staff and space and obsolete library materials. They lacked guidelines as there
was no library policy to guide them on their establishment and maintenance. The
politicians felt that they were passing a law in a vacuum. The public libraries in the
country were inadequate, as half of the districts lacked public libraries. The public
libraries were decentralized to the local authorities, which lacked funds, thereby
increasing the competition for the limited resources among other services such as
education, health, and road construction. Public libraries were not a priority for local
authorities, so there was a tendency for them to disappear.
The politicians pointed out the lack of reading culture in the society. They came up
with innovative practices in order to improve the situation and suggested to establish
129
public libraries for those districts that do not have them, introduce ICT, and buy up-todate and relevant library materials to attract people, especially, students to go and use
the libraries, put more effort in the adult literacy campaigns and suggest to the
government to make libraries its priority by increasing funds to this sector.
The library professionals and the politicians had differed and disagreed about the title
of the Bill. The politicians preferred to call it a public library Bill, because the new
structure still had to coordinate public libraries. They referred to it as a comprehensive
national library service. On the other hand, the library professionals called it a
National Library Bill that had in the first place to collect and preserve the national
heritage.
5.2 The development of the National Library of Uganda, 2003–2007
In this section I analyse what happened after the legislation of the National Library
Act, 2003. I try to outline the beginning to the institutionalization process of the NLU
after its creation and concentrate on how the NLU professional librarians see and
evaluate the National Library Act according to their expectations, how they perceive
the impact that the NLU makes on the library system. I try to derive the political
influences from interviews with librarians and analysis of the government actions, as
well as their consequences for the process of the full institutionalization of the NLU. I
look into how other libraries and political processes promote or hinder the
institutionalization process of the NLU.
5.2.1 The National Library of Uganda as an organization
In this chapter, I look into the structure and activities of the Board, funding, library
services, the NLU in relation to the publishers, collection development, the leadership
role and training.
5.2.1.1 Management and structure of the NLU
The Board
The NLU is directly under the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development. It
has a governing board of nine members who are appointed by the Minister (Appendix
G).
The functions of the Board are:
ƒ to establish, manage and maintain the NLU;
ƒ implement the functions of the NLU and;
ƒ put in place procedures for the collection, preservation and use of the National
Library collection (National Library Act, 2003, Clause 7).
The members of the Board include: the chairperson, a person from the Urban
Authorities Association of Uganda, a person from the Uganda Local Authorities
Association, a senior officer from an institution dealing with adult literacy or
education, a person with a track record in research, a person qualified in Library and
Information Science, book industry and publishing, a person involved in the
130
management of cultural institutions or an expert in the field of culture, and a specialist
in education (National Library Act, 2003, Clause 6).
Since 2004, the NLU had no Board although names of persons to be considered for
appointment were submitted to the appointing authority (the Ministry of Gender,
Labour and Social Development) in 2003 (NLU report 2005/2006). This caused a
setback on the formulation of new policies and guidelines for managing and running
services and publication of annual reports, which required the Board’s input (NLU
annual report, 2004/2005). This means that the NLU could not implement policy
matters in the absence of the policy making body. Therefore, there was no recruiting,
disciplining, training, firing or promotion of staff. The absence of the NLU Board
caused a setback in the institutionalization process of the NLU. However, in some
urgent cases, the management could seek guidance from the Ministry of Gender,
Labour and Social Development. Thus, the NLU received the input of the Ministry on
the draft of the national library policy; it was developed and forwarded by the
management to the local authorities for their input (NLU annual report 2005/2006 p.
2).
The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development finally put in place the NLU
Board by early 2009, but for the period under my study it was not yet appointed.
Structure
The director, assistant director and a team of qualified librarians and support staff are
responsible for the daily management of the NLU (Appendix G). The structure of the
NLU consists of four departments:
ƒ Administration (Office of the director),
ƒ Information and Referral Services,
ƒ Inspectorate, Research and Extension Services, and
ƒ Technical Services.
The Administration (Office of the Director) is headed by the Director, assisted by the
Deputy Director, senior accountant and office superintendent. This department is
responsible for the overall administration of the NLU and oversees policy
implementation. It manages the finances and human resource, carries out public
relations and coordinates the implementation of projects.
The Information and Referral Services Department is composed of two divisions,
namely the National Library Collections Division and the Interlibrary and Document
Supply Division. It is in charge of maintaining and preserving the national collection
and providing reference and research materials and services to the general public
(NLU annual report 2006/2007, p. 13).
The Inspectorate, Research and Extension Services Department consist of the
Inspectorate, Monitoring and Training Division and the Research and Extension
Services Division. It is responsible for promoting the reading culture through libraries
and other reading activities, monitoring library services, developing guidelines and
131
standards for public and community libraries, carrying out research and publishing for
the NLU (NLU annual report 2006/2007, p. 16).
The Technical Services Department consists of the Bibliographic Services Division,
the ICT Division and the Preservation and Conservation services Division. The
Department is responsible for selecting, ordering, acquiring and processing
information materials for the NLU through purchase, donations and exchange and
legal deposit. It is also in charge of bibliographic and computer services, preservation
and conservation of the National Library collection (NLU annual report 2006/2007, p.
21).
The structure of the NLU roughly reflects its different functions and is a channel to
implement them. Respondent A2 is of the view that some functions are difficult to
implement because, on the national level, different libraries belong to different
ministries. She gave the example of function b):
“to provide to local government standards, advice, norms, work manuals
and guidelines in respect of public library buildings, staffing, stock and
information processing and retrieval.”(National Library Act, 2003 clause
4b)
Before decentralization, all public libraries were under the PLB, which was
subordinated to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. However,
after decentralization the public library system disintegrated.
The case in point is that the NLU is under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social
Development, while the public libraries are under the Ministry of Local Government.
After the decentralization of the public libraries the local authorities included the
public libraries in the district structure, although different public libraries different
districts place their libraries under different departments (Hansson and Kawalya, 2007,
p. 286).g 5.1). For example, Mbale belong to the Department of Community
Development and Social Services, Teso Public Library belong to the Department of
Community Development, Kampala Public Library is under Department of Education,
Information and Sports, while Masindi Public Library is directly under the Office of
the Town Clerk. (Figure 5.1)
132
The National Library of Uganda
Ministry of Gender Labour and
Social Development
Public Libraries
Ministry of Local Government
Kampala Public
Library
Department of
Education,
information and
Sports
Masindi Public
Library
Office of the
Town clerk
Mbale Public
Library
Department of
Community
Development
and Social
Services
Teso Public
Library
Department of
Community
Development
Fig 5.2 Administrative fragmentation of the NLU and the public libraries
It is difficult for the NLU to implement its standards or conduct other
activities because of the barriers among the institutions belonging to
different ministries. It is up to the local authorities whether to take the
advice from the NLU or not (A2).
5.2.1.2 Staff of the NLU
According to clause 23 (3) in the National Library Act,
“All staff employed by the PLB immediately before the commencement of
this Act shall automatically be transferred to and become employees of the
National Library” (National Library Act, 2003 Clause 23 (3))
This means that all staff members of the PLB who were performing the activities of
public library services were transferred to the NLU to perform the functions of a
national library. There are some functions which were performed by the PLB and are
continued to be performed by the NLU, such as coordination of the public libraries,
promotion of adult literacy, support to the reading culture and support to setting up
rural community libraries. However, there are other challenging tasks such as
compilation of the National Bibliography of Uganda, research, collection of legal
deposit among others.
133
The inadequacy of staff competence for these tasks and the need for learning from the
libraries with longer experience in conducting national library functions was
emphasized by respondent A2:
“We do not know what we are supposed to do, what the NLU should do, so
we are trying it by trial and error. We need attachment to Makerere
University Library or the DLDC to learn the practices, for instance of
handling the legal deposit, and compiling the NBU. We also need to visit
the well-established national libraries abroad, but we lack funds to do so”.
(Respondent A2)
It was further reported in the NLU annual report, 2006/2007 (p. 14) that there was lack
of opportunities for the staff to get relevant exposure to and training in modern
techniques of developing and running national library services.
Respondent E1 regards the NLU like the former PLB because apart from the new
director, the staff and the building are still the same, which makes the implementation
of the new functions almost impossible.
The urgency of recruitment of competent staff was emphasized by respondent A7 who
emphasized that the new positions needed urgently by the NLU include a computer
specialist, a systems analysts and a binder. However, the appointments could not be
made to the absence of the NLU Board. The situation was made worse when the
Minister of Gender Labour and Social Development decided that the NLU already had
too many employees. He suggested the NLU to restructure itself, so, that there is only
one professional librarian per department. The officials in the Ministry were ignorant
of the activities of a librarian to the extent that, although they were given the job
descriptions, they still wonder why the NLU needs a cataloguer.
Respondent A7 further lamented the hopless situation:
“We wish to do more, but we are incapacitated. There is no board to
recruit and promote, there is no morale for staff. The transition period is
not managed the way we wished but this is not in our own making”
(Respondent A7).
In comparison, respondent E1 regarded the NLU as the former PLB because apart
from the new director, the staff and the building were still the same, which make the
implementation of its functions almost impossible. According to him, this situation can
be regarded as a continuation of the PLB regarding staff and the activities.
Respondent A3 regarded the staffing situation in the NLU as very inadequate for
conducting new functions and making required change:
“When institutions change, there is a need to hire staff afresh, but the old
staff is the same, except the director, which is not good for the institution.
134
Staff should have been fired or hired, otherwise the same weaknesses
continue with the same problems and the same way of doing things. The
new director has the same staff that has been there for over 25 years, so
you can’t expect significant change...” (Respondent A3).
Thus, most of the respondents criticized the staff of the NLU as inadequate and
incapable to perform its functions efficiently. There is, therefore, a need for
recruitment of more staff, especially, those qualified to provide modern national
library services.
5.2.1.3 Issues of the NLU premises and funding
Building
My general observation was that the NLU is housed in an old non-functional building,
which is the former PLB building and not suitable for the operation of the national
library activities. The cage where the legal deposit is kept is already full and there is
inadequate space for the national imprint, for staff and for users. The furniture is not
functional and should be changed. The reading room can accommodate up to 40
people and is located in the middle to the building housing the NLU.
Besides having entirely inadequate building, the NLU has experienced problems with
payment of the rent for it. Respondent A2 described the situation when they were
about to be evicted:
“In 2004, the NLU was almost evicted from the premises due to
nonpayment of rent. We were allocated a dilapidated building in Nakawa
Division. The alternative was a building in Mengo-Kisenyi, a slum area.
This building belonged to Buganda Kingdom, so there was a possibility of
eviction, since Buganda Kingdom was trying to regain its property.
Although the government allocated funds for rent, the money was diverted
to other activities. The government has resumed paying the rent, but there
was still a backlog of the debt of about 140 million shillings for rent …”
(Respondent A2).
Due to the nonfunctional building, the premises did not meet the special needs by way
of space, and controlled physical conditions such as air-conditioning and dust
protection (NLU annual report 2006/2007).
The NLU searched for suitable land to construct the National Library building.
Meanwhile, preparations were made for the librarians’ architectural brief for the
architect. The National Commission for UNESCO was approached to seek funds for
preparing the architectural drawing (NLU annual report 2004/2005). After a long
struggle, the administration managed to secure 2.2 acres of land from the Uganda Land
Commission for the construction of the building at the former Kampala City Council
Nakawa Housing Estate. A title deed was secured in the name of the National Library
of Uganda at 3.6 million shillings. Since the architectural design is ready with the
assistance from UNESCO, there is hope that in the near future, the NLU will be
135
housed in a modern functional library building. The rent arrears for the National
Library building were reduced (NLU annual report 2006/2007, p. 11)
Finance
The financial provisions of the NLU are stipulated in the National Library Act, 2003
Clause 10 (1) to include: money appropriated by Parliament for the purpose of the
NLU, loans from government or any other person which are subject to approval of the
Minister, grants, gifts and donations that may be received by the NLU from any source
within or outside Uganda, money which may become payable to the NLU in the
performance of its functions or any other monies received and made available to the
NLU for the purpose of performing its functions (National Library Act, 2003 Clause
10 (1))
After 2003, the immediate challenge faced by the newly established NLU was
inadequate funding, which hindered their activities and as a result, salaries, pension
contributions and rent were in arrears. The development budget was cut by 50%. This
affected the implementation of planned activities. Among these were the inspection of
libraries up-country and workshops to sensitize local authorities to the issues of the
library services (NLU annual report 2004/2005).
Respondent A6 commented on the regular nature of the problems and their
impact on the staff morale:
“The problems of the NLU keep on recurring year after year, for example
the budget, it is cut off every year. The members of staff have resigned to
their fate” (Respondent A6).
Regarding finance, respondent A7 pointed out that funds allocated to the NLU are
used for other purposes and depended on the good will of the government officials:
“There has been a reduction in the budget. We were supposed to get
shillings 22 billion from the Minstry of Gender, Labour and Social
Development but only received shillings 8 billion which was not enough. In
the financial year 2005/06 we had no development fund, as it was diverted
by the Minister. The funds we got were from donors for books. In the
financial year 2006/07 we have to receive shillings 60 billion. We now have
a new Permanent Secretary and he has told us that the money will be given
to the NLU and not be diverted so we hope to get all the 60 billion”
(Respondent A7).
Nevertheless, by 2007, the NLU was able to acquire funds to run the services of the
institution and reduced rent arrears for the building housing the NLU. However, the
funds were still inadequate to run the institution, especially, funds to purchase books
and pay rent arrears, which continue to eat into the meagre finances of the institution
(NLU annual report 2006/2007, p. 11).
136
5.2.2 Legal deposit and the collection
5.2.2.1. Collection
The Information and Referral Services department is responsible for maintaining and
preserving the national collection and providing reference and research materials and
services to the general public. The NLU collection comprises the national collection,
the Africana collection, the general reference collection, the special collection on
library and information science, and the collection on international organizations.
The collection is mainly books and local newspapers, and the library has continued to
conserve at least one copy of each newspaper for the future reference. The collections
of other formats such as charts, maps and photographs are in their infant stage. Apart
from Web based resources, the NLU has not been able to avail other CDs, DVDs,
cassettes and videos due to the lack of the equipment suitable for their use, inadequate
storage space and preservation facilities, such as air condition (Annual report
2006/2007, p. 13). The facilities to access electronic materials are inadequate, the
funds to purchase materials on Uganda that cannot be acquired through legal deposit
are lacking, and the space to house collections and expand services is limited (Annual
report 2005/2006, p. 9).
The NLU lacks adequate and appropriate equipment and tools for conservation and
preservation, special storage and display cases, reprographic equipment, cameras,
visual and audio equipment. There is no inter-library cooperation, which could help to
develop and implement information systems at national and international levels (NLU
annual report 2006/2007, p. 14). Respondent A2 pointed out that some important
functions are hindered by more acute shortages:
“Other major issues such as establishment of the National Union
Catalogue for major libraries, international and national inter-lending
cannot be done because of lack of funds and staff” (Respondent A2).
I observed that the legal deposit collection is in closed access in a cage which is
already full. Regarding the storage of the legal deposit respondent F1 remarked:
“I don’t like the idea of putting the national imprint in a cage, because it
scares away the users, who like to browse through the collection”
(Respondent F1).
This remark clearly shows the orientation towards public library functions that does
not envision preservation of the national publications’ archive as a priority function
even for a national library.
NLU has developed the institutional website (www.nlu.go.ug). Plans were under way
to digitize the national imprint. The Local Area Network (LAN), and Internet services
are available for the public to access information. NLU is one of the institutions
covered by the Programme for Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) by the
137
UK-based International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications
(INASP). Library users can therefore access both local and international databases
under this program (New Vision, January 31, 2005, p. 21)
The NLU has access to several electronic databases including African Journal Online
(AJOL), EBSCO publishing and Emerald, among others. These are provided courtesy
of INASP (National Library of Uganda, 2007)
There are three databases produced at the NLU. DONOR database contains the
bibliographic data of all the information materials acquired since August, 1997. It
includes donations and purchases. The National Bibliographic Database is composed
of publications on Uganda and those published by Ugandans abroad. It also includes
publications by international organizations deposited at the NLU. SOURCE is a
database on potential legal depositors including publishers in Uganda, NGOs,
government departments, and international organizations. It contains the names of the
organizations, postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, physical
addresses and contact persons’ names (National Library of Uganda, 2009.
5.2.2.2. Library services
During my visit to the NLU I noticed that it was filled to capacity by mainly secondary
school students. This was not surprising as it was vacation time and students had come
to read their notes, and revise for their examinations in the library due to the relatively
quiet environment. The NLU is open to the public and provides access to information.
Respondent A2 commented the difference between the targeted user group and the
actual biggest group of users:
“The NLU is mainly for researchers, although the biggest numbers are
secondary students and students from tertiary institutions. We prefer the
students to go to the public libraries” (Respondent A2).
The annual report indicates that there was an increase of library users from 1005 in
2006 to 6142 in 2007 (NLU annual report, 2006/2007 p. 13). This was attributed to the
general public’s awareness of the NLU services, steady improvement of their quality,
as well as the general rise in demand for information and for higher education among
the Ugandans. In the same year, 4513 books were used, which was an increase of 1385
books (NLU annual report, 2006/2007 p.14). These numbers did not include
newspapers, periodicals and electronic information. General reference publications,
such as encyclopaedias, bibliographies and directories were used most. With regard to
the subject, social sciences, especially from the Ugandan national collection, were in
high demand.
Another popular item of use was Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The NLU had four computers connected to the Internet. Additionally, the users could
plug their laptops into the library network without any extra charges. This service is
very popular and might have led to the increase of the library users and usage of
electronic resources (NLU annual report, 2006/2007, p14).
138
5.2.2.3 Publishers and the National Bibliography of Uganda
Publishers play a central role in the production of the national imprint and are obliged
to submit deposit copies as indicated in The National Library Act, 2003, clause:
“5a) legal deposit, namely, the right of the National Library to require
every publisher of a book or document in Uganda at his or her cost to
deposit three copies of the book or document or one copy of the videogram
or film and ten copies in the case of any government department with the
National Library” (National Library Act, 2003, Clause 5a)
On the basis of these submissions the NLU performs two of its most important
functions:
“l) to acquire and organize for use, a comprehensive collection of library
materials published in Uganda, by Ugandans and on Uganda…
(n) to compile and publish a national bibliography of books published in
Uganda as a means of promoting awareness of the availability of these
books and encouraging the sale of these books in the country and abroad”
(National Library Act, 2003 Clause 4).
The level of response of publishers, authors, and government departments to deposit
with NLU was encouraging and was a sign of confidence in the institution. The
submission by so many actors also serves as an encouragement to those government
departments that have been reluctant to deposit to do so for the common good of the
public.
The collection is available and accessible to the public now and in the future, to read,
learn and do research (New Vision, 31 January, 2005 p. 21).
In addition, the NLU published volume one of National Bibliography of Uganda
(NBU). This first issue has 31,000 titles published by 28 publishers which were
deposited at the NLU from January 2003 to June 2004 and also includes publications
deposited at the MULIB since 1987, (National Bibliography of Uganda, and 2005 p.
ii). The second volume (National Bibliography of Uganda, 2006 p. ii) was published in
2006 with 708 titles and 55 publishers, while in 2007 the number of titles dropped to
562 and number of publishers who deposited dropped to 44 (Table 5.7). The National
Bibliography of Uganda is published annually, and it is hoped that its frequency will
be increased as the publishing industry grows and the depositing of books improves
(Appendix H). The NBU seeks to promote Uganda’s book trade both locally and
internationally by publicizing Uganda’s documented heritage and to assist future
generations get acquainted with and learn about the progress of Uganda’s intellectual
and cultural output. The NBU is available for sale for 46,700 shillings ($29) at the
NLU.
139
Table 5.6: Data about the volumes of the National Bibliography of Uganda
Year
Volume no
Frequency
2005
2006
2007
1
2
3
Annual
Annual
Annual
No.
titles
31,000
708
562
of No.
publishers
28
55
44
of
The member of the publishing community supported the establishment of the NLU
putting into consideration its functions of legal deposit and production of the national
bibliography:
“It was good that the NLU was established by an Act of parliament. This
streamlined and defined a number of roles, and enabled the publishing of
the National Bibliography of Uganda. We are happy to deposit out books
because the bibliography enables us to market and publicize our books” (
Respondent D1).
However, respondent D1 pointed out that most publishers are not aware about the Act.
Those who are aware are reluctant to deposit three copies of their books free of charge
to the NLU, because of the high costs of publishing books. Others are lazy in taking
copies of their books to the NLU. He suggested that the NLU should send reminders to
the publishers, since they are busy editing and marketing their products and forget
other obligations. There is also a need to organize seminars and workshops by the
NLU to sensitize the publishers about the requirements to deposit their books to the
NLU.
This is one of the biggest challenges faced by national libraries in developing countries
in general: to educate the publishers to realize and accept their legal obligations and
deposit their publications. They do not understand the reason why they should deposit
their books free of charge to national libraries. The publishers’ non-compliance with
the law means that a big percentage of Uganda’s publications are not deposited with
the NLU, which leads to the production of an incomprehensive National Bibliography
(Respondent A6).
The interview with respondent A3 shows that the staff of the NLU is fully aware of the
problems faced by the publishers:
“We know that it is challenging to get publishers to deposit their
publications to the NLU. However, the Act provides incentives by
publicizing their products through the NBU to promote book trade.”
(Respondent A3)
Besides, the NLU intended to put additional effort into spreading the awareness about
the legal deposit:
140
“After the National Library Act, we wanted to run seminars and workshops
for the stakeholders such as writers, publishes, printers and local
governments, but because of lack of funds, we cannot do much”
(Respondent A3).
The publishers wonder why they have to deposit three copies of their publications to
the NLU. They think that depositing three copies is too much. Some of them deposit
only one copy of a book especially if it is an expensive one (A7).
As far as the MULIB and DLDC are concerned the representative of the publishers’
community said that:
“We still deposit copies to MULIB and DLDC apart from the new
publishers who are not aware of the old deposit acts” (Respondent D1).
However, librarians from other libraries were upset by the fact that publishers know
the NLU as the legal deposit library better than others:
“When we go to collect the publications, the publishers say ‘we give copies
only to the NLU, who are you?’ We have to explain to them who we are
before they agree to give us the books” (Respondent G1).
Respondent G1 also suggested that the NLU has to sensitize the publishers that the
MULIB and the DLDC are still legal depository libraries. The DLDC continues to
publish the Accessions List annually. This is a duplication of the limited resources as
two national bibliographies are published concurrently and both annually.
The publishers feel economic strain of depositing all copies in all libraries.
Therefore, one of the respondents suggested diminishing the number of the
deposit libraries as a natural idea:
“I find depositing copies of the national imprint to three different libraries
is very expensive for the publishers; therefore the NLU should be the only
legal depository in Uganda, I suggest MULIB and DLDC should be
repealed” (Respondent F4).
It is clear that though the NLU wanted to sensitize publishers about the importance of
depositing their books to the NLU, there was lack of funds to do so. Instead, the
management of the NLU used every opportunity to sensitize the stakeholders about the
NLU activities and encouraging publishers and authors to deposit books to the NLU.
When the NLU celebrated its second anniversary of existence, it published three
articles in New Vision Newspaper, January 31, 2005 supplement (p. 20-21), where it
publicized its activities and achievements. The articles were about: ‘projects improve
reading culutre’ (p.20), ‘National Library of Uganda rising and rising ...’ and ‘Local
authorities’ support to libraries grows’ (p.21). In April 2005, NLU celebrated the
141
World Book and Copyright Day and launched the first volume of the NBU. In her
speech, the director of the NLU requested all the authors who publish through
commercial publishers, organizations they work for or even through self-publishing
should ensure that their publications are deposited at the NLU. She outlined the
benefits of the individual author:
“A copy of your work is kept forever in an institution in Uganda. Your
children’s children and you grandchildren’s children and beyond will be
able to access what you have created. You would have a place in history.
Your work is being publicized for free all over the world. Your name gets
known by people all over the globe. This is because the bibliography is
publicized widely” (Mulindwa, 2005, p. 2).
The NLU is mandated to allocate ISBNs and ISSNs to the publishers in Uganda. It was
reported that the Uganda Publishers Association has not yet handed over the
instruments for managing the allocation of ISBN to the NLU (NLU annual report
2005/2006, p. 9). However, respondent A5 indicated that there are difficulties of a
more profound nature to take over the allocation of the ISBNs by the NLU:
“The NLU does not have the jurisdiction of issuing these numbers.
Currently, the Uganda Publishers Association (UPA) is in charge of issuing
ISBNs and the jurisdiction came from Berlin which has no obligation to
change the issuing of these numbers from UPA to NLU” (Respondent A5).
The representative of the publishers made it clear that the legal problems have
occurred because of the lack of consultation with the relevant actors during the
creation of the National Library Act:
“There were not enough consultations about shifting the issuing of ISBN
to the NLU. This is not a local issue; it is international whereby the
headquarters of ISBN in Berlin had to be consulted... I was surprised to
see the National Library Act, 2003 stipulating taking over ISBN without
consulting the UPA” (Respondent D1).
The respondent A2 asserted that in any case because of the lack of funds and staff the
NLU was unable to carry out the issuing of the ISBNs. It also had no capabilities to
establish and maintain the National Union Catalogue as stipulated in the Act about
function:
“p) to establish and maintain a National Union Catalogue of holdings of
major libraries in the country and to provide information and referral
services, including specialized information services, at the national and
international level” (National Library Act, 2003 Clause 4 p).
There are several challenges faced by the publishing industry in the country which
were outlined by the representative of the publishers D1. He indicated that the public
142
libraries, which are the publishers’ main customers, have limited funding and depend
on donations from their development partners. In Uganda, people do not buy books not
only because of the reading culture but also because they are poor. People would
rather buy the basic necessities such as food than a book. There is a high reliance on
textbooks, and very little money goes for reading for leisure and general knowledge.
Therefore, most publishers produce textbooks. Furthermore, D1 outlined some
achievements by the publishers. Due to the decentralization of public services, the
government released funds to the districts to purchase books for the schools in their
districts, which led to the establishment of bookshops in the districts. Local publishing
firms emerged and started competing with the international publishers. Publishers
were trained in publishing skills. They organized book fairs which attracted
international exhibitors.
The general development of the national publishing industry in Uganda is in the long
run beneficial for the NLU as the strong national library service is beneficial for the
publishing.
The NLU is to act as an agency for national, regional and international information
systems. However, there was no inter-librry cooperation which would develop and
implement information systems at national and international levels (Annual report,
2006/2007, p. 14)
5.2.3 The National Library of Uganda as a leader of other libraries
5.2.3.1 The library professional views on the NLU functions
Before embarking on the role of the NLU as a leader of other libraries, I discuss the
views of the professional librarians about the functions of the NLU.
The professional librarians (including some from the NLU itself) criticized the
National Library Act itself and the activities of the NLU. Main target of the criticism
was the unrealistic expectations built into the National Library Act. However, the
assessment of the establishment of the NLU was controversial.
According to respondent C1 there is no difference between the National Library Act,
2003 and the previous ones of Makerere University College (Deposit Library) Act,
1964 and the Deposit Library and Documentation Centre 1969 since all of them were
formulated in a library policy vacuum and had no focus. According to him:
“The Act just sailed through because the Members of Parliament did not look
at the Act as an important concern as there was no library policy to guide
them” (Respondent C1).
Respondent F4 was positive about the establishment of the NLU in relation to the
failure of the previous system:
“The establishment of the NLU was a very good development, because
there was a need for a place where people could go and do research, and
143
that is if it is properly facilitated. Makerere University College (Deposit
Library) Act, 1964, and the Deposit Library and Documentation Centre
Act, 1969, should be repealed, because the MULIB failed to manage the
legal deposit as it has no capacity to collect the national imprint”
(Respondent F4).
Repealing MULIB and DLDC Acts were further supported by respondent C1, his
reason being that it would strengthen the National Library Act, 2003. However, he
regarded the Act as good but unrealistic.
The respondent A5 hold an opinion that the functions of the NLU are comprehensive
enough, but was not happy with the actual formulations of them in the Act:
“However, there is a danger of limiting the activities strictly on what is
written down in the Act. The functions should have been written just like
general statements. For example the NLU being the agency in charge of
bibliographic control is not being clearly spelled out in the Act”
(Respondent A5).
Respondent A5 was of the view that the draftsmen in the Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs should have worked together with the stakeholders and guided
them during the drafting of the National Library Bill, 2001.
After the adoption of the Act, some librarians still debated what type of the national
library system Uganda should take. Respondent C2 preferred subject national libraries
such as National Library of Medicine, National Library of Agriculture and so on,
because it is difficult for the NLU to collect the entire national imprint. Alternatively,
he suggested that MULIB could become the National Reference Library and NLU –
the National Lending Library.
According to respondent E1, although the Act is in place, it has not yet been
implemented. He referred to the special powers of the NLU expressed in the clause of
the Act:
“5 a) ... to require every publisher of a book or document in Uganda at his
or her cost to deposit three copies of the book or document or one copy of
the videogram of film and ten copies in the case of any Government
department with the National Library (National Library Act, 2003, Clause
5a)).
According to respondent E1, there are no mechanisms provided in the Act to who
follow up this requirement and to ensure that this function is adhered to. It is therefore
left to the will of the publishers, whether to deposit or not.
The DLDC and the MULIB have continued to collect the national imprint from the
publishers. However, respondent G1 complained about the difficulty of collecting the
imprint after 2003:
144
“Most publishers especially the new ones know only the NLU. Additionally,
the DLDC and the MULIB Acts are outdated and easily ignored”
(Respondent G1).
Respondent F1 did not support the decentralization of the public libraries. He
suggested that the PLB professionals should have sensitized the local authorities and
the general public about the importance of the public libraries, before handing them
over. It should have been a gradual process.
The NLU is also obliged to inspect and ensure that public libraries conform to national
policies, guidelines and standards. Respondent A2 views this function as lacking since
the NLU has no authority to discipline the public libraries in case they refuse to
implement the policies, guidelines and standards. On the other hand, C1 would like to
see the NLU providing standards and guidelines and inspecting all libraries in the
country, not only the public libraries.
Respondent B1 completely disagreed with the function g) “to carry and co-ordinate
staff development programmes for people working in libraries and information
services” (National Library Act, 2003, Clause 4g)
“I wonder how the NLU could coordinate staff development programmes to
the already existing libraries such as MULIB. Although functions look good
on paper, they are difficult to implement. It will take 20 years for the NLU
to be able to perform these functions, as it set itself too high. The NLU has
too many functions which include looking after a network of public
libraries” (Respondent B1).
There are two objections expressed in this comment: first, against the competence of
the NLU staff to carry out professional development programmes and, second, against
the unrealistic amount of functions assigned to the NLU.
To carry out the leadership role for the country libraries without proper resources and
amidst critical acclaim is not an easy task.
5.2.3.2 Leadership role
Most functions assigned to the NLU fall under leadership role that it has to carry out as
a national library in a developing country (Table 5.3).
The relationship between the NLU and other libraries is ambiguous which may create
conflicts among the libraries. Respondent B1 suggested the redistribution of power
within the library system of the country and sharing the tasks:
“The NLU should play the traditional roles of a national library and focus
more on acquisition, preservation of the national imprint and the
publication of the National Bibliography, provide space and collection of
145
national and international publications. The world over, there is no
national library that carries out all the functions of a national library.
There should be collaboration between the NLU, MULIB and DLDC so that
the functions are shared among the three of them” (Respondent B1).
Despite the fact that the NLU is mandated to play a leadership role for other libraries,
so far there is no coordination between the NLU and other legal deposit libraries,
namely, the MULIB and the DLDC. Neither is there any coordination with other
academic libraries in the country.
However, there are relationships and coordination between the NLU and the public
libraries. This is due to the function:
4(b) “to provide to local governments standards, advice, norms, work
manuals and guidelines in respect of public library buildings, staffing, stock
and information processing, storage and retrieval (National Library Act,
2003, Clause 4 (b)).
The NLU is also required to inspect the public libraries to ensure that they confirm to
the guidelines and standards. There is a relationship between the NLU and the
community and school libraries (Figure 5.2). The relationship with these libraries is
mainly through various projects such book distribution, Community reading tents,
book exhibitions and promotion of the reading culture. Despite the challenges faced
by the NLU it has endeavored to play the leadership role in the country in various
ways.
146
Figure 5.3 The relationship between the National Library of Uganda and other
libraries
5.2.3.3 Public libraries
There are only 25 districts that have public libraries, and there are 16 community
libraries (Appendix I). There was concern following decentralization that the districts
without public libraries would not be able to establish them in the near future. It was
also feared that some local authorities would eventually close their public libraries as it
happened in Kampala with the children’s library service. However, local governments
with the support of the NLU and the development partners have endeavoured to assist
in the development of library services in the country. Soroti District Council together
with NLU completed an office block and children’s’ wing of Teso Public Library
building, a project which was started in 1968 had stalled due to wars and political
turmoil (New Vision 31 January, 2005 p. 21). It also established a new public library
in Mubende town.
As mandated by the Act, the NLU produces guidelines, standards, rules and
regulations for establishing public and community libraries and copies of the manuals
147
are distributed on request (NLU annual report 2004/2005). The standards include the
functions to be performed, requirements for the collection development, budget, staff,
equipment, furniture and space (ref appendix ...). The NLU also provides to the local
authorities guidelines on the recruitment of qualified staff in the public libraries.
NLU was able to buy books under the Book Trade Project with a grant from Book Aid
International (BAI). One of the main objectives of this project was to get culturally
appropriate and suitable children’s books into libraries. Copies of books were
purchased, processed and distributed to various selected public libraries. Other
development partners such as Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and
Third Word Books donated books to NLU for distribution to public and community
libraries, NGO resource centres and schools. Book donations play a significant role in
collection development in public libraries (New Vision, Monday January 31 2005 p,
20).
The inspection of several public libraries was conducted by the NLU along with the
pre-visits for the National Book Week festival. It was only possible to visit libraries in
areas that were participating in the festive activities for the first time. The inspected
libraries produced reports, which were discussed. Other libraries were not inspected
due to lack of funds and transport (NLU annual report 2006/2007, p. 19).
Efforts have been made by the NLU and the development partners to uplift the public
libraries. However, there are still some constraints experienced by the public libraries
and they still face the same challenges as before 2003. Most of them operate in nonfunctional rented buildings and lack space as well as adequate furniture. Local
authorities have limited funds, which are spent on services such as health and
education. The public libraries are not a priority for the districts with a load of urgent
problems on their hands. Funds released by local governments to run library services
are inadequate and as a result users’ needs are not being met. Some public libraries are
not included in the local authorities’ structures (NLU annual report 2005/2006, p. 17).
Some district councillors do not know anything about libraries and their importance.
Respondent A4 agreed with the opinion of a public librarian referred to earlier in the
text that:
“It would have been better that public libraries were not decentralized;
they should have remained under the NLU so that they perform better than
now” (Respondent A4).
Nevertheless, the activities carried out by the NLU are worthy of the leader of the
public library service.
148
5.2.3.4 NLU for the community and school libraries
There was an outcry about the lack of reading culture by the politicians during the
debate on the National Library Bill, 2001.
The NLU made efforts to meet their expectations and to fulfil the promotion of the
reading culture in various ways taking into account that public, community and school
libraries play a major role in the promotion of the reading culture. Rural community
libraries namely Kyabutaika (Nakasongola district) and Kasangati (Wakiso district)
have been set up with the support of the NLU (NLU annual report 2005/2006, p. 5).
The Community Reading Tent (CRT) is the outreach reading promotion activity
carried out by the NLU under the East African Development Programme. It is
organized to sensitize communities of the district, both children and adults to library
services and to promote books and reading for self improvement. Other participants
include People with Disabilities (PWDs), Functional Adult Learners (FALs), and
Women Farmers’ groups. The NLU encourages the teachers and other adults to
acquire books for the pupils, and parents to buy story books for their children, students
to demand for books to read for leisure both during the term and holidays. During the
CRTs, pupils and students demonstrate their reading ability and skills of expression of
ideas and their imagination through writing/telling stories and art work, singing and
dancing reciting poems and puzzle making. Apart from book exhibitions, the women
take this opportunity to exhibit crafts, tree seedlings and various food items. These
were part of their demonstrations attributed to knowledge acquired from their adult
learning classes. The NLU donates books to participating schools and community
libraries and prizes are awarded to outstanding participants. This activity has a great
impact on the pupils, students, teachers and parents (NLU annual report, 2005/2006, p
7).
Despite the NLU’s effort to promote the reading culture, some illiterates are very
comfortable with the way they are living. They believe that introducing such activities
is going to stop them especially the women from performing their role as farmers.
However, they were made to realize that in these very books one can find information
on agriculture and this can enable them to have better yields. (NLU annual report
2006/2007, p. 17) It is believed that the CRTs will be of great help in improving the
reading and writing skills of the communities turning them into informed society.
Through the Local Book Purchase project the NLU buys books from publishers in
Uganda, and distributes them to public and community libraries. This project supports
the growth of the book industry in Uganda and provides children with books which
they can easily relate to in contrast to the imported books thereby increasing their
interest in reading. The School Library Project deals with selecting locally published
books donated by the NLU to primary schools, in the districts, to enable them start
school libraries and therefore inculcating the children’s reading habits (New Vision
January 31, 2005 p. 21). Kampala City Council together with the NLU implemented
the book box programme in Kiswa and Railway primary schools in Kampala. The aim
of the programme is to support the children’s education programmes and promote the
reading habit among the school community (NLU annual report 2006/2007, p. 6).
149
The NLU working with US-Based Anywhere books Infodev piloted a digital book
mobile project. Its aim was to put tens of thousands of books into the hands of the rural
primary school children in Buikwe, Mukono district, using a print-on-demand unit
loaded onto a van. Children and their teachers had access to files of digital books
stored on remote computers, downloaded, printed and bound for their personal use
(New Vision, January 31, 2005, p. 21).
5.2.3.5 Training for librarians and research activities
The NLU has provided technical, professional and advisory services in the field of
librarianship to government departments, local governments and the public sector.
Teachers and parents are provided with basic skills on how to promote reading in
schools and at home. Teachers belonging to the benefiting schools received basic
instructions in how to manage school library collection and help pupils utilize them
(NLU annual report 2005/2006, p.5). Practical training is organized for diploma
students and community library attendants, and interns on the basics of managing
public library and community library services. Communities, organizations and
individuals seeking advice on how to start libraries approach the NLU for assistance
and the NLU provide guidelines on how to start community and public libraries. A
“briefing workshop” was organized for the beneficiaries of Book Aid International
donations from 29 to 30 June, 2006, about the objectives of the project, its
implementation, management, promotion, and monitoring and evaluation
process(NLU annual report 2006/2007, p. 21).
In March 2005, NLU organized a workshop for 25 public and community librarians
countrywide on proactive librarianship covering marketing and public relations. A
manual on proactive librarianship was produced as an outcome of the workshop
(Annual report 2005/2006). Technical support was provided to the National Council
for Higher Education in creating databases using WINISIS (CDS/ISIS database
software for windows – a UNESCO and information processing tool) and processing
their materials (NLU annual report 2005/2006, p. 3). NLU assisted Hoima Public
Library to select and purchase books worth 8 million shillings which was donated by
an NGO called Uplift Uganda based in the US and also helped the rennovation of its
new home. Teacher librarians from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda were trained from
April 18 to 20, 2005 sponsored by Book Aid International. They were taught basics
such as record keeping, acquisition, library management, cataloguing and
classification, and management of children’s sections.
NLU staff carried out research as mandated in function:
(e) “to carry out research in the field of library and information provision
and disseminate results to governmente public” (National Library Act,
2003, Clause 4(e)).
The research was carried out on information needs of rural communities in Mpigi
District as one way of designing information services to the rural communities. A team
of researchers from the NLU held focus group discussions with the local people and
150
interest groups with the aim of seeking their views about their information needs
(NLU annual report 2006/2007, p. 19).
In July, 2004, the NLU in conjunction with the Uganda Library and Information
Association hosted over 300 librarians and information professionals from 12
countries in Africa and beyond to the Standing Conference for Eastern Central and
Southern African Librarians (SCECSAL XVI). The deligates congratulated Uganda
for its achievement of the establishment of the NLU, one of the new institutions of its
kind on the African continent. In 2005, NLU successfully hosted the copyright and
access to information conference for librarians all over Africa which was funded by
IFLA and Commonwealth of Learning.
The NLU maintained a good working relationship with the parent Ministry of Gender,
Labour and Social Development and other organizations, such as Book Aid
International (UK) and Children International (USA) with whom it signed a
Memorandum of Understanding to supply books to libraries in Uganda. It also
participates actively in the activities of National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU),
and the East African Book Development Association in promoting book development
in East Africa and Uganda in particular (NLU annual report, 2006/2007)
5.2.3.6 Prospects
The NLU plans to mobilize funds to begin the construction of the national library
building, clear rent arrears and urge the treasury and the Ministry of Gender Labour
and Social Development to allocate more funds to develop the institution. NLU is
exploring opportunities of receiving book donations from Children International (CI)
in the USA. Discussions were held between the NLU and the officials from the CI and
a project proposal was submitted. If the project succeeds, NLU will be receiving about
100,000 books every year from the CI. The books are meant for distribution to public,
community, school and NGO libraries. Following a successful joint implementation of
Local Book Purchase Phase I by BAI, the NLU and Uganda booksellers, funds have
been sought to extend the project to Phase II. To this effect, a project proposal was
developed and submitted to BAI that has promised to solicit funds for carrying it out.
Phase II of the project aims at promoting reading and literacy amongst marginalized
groups in Uganda; at meeting the cultural information and learning needs of
marginalized and potential readers and; strengthening cooperation between partner
organizations, local booksellers and publishers (NLU annual report 2006/2007).
The NLU will soon become one of the partner institutions in the World Digital Library
(WDL) project. The project is an Internet based international resource that was
inititated by the Library of Congress (LC) and co-sponsored by UNESCO (National
Library of Uganda, 2009).
All in all, the NLU is moving towards becoming an institution after the government’s
efforts of almost six decades from 1946 to 2003 (Appendix J)
151
5.2.4. Conclusions
After 2003, institutional changes occurred in the library and information sector of the
country. This is when the existing set of norms and practices of the PLB underwent
delegitimation, fell into disuse and were replaced by the new rules, the NLU Act,
2003.
The establishment of the NLU led to increased fragmentation of national library
system. The publishers have an additional library, the NLU, to deposit their books, on
top of the MULIB and the DLDC, and they find it expensive. Before 2003, the PLB
and the public libraries belonged to the Minstry of Gender, Labour and Social
Development. However, after decentralization, the public libraries were transferred to
the Ministry of Local Government. Furthermore, public libraries were fragmented to
various departments of the districts, while the NLU remained in the MoGLSD. The
production of the two national bibliographies namely National Bibliography of
Uganda by the NLU and the Accessions list by the DLDC led to overlapping
institutional frameworks as they are published concurrently.
When the NLU was threatened to be evicted from the building because of nonpayment of rent arrears, there was a collective struggle of the professional librarians
such as the ULIA and the NLU staff by lobbying the government, and communicating
with other relevant authorities to ensure that the NLU is not evicted.
The NLU is faced with inadequate structures. It is operating in a rented non-functional
building, which was the PLB headquarters. It lacks adequate space for users, staff and
library materials. The same situation is also observed in most public libraries in the
country. The NLU operated without the Board, which is the governing body of the
NLU, for a long time and has inadequate funds to carry out its activities.
Most of the leadership roles of national libraries are carried out by the NLU and are
mainly related to comprehensive national library services, which are operational in
developing countries. The NLU continued some activities that were performed by the
PLB. All the staff members who were working in PLB, apart from the director, were
transferred to the NLU. This is an institutional development which implies that NLU is
still a continuation of the PLB rather than an exit from it.
Volume one of the National Bibliography of Uganda (NBU) is a combination of
publications from the NLU and the MULIB. This publication can loosely be referred
to as a national union catalogue, which is a continuation of MULIB’s Uganda National
Bibliography. The NBU has been published annually which is the cultural
expectations of the NLU.
There are several ways in which the NLU used the development partners to eliminate
the difficulties to provide for the needs of the public, community and school libraries.
It has endeavoured to provide support for public and community libraries and also
adapted innovative practices. It is involved in the promotion of reading culture
through donation of books to public, school and community libraries, annual book
152
exhibitions and festivals, community reading tents, giving advice and manuals on
standards, guidelines of establishing community libraries, and training library staff
working in public and community libraries and research. The development partners
helped the NLU to sustain the institutional practices, norms and routines, since the
contribution of the government is minimal.
153
6. DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
In this part of the chapter, I introduce a more detailed design of the research work
directed towards the investigation of the process of institutionalization of the National
Library of Uganda.
6.1 The model developed for exploration of the NLU institutionalization
Figure 6.1 shows the model that was used to guide the study of the situation that led to the
establishment of the National Library of Uganda. It models the developments under research
in terms of deinstitutionalisation of previously existing institutions, institutionalisation of the
NLU, and the institutional change that has been the result of both previous processes. The
change in this case pertains not only to the NLU itself, but also to the whole library sector
and other libraries in Uganda.
6.1.1. The deinstitutionalization process
Each institutionalisation builds on some previous foundation and often is preceded by
the process of deinstitutionalisation. The study investigates the background to the
deinstitutionalization of the previous institutions that carried out national library
functions in Uganda. I investigate the reasons why previous norms and practices in
various institutions underwent delegitimation and/or fell into disuse, and what was the
environment in the library and information sector that created this process of the
institutional change. The study seeks to find out why and how the legitimacy of the
previous institutional practices was discontinued and what pressures led to it. Certain
mechanisms operate different types of pressures and the research was constructed to
understand how these mechanisms were adopted by the actors in the environment and
how the changes were caused.
There is an argument that institutionalized organizational practice is most likely to
discontinue due to changes within an organization and its environment that predict
organizational failure or obsolescence, shift existing power distribution or cause
organizations to reconsider the instrumentality of sustaining their traditions.
Deinstitutionalization may occur due to the changes of the perceived utility or
technical instrumentality of previous practices. These changes can also be tied to
environmental changes such as unexpected events in the environment that directly
challenge the sustainability of an institutional activity. It is assumed that the activation
of these mechanisms of deinstitutionalization leads the members of the institution to
acknowledge the need of discarding the existing institutionalized practices and then act
on this recognition. Social pressures that hasten the deinstitutionalization include
changes in state laws and structural changes to the organization or where the collective
norms and values disaggregate.
154
Functional pressures
-Redistribution of power when
institutional structures are
inadequate in their guidelines
- Competition on resources
-Unexpected events in the
environment
- Sustainability of institutional
practices, norms and routines
- Perceived problems associated
with institutional practices
Political pressure
-Shifts in political interests
- Underlying power
distribution that provided
support for existing
institutional arrangements
- When the legitimacy of
practices are questionable
- Pressure on organization to
adapt innovative practices
- Performance crisis
- Growth in the technicality of
organizations whose interest
compete with the status quo
Social pressure
- Differentiation of
groups
- Existence of differing
and disagreeing beliefs
and practices.
-Presence of multiple
competing and
overlapping institutional
frameworks
-Increasing social
fragmentation
- Specific changes
within the institution
Process of deinstitutionalization
of existing system and
establishment of the NLU
Coercive isomorphism
- Informal or formal
pressure either by force,
persuasion or invitations,
exerted on by other
organizations upon which
they are dependent.
-The cultural expectations
in the society within which
the organization function.
- Direct response of
government mandate.
- Stems from political
influence and problem of
legitimacy
-Use of greater power to
eliminate difficulties to
provide for needs
Normative isomorphism
Associated with
professionalization
- Collective struggle of
members to define
conditions and establish
legitimation for their
occupational autonomy
Mimetic isomorphism
-Results from standard
responses to uncertainty
- Institutions model
themselves after similar
institutions perceived to
be successful
- Organizational
technology are poorly
understood
-Goals are ambiguous
- There is uncertainty in
the environment
-
Institutionalization process of
the NLU
Institutional change in library
system
New rules and practices
Figure 6.1: Conceptual framework for the study of the
establishment of the National Library of Uganda
(Processional levels of institutionalization)
155
During the process of deinstitutionalization, entropy and inertia pressures are the
moderators of the rate of the inherent and competing deinstitutionalization processes in
an institution. The study explores whether these moderators namely the institutional
entropy, which tends to accelerate the process of deinstitutionalization, and
institutional inertia, which tends to impede it, existed during this process. The five
pressures namely, political, functional, social, entropy and inertia, determine the
probability of dissipation or rejection of an institutionalized organizational practice.
Dissipation is the gradual deterioration in the acceptance and use of a particular
institutionalized practice. I will explore which of these factors can be distinguished in
the environment and were most influential in creating the need for a new institution,
namely, NLU.
6.1.2. Institutionalization process of the NLU and institutioal change
There are three mechanisms through which institutionalization process occurs, namely
coercive, mimetic and normative isomorphism. I will be exploring when, how and
which of these mechanisms were activated by the political and professional actors and
led to the institutionalisation and shaping of the NLU. Investigations will be made on
the motivation and actions of the politicians that led to the establishment of the NLU.
Additionally, I will explore the roles, motives and actions of the library professional
community that led to the establishment of the NLU.
An institution is defined as a social structure which is composed of cultural-cognitive,
normative and regulative elements (Scott, 2001). The NLU was institutionalized and
legally sanctioned by the National Library Act, 2003, which defined some of the
norms, values, roles and routines. The study will seek to understand, how the functions
outlined in the Act were incorporated into it, how the main actors in the process were
creating the system of institutional values and routines.
6.1.3 The continuation of the institutionalization and the institutional
change
The process of the institutionalization does not end with the creation of the legal
foundations of an institution or an establishment of an organization; rather it is a
continuous process. Therefore I will investigate the changes that emerge in the library
and information sector after its institutionalization, and also find out the roles the NLU
plays in the library sector at present. The understanding of the three processes in
relation to the NLU will help to answer my research questions and establish the
influence of various factors in the environment, of political and professional actors and
the NLU itself in the emergence and development of a new central library institution in
a developing country.
This study aims at finding out factors in the library and information sector that led to
the establishment of the NLU; investigate the motivation and actions of the politicians
that led to the establishment of the NLU; examine roles, motives, and actions of the
156
library professional community that led to the establishment of the NLU and; the role
the NLU plays in the library sector at present.
The discussions in this chapter are related to new institutionalism which is a theory of
individual actions, which stresses the unreflective routine, taken-for granted nature of
most human behaviour and views interests and actors as constituted by instruments
(Zucker and Japperson 1991). Instrument in this study refers to the legal deposit act.
These are the most important aspects of new institutionalism that have determined the
choice of the theory of my study. The actions of different actors and their perceptions
of the situation that lead to institutional change is the focus of this study.
Having set out the theoretical model we now turn to the situation in the Ugandan
national library.
6.2 What were the factors in the library sector of Uganda that created the
premises for the establishment of the NLU?
Uganda has registered some success in the library sector. However, when Amin took
over power in 1971, the political insurgence affected public sectors including
publishing industry, education, economy and library services. They faced functional
pressures due to the unsustainability of the institutional practices. The Liberation War
of 1979 which ousted Amin affected the public library services. Most public libraries
experienced functional pressure of performance crisis as the buildings were destroyed;
books were either looted or destroyed. In 1986, the National Resistance Army (NRA)
took over power and that was the turning point of Uganda’s history. The economy
improved and the international approval brought willingness to invest and to lend.
Uganda emerged from the two decades of appalling chaos. Among the government’s
priorities was the rebuilding of a nation state from a country reduced after 15 years of
misrule and violence.
During 1993 and 1994, a constitutional assembly was elected to debate on a new
constitution as a process of returning Uganda to a democratic government.
Additionally, the Constitution of 1967 was faced with functional pressures as its
institutional structures were inadequate in its guidelines. It, therefore, became a
candidate for institutional change, since the existing set of norms and practices came
under attack, underwent deligitmation and fell into disuse. It was replaced by new
rules when the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda was promulgated. In this
constitution the local government system was based on districts as units. This was
followed by enactment of the Local government Act, 1997, which led to political
pressure and the shift of political interests and power redistribution to the districts.
Thus all services including public libraries were decentralized and transferred to the
district authorities. This weakened the PLB headquarters since it was left with few
activities.
Looking back at the historical development of the library services in Uganda in the
1960s and early1970s, it is observed that, there was an entropy pressure of the
economic, social, and political development. This is when there was an acceleration of
157
the development of libraries and related sectors. Uganda got its independence from the
British in 1962. The government prioritized education for future social and economic
development, which was a political pressure for the government to adopt innovative
practices. Many schools were built and books were purchased to support the increasing
number of enrolment at the different levels of education. Multinational, state and local
publishing firms took advantage of this boom years. The social and political
environment favoured book publishing in several ways. The government invested
heavily in education and targeted the student book rations in schools and colleges; the
competition among the publishers ensured competitive prices and high quality books;
the public and institutional libraries were well funded and could afford buying books;
there existed well managed chain of bookshops which provided outlets for publishers.
In 1963, the East African School of Librarianship (EASL) was established at Makerere
University College to train librarians from East Africa. The Library school was to train
librarians to work in the increasing number of libraries in the country. According to
the Common Man’s Charter (1969), the government forecast eliminating illiteracy
from Uganda by 2000. To achieve this, it targeted 200,000 new literates annually.
According to the Hockey recommendations (1960), Uganda established the Public
Libraries Board according to the Public Libraries Act, 1964. The Board was appointed
under the Ministry of Culture and Community Development. It was responsible for
establishing, equipping, managing and maintaining public libraries in Uganda. This
was a result of coercive isomorphism through formal pressure exerted on by the
British upon which Uganda depended. It was also a response to the government’s
mandate. In the late 1960s public libraries were extended to 20 branches. Under the
Second and Third Five Year Development Plans of 1966/67 – 1970/71 and 1971/721975/76 respectively, the development of the library services was one of the projects.
The aim of the project was to establish public libraries in each district supplemented
by mobile library services. Plans were made for building, equipping, furnishing and
stocking the Uganda National Library and headquarters in Kampala, four regional
libraries and 16 branch libraries in major towns in the country. Due to lack of funds
these plans were not implemented. However, the Board went ahead and opened five
more branch libraries, extended book box services to some hospitals and major prisons
and mobile library services with government funds. This was brought about by
functional pressures due to inadequate institutional structures, competition for limited
governmental financial resources and it was difficult to sustain the institutional
practices, norms, and routines. Two commissions of inquiries by Nabeta and Nekyon
committee were instituted by the government to look into the problems and give
recommendations, but the government did not implement them.
In 1964, the Makerere University College (Deposit Library) Act, 1964 was legislated
which was a revision of the 1958 Ordinance. There were no major changes except the
change of phrases such as from “Ordinance” to “Act”, from “Governor” to “Minister”.
It was therefore an institutional development, which represented a continuation rather
than an exit; it was a change within the institutional form. This Act, made the
Makerere University College responsible for the collection and preservation of all
books published in Uganda. Five years later, the Deposit Library and Documentation
158
Act, 1969, was also enacted to perform the same functions, which is a duplication of
limited resources. This led to social pressure of the presence of multiple competing
and overlapping institutional frameworks and increasing social fragmentation of the
national library system. The MULIB started publishing the UNB in 1987 and the
DLDC’s first publication of the Accessions List appeared in 1993. However, the
MULIB faced functional pressures from the perceived problems in performance levels,
thus, becoming a candidate for replacement. The problems accumulated, including
among others the increasing number of users, lack of funding and limited staff, thus
affecting the production of the UNB. Dissipation occurred as the gradual deterioration
in the production of the UNB (Oliver, 1992). This was indicated in the significant
reduction in the frequency of the UNB, which eventually was discontinued altogether
in 1997. The institutional formation of the NLU was partly a result of the nonproductive behaviour of the MULIB professionals regarding legal deposit activities
(Japperson 1991; DiMaggio, 1988a). Additionally, the MULIB and the DLDC were
performing dual functions as national libraries as well as academic libraries. The
challenges of joint use libraries as Hansson (2006) identified are the differences in
institutional logic and affiliations. This is because the MULIB and the DLDC are
academic libraries belonging to Ministry of Education and Sports, while the national
library services belong to the MoGLSD. The legal deposit acts of both institutions are
outdated, weak and not comprehensive enough.
The PLB performed the functions of a national library service of establishing,
equipping, managing and maintaining public libraries. There are several programmes
due to political pressure to adapt innovative practices that were included in the PLB’s
activities. These included providing the local governments standards, advise, norms,
manuals and guidelines in respect of public library buildings, staffing, stock and
information processing, storage and retrieval; inspecting and ensuring that public
libraries confirm to national policies, guidelines and standards; carrying out and
coordinating staff development programs for people working in libraries and
information services; supporting the setting up of rural community libraries; and
supporting and promoting adult literacy and education through identifying and
stocking post-literacy reading campaigns and book exhibitions. After the
decentralization of public libraries, it was deemed necessary to have an institution to
take over these functions otherwise they would collapse; thus the functional pressure
to sustain the institutional practices, norms and routines was experienced.
Decentralization caused social pressures because of the social fragmentation of the
norms, roles, as the staff members of the public libraries were taken over by various
districts. The jobs of the staff who were at the PLB were threatened as they were going
to be retrenched. This caused normative isomorphism, whereby the staff struggled to
define conditions and legitimize their occupational autonomy.
Deinstitutionalization is a process of institutional change whereby the legitimacy of
the established institutional practices discontinues, due to the challenges and failure of
the institution to produce previously legitimated or taken-for-granted institutional
actions (Oliver, 1992). DiMaggio (1988a) and Zucker (1988) have identified ways in
which deinstitutionalization in relation to functional pressure may occur. PLB was
159
deinstitutionalized due to the redistribution of power to the districts according to the
Local Government Act, 1997. Furthermore, PLB was deinstitutionalized because of
the political pressure due to the shift of political interests to the districts. The
institutional structures of the PLB were therefore rendered inadequate in their
guidelines. The institutional practices of the PLB were displaced when the legitimacy
of such practices was questionable. After decentralization of public libraries, the PLB
was deinstitutionalized because the few institutionalized activities were no longer
rewarding to be performed by such an institution. The political conditions of the
deligitimation of the PLB occurred when the performance crisis started as the library
professionals were left with few activities. That is why the Minister of Gender Labour
and Social Development wanted to retrench all staff of the PLB and retain two officers
at the Ministry to perform the remaining activities. This situation caused pressure on
the PLB staff to adopt innovative practices, by coming up with the idea of establishing
the NLU.
At Makerere University, there was an increase in the number of students due to the
introduction of privately sponsored students. This led to the environmental change due
to the competition of resources that challenged the sustainability of the institutional
practices, norms and routines of the production of the Uganda National Bibliography.
The organizational practices of the production of the UNB discontinued as a result of
specific changes within the MULIB. The MULIB was in a way deinstitutionalized
since the production of a national bibliography is one of the most important activities
of a national library. On the other hand, the PLB was not completely
deinstitutionalized since the NLU continues to perform most of the activities that were
done by the PLB; we can say that the PLB was reinstitutionalized. This means that the
NLU represents an exit from one institutionalization, the PLB, and entry into another
institutional form the NLU, which is organized around different principles and rules
embedded in the National Library Act, 2003.
6.2.1. Summary
There are several factors that are identified which led to the establishment of the NLU.
Uganda had a national library system composed of the MULIB and the DLDC
performing functions of a national library and the PLB performing the functions of a
national library service. Due to the decentralization of services, the PLB was
weakened as the public libraries were taken over by the districts and it was left with
few functions. There was a need for an institution to take over important projects
which had been carried out by the PLB. The few responsibilities would lead to the
retrenchment of the PLB staff at the headquarters. The MULIB and the DLDC had
weak outdated and incomprehensive legal deposit acts which were easily ignored by
the publishers. This led to the production of incomprehensive national bibliographies.
Since both institutions are performing the dual functions of academic and national
libraries, they concentrated more on the former than the later. They have inadequate
staff, funds and space to carry out the national library functions efficiently and
effectively. The MULIB, for example, is looked upon as a university library with its
own registered members, the staff and students; it is therefore difficult for the general
160
public to access the national imprint. There was no fully fledged national library,
which would carry out the traditional functions of a national library. The weaknesses
of these three institutions were the strength for the need of establishing the NLU. It
should be recalled here that the politicians had already planned to establish a national
library in the 1960s but due to lack of funds, the idea stalled. So it was a matter of
reactivating the process.
6.3 What was the motivation and actions of the politicians that led to the
establishment of the NLU?
After the adoption of the Local Government Act, 1997, all services including public
libraries were decentralized and transferred to the district authorities. This led to the
institutional change in the library sector of Uganda (Scott, 2001). Thus the existing
set of rules, norms and practices of the Public Libraries Act, 1964, underwent
delegitimation and were replaced by the new rules and values of the National Library
Act, 2003. The NLU did not emerge from a vacuum, rather it displaced the PLB.
6.3.1 Institutional change
When the public libraries were decentralized, changes occurred at the PLB
headquarters which caused crisis that arose from a growing mismatch between
environmental conditions and demands and the normative orientation of the
institutions. The NLU was institutionalized due to coercive isomorphism as a direct
response to government mandate, namely the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of
Uganda which devolved and transferred the functions, powers and responsibilities
from the Government to the local government units. Additionally, the Local
Government Act, 1997, was adopted to amend, consolidate and streamline the existing
law on local governments in line with the Constitution and to give effect to the
decentralization and devolution of functions, powers and services. Decentralization is
one of the major causes of the institutionalization of the NLU.
A question arises why the politicians came up with the Local Government Act, to
decentralize services. There are two schools of thought. Tukahebwa (1998),
Tukahebwa and Kabonesa (2000), and Makara (1998) view that decentralization
originated from the local council system invented and installed by the NRM
government during the bush war. On the other hand Wadala (2007) argues that this is a
policy chosen by donors, particularly the United States, which wanted ‘a new order’
after the demise of Communism in Eastern Europe. Therefore African States like
Uganda found it in their national interest to adopt the system in order to access donor
funding. This can be regarded as the external influence in terms of coercive
isomorphism which resulted from formal pressure that was exerted on Uganda by
donors, upon which she depends. Coercive isomorphism, which stems from the
political influence and the problem of legitimacy, was caused by formal pressures,
which were executed by invitation that were exerted on the government by donors,
upon which Uganda depended. On the other hand, decentralization was a direct
response to government mandate which was made during the NRM bush war (19801986).
161
Politicians and some library professionals had an argument that since public libraries
were special services, they should not have been decentralized. This is because they
are not a priority in the districts, which have limited financial resources. There was,
therefore, fear that public libraries will disappear. However, Pfeffer and Salancik
(1987, p. 188-124) observed that the political decision makers did not experience
directly the consequences of their actions, and political decisions were applied across
the board to all the social services that makes decisions less adaptive and less flexible.
The Local Government Act, 1997, which decentralized all the services to the districts,
was already in place. This led to social pressure as there was increasing social
fragmentation of the public libraries services to the various districts.
6.3.2 Library policy
During the debate on the National Library Bill, the politicians observed that there was
no library policy. Consequently, the National Library Act was formulated in a library
policy vacuum and without focus just like the MULIB and the DLDC Acts. That is
why it sailed because the politicians did not look at the act as an important concern
since there was no policy to guide them. Due to lack of an effective library
development policy as part of wider national information policy in developing
countries, Mchombu (1985) revealed that there was little sense of direction.
Oftentimes, decisions are made on the spur of the moment, without taking into
consideration all the present and future implications. Without such a policy
framework, personality clashes constitute an uncompromising brake on the rapid
development of library and information services sector. It is therefore difficult for
library and information services infrastructure to develop rapidly and rationally
without a detailed library development policy. It is obvious that the politicians were
instrumental in the establishment of the NLU; however, they were not guided in its
legislation due to the lack of the library policy. The importance of the policy is to
provide a framework for operation. In the field of information delivery, there are
social pressures due to the presence of multiple competing and overlapping
institutional frameworks, which leads to duplication of efforts and resources. A library
policy would, therefore, address all matters of cooperation with other interest groups
such as government departments, non-governmental organizations, the media,
publishers and booksellers. The library policy should include issues concerned with
the establishment, management, funding, staffing, and sustainability of library and
information systems.
6.3.3 Process
The politicians’ participation in the process of the institutionalization of the NLU is
regarded by Ikoja-Odongo as historical in the field of library and information services
in the country. He revealed that the issue of library services was first discussed during
the first parliament of 1964. This is when the politicians did not raise fundamental
issues regarding public library development, apart from supporting that there should be
a network of public libraries; it was in the 7th Parliament that the politicians were
concerned about the state of public libraries” (Ikoja-Odongo, 2004, p. 178).
162
Politicians who are the lawmakers fully participated in the institutionalization process
of the NLU. After the professionals had written the concept paper, which was
approved by the Board, the politicians took over the process when the Minister of
Gender, Labour and Social Development introduced the concept paper to the cabinet;
it was discussed and approved by the ministers. The Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs drafted the National Library Bill, 2001. The politicians in the
SSC discussed the Bill with the interest groups, made the necessary amendments and
were presented to the Parliament for debate. After deliberations, the NLU was
established by the National Library Act, 2003.
During the debate of the National Library Bill, 2001, in parliament, the politicians
were concerned about the functional pressures faced by the public libraries in the
country. These included the inadequate structures of the non-functional dilapidated
buildings, funding, staffing and relevant current books. They also noted that at the
local government level, there was functional pressure of the competition for resources;
therefore, public library services could not compete with other sectors such as
education and health with regards to access to funds. This is because libraries are not a
government priority; it would, therefore, be difficult to sustain the institutional
practices, norms and routines of the public libraries. Other concerns by the politicians
were lack of reading culture and the high illiteracy rate. Through political pressure,
the politicians were motivated to adapt innovative practices which were included in
the National Library Act, 2003, namely the promotion of reading culture, adult literacy
campaign and setting up rural community libraries. They felt that without a
coordinating body, the public libraries would collapse and those districts without
public libraries would not be able to establish them. Therefore, there was a need for an
institution like the NLU to provide to local governments standards, advice, norms,
work manuals and guidelines in respect of public library buildings, staffing, stock and
information processing, storage and retrieval. The NLU would also inspect and ensure
that public libraries conform to national policies, guidelines and standards and provide
technical, professional and advisory services. The politicians also wanted to introduce
the book mobile services of the 1960s to loan books to schools. They suggested the
introduction of the ICT in the public libraries in order to attract people, especially, the
youths to use the library. The politicians recommended the Government to encourage
districts to establish new libraries where they do not exist and support the existing
ones, to fund the NLU and take it as one of its priorities. A clear policy on the
establishment and maintenance of public libraries was suggested. The wish to include
Braille materials in the public libraries was expressed as more and more blind people
were becoming literate.
There was social pressure brought about by the differentiation between the politicians
and the professionals. This led to the existence of differing and disagreeing beliefs and
practices, when the politicians preferred to change the National Library Bill to the
original Public Libraries Bill. They reasoned that it was not just one library but many
of them, and that the National Library should coordinate the public libraries. They
preferred Lor’s roles and functions of national libraries, which he considered most
appropriate in Africa. The politicians wanted a national library with an orientation
163
towards a comprehensive national library service and with the people as clients, and
the emphasis on service delivery to end users. The service would include public
libraries, book boxes, book mobiles, adult literacy, and enhancement of reading
culture. We can see here that the politicians wanted the library services to reach the
general public, i.e., the voters. The politicians were not comfortable with Lor’s role of
national library oriented towards infrastructure and clients as other libraries and
rendering leadership service. Neither did they like the heritage as orientation, clients as
the learned scholars and emphasis on the collections. They completely misunderstood
and were ignorant of the concept of a national library regarding its roles and norms,
and values. They advocated for institutional development approach which is also
referred to institutional elaboration (Japperson, 1991; DiMaggio, 1988a). This
approach represents institutional continuation of the PLB rather than an exit from the
PLB to the NLU. During the Social Services Committee meeting discussing the
National Library Bill, a politician asked whether it was necessary to have a national
library and what about the national archives. This is one of the indicators why the
library sector in the country lagged behind, as politicians did not fully understand even
the concept of a national library. The politicians led the political process of the
institutionalization of the NLU. They debated the National Library Bill, 2001, passed
the National Library Act, 2003, but were quite unaware about the roles, norms and
values of a national library as an institution.
During the deliberations of the National Library Bill in Parliament by the politicians,
there were social pressures of differing and disagreeing beliefs and practices. These
differences influence the ways, in which institutional values are adapted and tend to
result in some modifications (Peters 2005). The National Library Act, 2003, therefore
was passed with modifications. The reasons for the modification were political
pressures in order to adapt innovative practices. The modification made among others
was the reduction of the penalty for non-compliance of depositing the publications to
the NLU from 30 to 10 currency points as the 30 currency points was too high.
Publisher had to deposit one copy of the videogram or film and ten copies of
government publications; this is because the public may have higher demand for
government documents for development and policy implementation. Additionally, the
government can afford to provide more copies.
The approval of the use of funds was modified to be made by the Board and not the
Minister. The NLU was mandated to keep proper books of accounts and not the Board.
All employees of the PLB immediately before the pronouncement of the National
Library Act were automatically transferred to and became staff members of the NLU.
This situation was innovative since the staff who were about to be retrenched were
catered for and the NLU would be functional from the beginning. This is another
indication of institutional elaboration which means that the NLU is still a continuation
of PLB since all PLB staff became NLU staff.
164
6.3.4 Summary
The politicians, who are the law makers, played a big role in the institutionalization
process of the NLU. They participated in the process after the writing of the concept
paper on the establishment of the NLU by the PLB professionals, and the approval by
the Board. The politicians took over from there when the Minister of MoGLSD studied
the paper, presented it to the Cabinet, which discussed and approved it. It was then
drafted by the Ministry of Justice and Cabinet Affairs into the National Library Bill,
2001. The politicians of the Social Services Committee of parliament together with the
professionals discussed the Bill, made necessary suggestions and tabled it to the
parliament for debate. After the deliberations, the National Library Act, 2003 was
enacted.
The motivations and actions of the politicians that led to the establishment of the NLU
started in the 1960s when they included the establishment of a national library in the
second and third five year development plans. However, the plans were not fulfilled
due to lack of funds. The politicians promulgated the 1995 Constitution of the
Republic of Uganda and enacted the Local Government Act, 1997, decentralized the
services including the public libraries to the districts; this weakened the PLB
headquarters. One of the reasons for decentralization was to take services nearer to the
people. The politicians unanimously supported the National Library Bill establishing
the NLU. They felt that by establishing the NLU, they will be able to support the
decentralized public libraries. This would be done through inspection, provision of
guidelines, standards, norms, manuals in respect of public library building, staffing,
stock and information processing, storage and retrieval. The NLU would also continue
with the government projects in relation to support and promotion of adult literacy,
setting up rural community libraries, and promote the habit of reading culture through
reading campaigns and book exhibitions. The politicians regarded the NLU more like
a national library service than a national library
6.4 What were the roles, motives and actions of the library professional
community that led to the establishment of the NLU?
The concept of the professionals is defined as the professional librarians who primarily
influenced the institutional formation of the NLU. These are the interested actors who
were involved in the process of the institutionalization of the NLU.
6.4.1 Normative isomorphism
Regarding the involvement of librarians in establishing national libraries in Africa,
Paul Sturges noted that there are a lot of ideas on how to develop national libraries in
Africa. He suggested that although the politicians are the ones who approve plans and
allocate budgets, there were some decisions which must be made by the librarians
themselves. There is also a need to decide whether the librarians want to be involved
in the change or to accept the status quo (Struges, 2000, p. 47). Looking at the
Ugandan scene, the librarians were directly involved in the establishment of the NLU
right from its inception, so much so that they are the ones who came up with this idea
and sold it to the politicians.
165
This is related to normative isomorphism when they collectively struggled to define
the conditions and legitimize the NLU (Larsson 1977; Collins 1979). The PLB
headquarters experienced institutional isomorphism when the professionals were
pressured to assume the form of the NLU in order to survive retrenchment after the
decentralization of the public libraries (Hawley 1968). Additionally, the PLB staff
argue that the idea of establishing the Uganda National Library has been there since
the 1960s and 1970s when it appeared in the second and third five year development
plans of 1966/67-1970/71 and 1971/72-1975/76 respectively. So they were just
reactivating the plans, therefore, the idea did not come out of a vacuum, it was
borrowed from the development plans. Kigongo-Bukenya (2000, p. 64) argues that
the NLU would have been established much earlier if not for ‘empire building’ by the
MULIB and the PLB – both wanted to own the national library. He was surprised that
the compromise proposal to establish a national reference library under the MULIB
and a national lending library under the PLB was never implemented. This is situation
is related to normative isomorphism whereby each institution namely PLB and
MULIB separately struggled to to define conditions to legitimize itself to become the
national library
6.4.2 Formation of institutions (institutional change)
There are situations identified by Peters (2005) that can lead to the formation of
institutions. The NLU was created because it had a meaning to the PLB professionals
who believed that the structure is something more than a means to an end. The
establishment of the NLU would be able to motivate the members by retaining their
jobs and furthermore, the NLU is more prestigious than the PLB headquarters. In order
for the institutionalization process of the NLU to take place, the professionals made a
decision to create the NLU for a specific purpose, namely, for the deposit and
preservation of publications, the setting up of an information referral services and
library co-ordination among others. However, Knight (1992) argued that institutions
emerge in order to meet social and economic necessities. Changes occurred at the PLB
and caused crisis as identified by Boin and t’Hart, (2000) that arose from a growing
mismatch between environmental conditions and demand and the normative
orientation of the institution. The principle task faced by the leaders of the PLB was
the effective management of the crisis and reformulation of the institution by changing
norms and expectations so that more successful coping with demands can be made
(Peters 2005, p. 36). The management of the PLB tried all means of lobbying to ensure
that the National Library Bill, 2001, sailed through. The institutional change rendered
the PLB to face challenges such as limited activities and the threat of retrenchment,
which in turn forced the PLB professional to change (Hansson, 2006).
6.4.3 The differences and similarities of the institutional change of the
NLU and other national libraries
In Europe, national libraries were established as a result of various pressures through
merger or separation (2.2.5). The Swiss national Library was established in 1895 and
was legally sanctioned by law in 1911, to collect literature in Switzerland, written by
Swiss authors, or published about Switzerland. From the 1970s, the Swiss National
Library was faced with functional pressures due to the inadequate financial resource
166
when the budget was reduced and it was unable to sustain its institutional practices. Its
role as a leader was therefore rapidly eroded (Jauslin 1996, p. 113). In 1989, it was
merged with the Swiss National Museum and the Office for the Promotion of Culture
to form the Federal Office of Culture. The difference between the institutional change
of the Swiss National Library and the NLU is that the NLU was established due to the
political pressure of the shift of political interests, and the functional pressure due to
the redistribution of power, when the public library services were decentralized and
the PLB weakened. The PLB was transformed into the NLU by an act of the
Parliament with new institutional practices, norms and routines. It was therefore
institutional elaboration or institutional development, which was an institutional
continuation from the PLB to the NLU rather than an exit; it was therefore a change
within an institutional form, the PLB. The Swiss National Library was merged with
two other institutions to take a new form of the Federal Office of Culture. The Swiss
National Library was deinstitutionalized whereby the legitimacy of its established
institutional practices were discontinued as a result of challenges and its failure to
reproduce previously legitimated institutional actions.
In 1957, the Icelandic Parliament merged the National Library of Iceland and the
University of Iceland Library due to functional pressures caused by inadequate
accommodation and resources for two separate big research libraries. The merger was
also caused by the social pressure due to multiple competing and overlapping
institutional frameworks. While in Uganda, there were already two institutions
carrying out national library activities of collection and preservation of national
imprint, the MULIB and the DLDC. They had dual functions of academic as well as
national libraries. They were faced with functional pressures of inadequate structures
and guidelines and sustainability of institutional practices, norms and routines.
Because of the weak acts, limited funds, space, and staffing of the two institutions, the
NLU was established. The institutionalization of the NLU caused social pressure
because of the presence of multiple competing and overlapping institutional
frameworks. Currently, there are three institutions performing the functions of national
library, namey, the MULIB, the DLDC and the NLU. So, while in Iceland similar
institutions were consolidated or merged into one, in Uganda a third similar institution
the NLU was created leading to increasing fragmentation of the national library system
in Uganda.
The Danish Royal Library acquired legal deposit in 1697 and in 1793 due to political
pressure of adapting innovative practices; it was opened to the public, thus, changing
into a national library. It was an institutional development, which represented
institutional continuation rather than an exit; it was a change within an institutional
form by retaining the name but changing the functions from a private to a public
institution. This situation is similar to that of Uganda except that the PLB changed the
name to the NLU and is still performing most of the functions of the PLB of a national
library service and a few of a national library.
In 1938, the University of Copenhagen Library split into two parts namely the UL1 for
humanities, social sciences, and law and theology and UL2 for the natural sciences and
167
medicine. This was caused by social pressure due to differentiation of groups and
differing practices of science and humanities. In 1989, the Ministry of Culture merged
the Royal Library with the UL1 because of the social pressure of multiple competing
and overlapping institutional frameworks, as most of the collections of the Royal
Library were on Humanities. Additionally, Cotta-Schonberg and Nielsen (2008 p. 49)
revealed the cause for the merger as normative isomorphism when the Royal Librarian
made it a condition for staying on the job. He struggled to define conditions and
establish legitimation for his occupational autonomy. This situation is similar to the
PLB staff who were left with few activities and were about to be retrenched due to the
decentralization of the NLU. They struggled to establish legitimation for their
occupational autonomy when they came up with the idea of establishing the NLU. In
2005, the Minister of Culture merged the Royal Library with the UL2 which at that
time was the Danish Research Library for Science and Medicine in order to
consolidate the cultural institutions under the Ministry. The motivation for this merger
was caused by political pressure to adapt innovative practices in order to strengthen
the Copenhagen University Library Services, and to create a new organization with an
extensive resources base for innovative development and quality improvement. The
difference here is that while Denmark consolidated the national library services,
Uganda created another national library thus creating social pressure due to multiple
competing and overlapping institutional practices of the MULIB, the DLDC and the
NLU.
The legal deposit Act of the Royal Library of Sweden was decreed in 1661 and started
functioning as a national library in 1877. The Stockholm University Library was
established in the same year and in 1953, the Royal Library became the university
library for humanities and social sciences. Over the years, staff at the university
increasingly felt the need for a clear division of responsibility between the Royal
library and the university library (Cotta-Schonberg and Nielsen 2008, p. 49). This can
be referred to as normative isomorphism when the university library staff collectively
struggled to define conditions and establish legitimation for their occupational
autonomy. There was also social pressure since the university library staff felt the
existence of differing and disagreeing beliefs and practices. In 1977, the Stockholm
University Library separated from the Royal Library. The similarity is the struggle of
both the Stockholm university library and the PLB to define their autonomy. The
difference is the social pressure with the fragmentation of the Stockholm University
Library from the Royal Library whereas the PLB case was an institutional
development since the NLU is a continuation rather than an exit, it is a change within
an institutional form.
In 1811, the University of Oslo was established by a royal decree and in 1825 it was
given the functions of a national library; this arrangement came with challenges
(Cotta-Schonberg and Nielsen, 2008, p. 69). There was the functional pressure of the
competition for resources between the university and the national library. Social
pressure occurred when 400 academic libraries were established all over Norway
leading to multiple competing and overlapping institutional frameworks and increasing
social fragmentation. In 1984, the Parliament agreed to establish a separate national
168
library due to mimetic isomorphism since most European countries had established
them. This cause is similar to one of reasons for the establishment of the NLU that
most countries of the world have national libraries and Uganda did not want to be left
behind. In Norway, there was the functional pressure of the unexpected events in the
environment caused by the economy and unemployment after the closure of the steel
mill in Mo I Rana which faced economic disaster (Rugnaas 1990, p. 42). The situation
is similar to the PLB staff when they were about to be retrenched, except that it was
normative isomorphism when the staff themselves struggled to define conditions and
establish legitimation for their occupational autonomy. The establishment and transfer
of the national library of Norway to Mo I Rana is a cause of political pressure, the shift
of political interest and underlying power redistribution that provided support for
existing institutional arrangements. Similarly, the NLU was established because of the
power redistribution due to decentralization of the public library services to the
districts.
6.4.4 Coercive isomorphism
Various reasons were given by the professionals for the establishment of the NLU.
Some are related to mimetic isomorphism, whereby the professionals felt that since
most countries of the world have national libraries, Uganda should also have one.
Others saw it as prestige and national pride. This situation can also be referred to as
coercive isomorphism as it is the general view that no country is complete without a
national library (Line 1988, p. 20). Additionally, during the IFLA conference in
Moscow, in 1990, countries without national libraries were coerced through
persuasion to establish them.
6.4.5 Process
The actions and roles of the library professionals during the institutionalization of the
NLU were identified during the writing of the concept paper by the PLB staff, the
MULIB professional meeting to discuss the draft of the National Library Bill, the
ULIA meeting to discuss the same Bill and ended at the SSC meeting with the
politicians. During the institutional formation of the NLU, rules and norms are central
to the institution (March and Olsen 1989). There was a possibility of substantial
deviation in the values as the original founders. The PLB professionals could
implement their ideas within the context of developing the NLU structure. This
implementation process, therefore, required interaction with other professionals and,
hence, some value drift was expected. It was certain that some differences in values
and perceptions were bound to occur. The differences among the library professionals
influenced the way the institutional values were interpreted, which generated a
political process that modified the institutional values (Peters 2005). However, this
was not the case with the institutionalization process of the NLU, since the idea of the
establishment of the NLU was internally conceived by the PLB staff; the other
professionals were put on board when the National Library Bill was already in the SSC
of the Parliament. The MULIB and the DLDC were of the view that they would have
used this opportunity to update their acts so that they fit into the present situation. The
SSC meeting missed out the authors, readers and booksellers who are also interested
parties in the creation of the NLU. When establishing libraries in sub Saharan Africa,
169
Mostert (2001) noted that there has been lack of consultation between librarians and
their existing and potential clients during the initial planning stages for services to be
offered in libraries and information services.
Regarding the collection, the PLB staff wanted to transfer the legal deposit collection
of the MULIB to the NLU as a starting point for building the national imprint thus
causing institutional change. They did not want to emerge from a vacuum they wanted
to borrow from and to a certain extent displace MULIB. However, this was opposed
by both the MULIB and the politicians, since most of the collection emanated from the
University and was mainly meant for research purposes. There was social pressure
due to the differentiation of groups and existence of differing and disagreeing beliefs
and practices. MULIB did not want to lose their rich collection. This was the mimetic
isomorphism when PLB wanted to imitate Goodrum’s first generation of national
libraries that came into existence between 16th and 17th centuries. These national
libraries were established through the acquisition of royal collections (the National
Library of France); while others with acquisition of large private libraries namely (the
Library of Congress with Thomas Jefferson’s volumes in the United States and the
British Museum with Sir Hans Sloane collection in Britain).
There were social pressures regarding the representation of the library professionals in
the National Library Board. Whereas some members insisted that a member nominated
from the ULIA should represent the association to the Board, others suggested a
library professional should be nominated. There were differing and disagreeing beliefs
within the library professionals. Consequently, there was normative isomorphism
when ULIA members struggled to define conditions and establish legitimation to the
National Library Board, but this was rejected by the SSC. There was normative
isomorphism as the MULIB and the DLDC professionals collectively struggled to
coexist with the NLU so that they act as a backup. They thought that both acts were
going to be repealed, but they were not.
6.4.6 Alternative of national library (functions of national libraries)
Some professionals suggested that the MULIB could be the second national library in
Uganda, because it has been a legal depository since 1958. The issue of a university
library in a developing country as a suitable alternative for a national library has been
discussed by several scholars. Lor (2003, p. 146) argues that the university library has
more resources; however, in the long run it might prove difficult to perform the
functions of a national library. This is because the university library has to give first
priority to the immediate needs of the students, teachers, and researchers. So when the
University Librarian has to choose between national tasks and the clients’ demands,
the latter wins. That is why some professionals and the politicians refused to support
the MULIB to become the second national library due to the large number of students
it has to serve. There was social pressure due to the existence of differing and
disagreeing beliefs and practices. The advantage of having a university library as a
national library is that they are well established as compared to other libraries, have
strong collections and enjoy immense prestige which attracts donations of important
documents (Mchombu 1985, p. 233). Secondly, the university libraries have been in
existence long before other types of libraries, and therefore they are most likely to
170
have the cream of the professional manpower available within the country (Bandara
1979).
It was suggested that the functions of the NLU should be divided among the three
legal depositories. The NLU should focus on the acquisition, preservation, publishing
the NBU; provide space for the collection of national and international publications,
thus leading to functional pressure of redistribution of power. In countries where
national libraries have been centralized, Line (1988, p. 22) supports the sharing of
national library functions with other libraries since the days of a comprehensive alldominating national library have gone. The professionals noted that although
functions of the NLU look good on paper, they are difficult to implement and that it
would take 20 years for the NLU to be able to perform these functions. It set itself too
high as it has too many functions including a network of public libraries. While
identifying the functions of a national library, Line (1988, p. 27) looks at the economic
and practical realities, rather than design of an ‘ideal’ system that cannot be achieved.
Anguolo (1980) gave an example of the National Library of Nigeria which was set up
in 1964 had ambitious plans and powers, that led to slow progress as it was unable to
fulfil adequately several roles that it was empowered to perform. On the other hand,
Lor (1990) thinks that there is not a national library in Africa, which effectively
undertakes all the functions and in any case, these tasks are no longer feasible and
desirable to attempt all of them.
6.4.7 Mimetic isomorphism
While writing the concept paper for the establishment of the NLU, the librarians
consulted extensively the UNESCO guidelines for legislation of national libraries, the
Namibian and Norwegian Legal Deposit acts in terms of definitions and concepts. As
Scott (2001, p.153) revealed there is a similarity in the structural features of the NLU
with other national libraries. The NLU must not only be recognized in terms of what
competitive process it works at, but must show the structural features that make them
both recognizable and in conformity with normative and regulative requirements.
However, Mchombu (1985) cautioned that library and information studies textbooks
refer to objectives and functions of national libraries out of context of a particular
developing country. Therefore, equipped with such rigid and irrelevant definitions,
many librarians in the developing countries make quixotic efforts to recreate prototype
Library of Congress or the British Library. Thus mimetic isomorphism occurred when
the professionals wanted the British system of having more than one national library,
having the copyright office in the NLU just like the Library of Congress and also
having subject national libraries such as those in the USA, namely National Library of
Agriculture and National Library of Medicine. It is believed that mimetic isomorphism
is one of the most powerful forces that encourage one organization to imitate another,
which results from standard responses to uncertainty. The reasons why mimetic
isomorphism occurred was due to the ambiguous goals and uncertainty in the
environment of the library sector in the country (March and Olsen 1976). Additionally,
the professionals tended to model the NLU after other national libraries of the
developed world, which they perceived to be more legitimate and successful (Cyert
and March 1963). From the mimetic isomorphism perspective, it can be deduced that
171
external influence played part in the institutionalization of the NLU by referring and
imitating external institutions in the same arena. There is a tendency for external
environment to play a part in the direction of institutional change (Audunson 1999);
and in turn there was a tendency for the structures of the NLU to resemble closely
other national libraries (Scott 2001). It was suggested that the PLB professionals
should make study tours of national libraries in the developed world to learn and
imitate the good practices so that they could implement them in the NLU but this has
not yet been implemented due to the lack of funding.
6.4.8 Summary
The professionals from PLB came up with the idea of establishing the NLU. They had
several motives for this action. They claim that the plan of establishing the NLU had
been there since the 1960s so they were reactivating them. The decentralization of the
public libraries to the districts left the PLB headquarters with few functions and was
weakened. This situation was a threat to the jobs of the staff members as plans were
underway to retrench them. They felt that there was a need for an institution to
coordinate activities of the decentralized public libraries, since the local governments
did not have capacity to do so. The MULIB and the DLDC were surrogates of national
libraries whose functions were to collect and preserve national imprint. Both
institutions have weak acts, limited funds, lacked space and staff to perform the
national library functions efficiently and effectively. Additionally, both institutions
were academic libraries and it was difficult to serve the students staff and researchers
as well as the general public. The weaknesses of the MULIB and the DLDC were a
motivation for the PLB to establish a fully fledged national library since it did not exist
in the country. The roles played by the library professionals in the process of
establishing the NLU started with the PLB staff writing a concept paper; the MULIB
professionals and the ULIA members discussed and contributed to the draft of the
National Library Bill, 2001. The professionals then met the politicians in the SSC to
discuss further the Bill. During the process of discussing the Bill, there were
disagreements among the professionals. These emerged mainly in respect to the
membership to the Board from the ULIA, transferring the national collection from the
MULIB to the NLU and the MULIB becoming the second national library, all of
which were rejected by both the politicians and some professionals.
6.5 What role does the NLU play in the library sector at present?
6.5.1 Concept of a national library in Uganda
After the legislation of the National Library Act, 2003, the NLU was formed. On the
basis of legitimacy, the NLU was legally sanctioned, morally governed and became a
physical manifestation of culture. It acquired social acceptability and endorsement by
the politicians and library professionals as a result of the conformity to the norms and
expectations of the NLU’s environment. The NLU was therefore established with
routines, which are used to monitor and react to changes within the working
environment. The NLU spells out the routines in such a way that as it becomes more
institutionalized and has some greater meaning attached its degree of
institutionalization within the structure will increase.
172
The NLU belongs to the Goodrum’s (1980) third generation of national libraries
established at the end of World War II after independence. The PLB was established
through the Public Libraries Act, 1964, soon after independence. It was an integrated
library system with headquarters in Kampala, the national capital, and a network of
libraries in the districts. Although the politicians tried to establish the national library
in the two five-year-development plans, they failed due to lack of funding. Among the
groups of national libraries that were identified by Lor (2003) one includes a “National
Library Service”. Presently, the NLU belongs to this group as it mainly offers services
to the general public through a network of public libraries and community and school
libraries. The services include book donations, staff training and giving standards and
guidelines, book exhibitions, community reading tents and book box services. The
NLU is a government institution and an expression of nationalism, a symbol of
national pride, prestige and status. The NLU was therefore established on the basis of
compliance as a result of social obligations and binding expectations.
6.5.2 National Library services (roles)
Among the norms roles and routines that were included in the National Library Act,
2003 were not the traditional functions that are practiced by other national libraries.
The Act with regards to March and Olsen’s (1989, pp. 21-26) concept of institutions,
has a number of interrelated rules and routines that define appropriate actions in terms
of relationship between roles and situations. During the process of institutionalization
of the NLU, the professionals determined what the situation is, what role is being
fulfilled, and what the obligation of that role in that situation is. They therefore
included the support and promotion of adult literacy and education through
identification and stocking post-literacy reading materials, the support to setting up of
rural community libraries, and the promotion of the habit and culture of reading
through reading campaigns and book exhibitions. These roles were included due to the
situation of the country of the high illiteracy rate, lack of reading culture and
establishment of public libraries where they do not exist in the districts and supporting
community libraries. If these roles were not taken over by the NLU there was fear that
they would discontinue. These activities are coercive isomorphism as they are direct
responses to the political influence. The NLU is institutional continuation of the PLB
rather than an exit; it is therefore a change within the institutional form (Japperson
1991; DiMaggio 1988a). From the data, the NLU is moving on to deinstitutionalize the
PLB; however, the PLB has remained and is hidden within the NLU. It is an extension
of the PLB especially with regard to the fact that it is performing mostly the same
activities, has the same staff and is still in the same non-functional building.
Consequently, the establishment of the NLU experienced social pressure when the
former PLB was fragmented into new departments and divisions in order to efficiently
carry out its norms, roles, and routines. This led to specific changes within the
organization. The NLU can be referred to as experiencing institutional development or
institutional elaboration, which is a continuation of the PLB rather than an exit from it.
This is what Japperson (1991) and DiMaggio (1988a) refers to as a change within an
institutional form.
173
6.5.2.1 Users
It was noted that most of the users of the NLU are secondary schools students who use
it not to borrow books but to revise their notes. Rosenberg (1994, p.247) highlighted
the library use in African libraries as having in abundance users and not library
readers. This is because they do not use the books and services of the library, but read
their own materials and copy notes. That is why the NLU is filled to capacity,
especially, during the holidays by the students from secondary schools. However, the
NLU staffs prefer them to use public libraries so that they leave the limited space for
researchers.
6.5.2.2 Innovative practices
The NLU has carried out research on information needs of rural communities in Mpigi
District in order to provide the community with information services. The NLU
professionals have provided technical, professional and advisory services in the field
of librarianship to government departments, local governments, and the public sector.
They have organized practical training for diploma students, community library
attendants and interns in the basics of managing public and community libraries. At
the international level, the NLU together with the ULIA organized the Standing
Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Librarians (SCECSAL XVI) in
July, 2004. In 2005, the NLU successfully hosted the copyright and Access to
Information Conference for librarians all over Africa.
6.5.3 Relationship between the MULIB, the DLDC and the NLU
6.5.3.1 Social pressures
The three institutions are faced with social pressure, since they have differing
practices. The MULIB and the DLDC have inadequate outdated Acts, excluding nonbook materials, weak penalties; publishers deposit one copy of each institution. The
functions of both institutions are to collect and preserve the books published in
Uganda. Although they are not socially obliged to publish national bibliographies, they
felt it desirable to do so, the Accessions List and the UNB. On the other hand the NLU
Act is saturated with new roles and norms, is up to date with publishers depositing
three copies of books and other documents, it has twenty one functions, including
publishing a national bibliography.
The similarities are also related to social pressures among the MULIB, the DLDC and
the NLU, which are faced with multiple competing and overlapping institutional
frameworks. The three institutions compile national bibliographies, though the
MULIB’s UNB ceased publication in 1997. They collect books published in Uganda.
The Acts lack mechanism for their enforcement. The three national libraries have led
to the increase of social fragmentation, since there is no coordination among the three
institutions, and there is duplication of limited resources. The publishers have to
deposit to three institutions instead of two which according to them is very expensive.
The three institutions face the same functional pressures due to lack of funding,
transport, and space for the national library activities.
174
From the annual reports, most of the roles of the NLU are still basically of a
comprehensive national library services orientation as was demanded by the
politicians. Apart from the collection of the national imprint and production of the
NBU, the NLU has not yet embarked on the leadership roles, namely, administration
of the ISBNs and ISSNs, compiling the National Union Catalogue, international interlending, collection of foreign literature, coordination of exchange of publications in
the country, collection of non-print materials. Those roles are not yet fulfilled due to
functional pressures of inadequate structures and funding, staffing and space.
Regarding the administration of ISBNs and ISSN, the reasons are mainly social
pressure of the differing and disagreeing beliefs and practices as the Uganda
Publishers Association still continue with this activity, and is reluctant to hand over
this function to NLU. While the NLU staff indicated that this activity appears in the
National Library Act, 2003, the UPA revealed that permission to transfer this activity
has to be sanctioned from Berlin institution which is responsible for the issuance of the
ISBNs.
Before decentralization the public libraries were directly under the PLB which was
under the MoGLSD. The decentralization of public libraries to the districts brought
about social pressures related to increasing social fragmentation. This is when the
public libraries including their staff were fragmented by the transfer under the MoLG.
At the district level, public libraries were further fragmented to different departments.
Some public libraries belong to the Department of Education and Sports, others in
Culture and Community Development, while others in the office of the Town Clerk.
Due to the direct response of the government mandate on decentralization of the public
libraries, coercive isomorphism was exerted on the local authorities that were reluctant
to manage them. These were formal pressures due to cultural expectations in the
society, within which the politicians had to bring the public library services nearer to
the people.
In his study, Hansson (2006) refers to change as a complicated process in that when
changes occur the library and information sector it is likely that the professionals and
libraries will be faced with challenges. In Uganda, therefore, the NLU is bound to face
challenges due to the environmental change in the library and information sector. Lack
of funding is one of the main challenges for the NLU. Regarding lack of government
support in terms of funding, Rosenberg (1994) reviewed that from the 1960s to mid1970s substantial financial support for libraries in Africa always came from outside,
and, therefore, it was not a question of asking why governments had ceased to fund
libraries; they had always viewed them as marginal; since subsidy does not result in
sustainability. The NLU is faced with inadequate funding which makes it unable to
peerform its institutional norms and practices.
Regarding the achievements of the NLU, Lowell Martin (1937) sees libraries as
institutions influenced by social and political changes which are beneficial for
contemporary society. The NLU has made some achievements mainly regarding
public library services. It has been revealed that most activities of the NLU are funded
by the development partners. This situation is related to Rosenberg’s view of getting
175
financial support from outside. The NLU gets funding from its development partners
namely, BAI and SIDA who sponsor book exhbitions, community reading tents and
book donations for public, community and school libraries.
6.5.3.2 Functional pressures
As it has already been noted by Hansson (2006), changes always come with
challenges. After the establishment of the NLU, it was faced with functional pressures
due to inadequate institutional structures. The NLU was almost evicted from the
building due to non-payment of rent arrears. It is still not well funded in order to carry
out its activities. There is a lack of transport to inspect and deliver books to the public
and community libraries; and to collect the national imprint from the various
publishers scattered throughout the country. The NLU is operating in a non-functional
building with limited staff, space and equipment. The public libraries in the districts
faced the same situation as they did not get salaries and funds for managing their
libraries for six months. The Mbale Public library was evicted from its premises not
due to nonpayment of rent but because the landlord wanted to lease the building at
very high price which the local authorities could not afford. It was then transferred to
the district offices with limited space.
6.5.4 The NLU as an institution
The NLU has established routines, the National Library Act, 2003, and use them to
monitor and react to changes within their working environment. As the NLU becomes
more established and have some greater meaning attached to it, the degree of
institutionalization within the structre will increase (March and Olsen 1989, pp. 2224).
6.5.4.1 Functions of the NLU
Lor (2003, p. 143) identified three national library orientations, namely comprehensive
national library service, infrastructure and heritage (Table 2.5). The orientation of
the NLU is mainly comprehensive national library service, whose main clients are the
people and the emphasis is service delivery to end users. The services include public
libraries, legislative libraries, government ministries, prison libraries, hospital libraries,
book mobiles and book boxes.
The orientation of the infrastructure deals with the clients who are other libraries and
whose emphasis is leadership. In this regard, the services include compilation of
national bibliography, act as a national bibliographic agency, administration of ISBNs
and ISSNs, production of a national union catalogue, international interblending, and
collection of foreign literature and coordinate exchange of publications in the country.
As far as the NLU is concerned it has published the National Bibliography of Uganda
annually, other activities have not yet been embarked on since is still undergoing the
institutionalization process of a national library. Additionally, there is a lack of
coordination among the major libraries in Uganda, lack of staffing, space and funding
to carry out these activities.
176
The third role of a national library has its orientation on heritage, the clients are
learned scholars and researchers and the emphasis is on collections. The services are
collection of the country’s output of non-print materials; collection of materials
published in other countries about the country by the country’s writers, or in the
country’s unique languages; record and document indigenous knowledge; prevention
of loss of heritage materials manuscripts and archives of the nation’s famous authors
by sale to foreign collectors and institutions; and repatriation of published and
unpublished materials reflecting the history and culture of the country. We can
observe here that none of these activities have been carried out by the NLU. The NLU
is basically a comprehensive national library services and is performing less of
leadership role. Therefore the NLU is not yet an institution, but is still an organization.
Selznick (1949), Gouldner (1954), Dalton (1959) and Clerk (1960a) describe
organizations as those that are embedded in the local communities, to which they are
tied by the multiple loyalties of personnel and by inter-organizational treaties
hammered out in face-to-face interactions.
6.6 Summary
The role of the NLU plays in the library sector at present is basically that of public
library services with the emphasis on service delivery to end users. It has endeavoured
with challenges to fulfil most of these activities as stipulated in the National Library
Act, 2003. The local authorities have been provided with standards, advice, norms,
work manuals and guidelines regarding public library building, staffing, stock and
information processing, storage and retrieval. The public libraries are inspected to
ensure that they confirm to guidelines and standards. Technical, professional and
advisory services in the field of librarianship are provided to government departments,
local governments and the public sector. Research has been carried out in Mpigi
district to find out the information needs of the community. Staff development
programmes have been carried out through training and workshops for people working
in public and community libraries. The NLU has supported and promoted adult
literacy and education through the identification and stocking of prost-literacy reading
materials. Support is given for setting up rural community libraries. The habit and
reading culture has been supported through reading campaigns and book exhibitions
with the support of the development partners such as SIDA and BAI. The NLU
acquires and organizes for use, a collection of library materials published in Uganda,
by Ugandans and on Uganda. The NBU of books published in Uganda is produced
annually as a means of promoting awareness of the availability of these books and
encouraging the sale of these books in the country and abroad. It should be noted here
that the NBU is not comprehensive enough due to the lack of mechanism to ensure
that all publishers deposit their books to the NLU.
These are some of the activities that have not yet been carried out due to inadequate
funding, staff, space and equipment. A depository for foreign government
publications, the United Nations and other international organizations in order to
promote research, scholarship and for preservation of published national culture and
intellectual output. To acquire at a fee from any person or institution and any
manuscript or literature that may be considered to be of interest to the country. In
177
collaboration with the publishers, the NLU is to carry out the cataloguing of books
before they are published so as to ease the processing of these books by various
libraries. It should establish and maintain a national union catalogue of holdings of
major libraries in the country and to provide information and referral services,
including specialized information services at the national and international level. The
NLU is mandated to allocate ISBNs and ISSNs to publishers in Uganda. The NLU is
to act as the agency for national and international lending; exchange of library
materials; to act as a national agency for international, regional and international
information systems; and to create electronic databases in areas of national interest.
The NLU is to carry out advocacy at the local and international level in matters
relating to libraries.
6.7 Conclusions
This final section is devoted to the short generalized answers to the main research
questions formulated at the beginning of the dissertation. I regard the establishment of
the NLU as an institution a continuing process, which did not end with adopting the
National Library Act or changing the name of the PLB. Therefore, the answers to the
questions are wider in scope. The pressures and mechanisms of institutional
development relating to the establishment of the NLU that existed before 2003 have
changed, but they are still in force. The actors are still influenced by the institutional
forces and themselves shape the library institutions in Uganda by their behavior. The
conclusions are related to the research questions and here the empirical evidence and
influences I suggest were the most important is related to the theoretical framework.
6.7.1. Factors in the library sector that influenced the establishment of
the NLU
The main factors in the library sector that led to the establishment of the NLU can be
detected through the social, political and functional pressures. The library sector
changes in respect to the processes in the wider environment and the immediate needs
of the society. The new Constitution, the growing economy, including the publishing
sector and the expansion of education led to a situation when the previous institutional
arrangements could not adequately cope with the situation.
Social pressures
.Growing publishing output
.Duplication of national library functions (MULIB and DLDC)
.Widening education
.Public libraries
fragmented to the districts
Functional
pressures
The publishing in Uganda was strengthened during the end of the last decade of the
20th century and the start of the 21st one. The increasing number of publications
demanded more effort for collecting and processing legal deposit, as well as
controlling the submissions. At the same time the MULIB and DLDC activities
178
became more of academic nature with their specified clientele, the staff and students.
There was a duplication of national library activities regarding the collection of the
national imprint and publication of incomprehensive national bibliographies annually
by both institutions and neither of them could perform these tasks on the required
level. On the other hand, the education was spreading and the number of educated
people increases. This presupposed increased demand for reading materials and public
library services. At the same time the management of the public libraries was taken
over by the districts, and each district located its public library under different
departments. The fragmentation of the library services and the lack of support to their
development from the local and central government prevented the needed growth and
improvement of libraries on the whole.
Political pressures
. Decentralization of public libraries, power shift to the district level
.Need for an institution to provide support for the decentralized public libraries
.Inadequacy of the national library system performance
. Legitimacy withdrawn from the PLB
.Pressure on PLB to adapt to innovative activities
By shifting the public services including public libraries to the districts, the politicians
aimed at bringing services near the people who would also directly manage them. The
politicians were aware of the inadequacy of the local authorities to manage the public
libraries. They were under pressure to establish an institution to support the
decentralized public libraries from the local authorities and librarians as well as from
cultural and educational sectors. On the other hand, the Local Government Act
delegitimized the PLB activities and took away the power that it owned within the
library sector. Thus there was a need to solve the PLB problem by either closing it or
by restoring its legitimacy. As a result of the decentralization, the PLB had to look for
new activity areas. The establishment of the NLU helped to reduce all these pressures
as it restored the legitimacy of the NLU, which continued inspecting and supervising
the public libraries.
Functional pressures
. Weak, outdated legal deposit laws (MULIB and DLDC)
.The dual functions as academic and national libraries (MULIB and DLDC)
.Competition on inadequate resources (MULIB and DLDC)
. Pressure on sustaining the national library activities (MULIB and DLDC)
. Need for an institution to sustain the PLB projects
179
The national library system within the country was weakened by functional pressures
too. The activity of the MULIB and the DLDC was regulated by inadequate guidelines
- weak, outdated and incomprehensive legal deposit laws that in addition were ignored
by the publishers as the institutions had no resources to control their implementation
even on the basic level.
Both institutions had the dual functions of national libraries as well as academic
libraries. The increase of the student population, especially at Makerere University,
increased the competition for the inadequate resources at MULIB. This led to the
reduction of the frequency of the Uganda National Bibliography, which eventually was
discontinued. MULIB was in some way deinstitutionalized as it could no longer carry
out one of the basic functions of a national library, the production of a national
bibliography.
The inadequacies of the two institutions with regard to the national library functions
strengthened the position and efforts of the PLB staff in establishing a national library.
There was also a need for an institution that could continue the projects that were
carried out by the PLB. These projects included adult literacy campaigns, community
reading tents and book exhibitions that were of great importance to society that aims at
improving literacy and developing the reading culture.
Other factors in the environment and the library sector leading to the establishment of
the NLU and shaping its activities manifested as the coercive, normative and mimetic
isomorphism.
Coercive isomorphism (before the establishment of the NLU)
(External influences)
.Decentralization of public services (and libraries) as a direct response from donors
.Funding of books, book exhibitions and reading tents by donors
.Every country should have a national library
(after the establishment of the NLU)
.Expectations of public libraries and authorities to carry out support functions
.Expectations of international library community to act as a National Library
.Implementation of the functions defined in the National Library Act
.Strengthened legitimacy and political influence of the NLU
180
The pressure from the donors helping to rebuild the economy of Uganda led to the
decentralization of the public services, including the public libraries. Although it was
not a direct factor influencing the establishment of the NLU, indirectly it created
conditions in the library sector that became a crucial reason for the start of this
process.
The other group of donors has drawn the attention of the society to the problems of
reading and literacy through a number of project supporting spread of both in society.
Many of these projects were related to public libraries and, thus, brought them into the
centre of political attention.
In addition there was an indirect pressure from the international organizations (e.g.,
Unesco) and international library community to create national libraries in every
country. It affected not only the professional library community in the country, but
also legitimized their attempts to establish the NLU in the eyes of the politicians and
broader public.
After the creation of the NLU, the coercive isomorphism started working not only
from outside but also inside Uganda. The NLU faced the need to fulfill the
expectations of local actors and to respond to the direct governmental mandate by
carrying out the functions defined in the Act. The NLU itself became stronger through
legitimating its existence and could pressure the governmental bodies responsible for
its survival and performance. But the expectations of the partners outside Uganda still
remained in force.
Normative isomorphism (before the establishment of the NLU)
.PLB guarantee the norms protecting their jobs, seeking to transfer the collection from the MULIB
.MULIB and DLDC wanted to update their Acts
.Share the national library functions among MULIB (or MULIB to be the second NL), DLDC, and NLU
.Politicians worried about the end users (the voters)
.ULIA wanted a representative on the NLU Board
(after the establishment of the NLU)
.Continuing the activity of the PLB by the NLU according to previous norms
.Political neglect of library sector
.Struggle for ISBN and ISSN allocation rights
.Fight for the status of the national library
181
Throughout the process of establishment of the NLU and afterwards, the norms and
values of the political institutions and libraries were enacted and the process of
creating the new ones was taking place. Professional librarians in all institutions
struggled to define conditions and establish legitimation for their occupational
autonomy. This resulted in a struggle of the institutions carrying out the national
library functions to ensure the survival of the norms governing their activities and to
strengthen them.
The PLB sought to create the norms helping to keep and protect their jobs and ensure
the future existence as a national library. As the NLU was in fact the continuation of
the PLB, it easily succumbed to the previous norms and values and allowed the
previous PLB functions to dominate its activity. On the other hand, the efforts to
accept and follow new values are obvious in the actions of the NLU: pride of a
symbolic national institution, acting in defense of the national library right to have
proper resources and building, gradual implementation of new functions.
At the same time, the politicians mainly displayed worries about the public libraries
state and role as this could help to win the voters (end users of the libraries) support.
This was one of the reasons that prevented the libraries affected by the process to solve
the problems that they raised. The worries of the politicians about public libraries also
disappeared immediately after the passing of the National Library Act when the norm
of neglecting the libraries was re-enacted again.
The issue of the NLU attracted the attention of the publishing community and its
representative the UPA was among those few taking interest and looking for the ways
to influence the establishment of the NLU and the regulation of the relations between
them through solving the issues of the publishers’ representation on the NLU Board
and allocation of the ISBNs and ISSNs.
Mimetic isomorphism (before the establishment of the NLU)
(External influences)
.UNESCO guidelines, Legal deposit Acts (Norway/Namibia)
.Copyright office in NLU (USA)
.Subject National libraries (USA)
.Several national libraries (UK)
(after the establishment of the NLU)
.Continuing the functions of the PLB
.NLU model after similar institutions in developed countries perceived to be successful
.Organizing the publishing of the National Bibliography of Uganda
.Relying on usual donors
182
.Strengthening the national library role on the international level
While creating the concept paper and facing the uncertainty of the new task, the PLB
professional librarians referred extensively to various documents created by
international organizations and foreign national libraries. They wanted the NLU to
resemble national libraries of the developed countries regarding copyright offices,
subject national libraries and several national libraries.
Creation of the NLU did not resolve this uncertainty as the Act introduced not only
ambitious but also ambiguous goals and did not support any of the models introduced
at the beginning. Thus, the NLU displayed a standard response to the uncertainty and
focused on the tasks that the staff knew better than the others – support and activities
for public libraries. This was legitimized by the fact that national libraries in other
developing countries were also carrying out these functions. Moreover, the NLU
extended support to the reading, literacy and education by embracing activities
directed to school libraries. The relations with other academic libraries in the country
remained undefined and the role of the leader in the library sector still ambiguous due
to the lack of competence and strength in organization.
With regard to the national library functions the copying of the activities of previous
national library system is evident: emphasis is on the collection of the legal deposit
and publishing National Bibliography – the activities that were already legitimate in
the previous system. At the same time less time and effort is devoted to the tasks that
have no precedent in Uganda: creation of the union catalogue, establishment of a
national publications archive, preservation of the cultural heritage. Mainly it is
explained by the lack of resources, but one of these resources is evidently their
unknown nature and lack of motivation, while the encouragement to provide support
to public and school libraries is fully fledged. The success of the NLU mainly rests on
the performance of these functions.
6.7.2 The motivations and actions of the politicians that led to the
establishment of the NLU
The politicians were mainly affected by political and social pressures in the
establishment of the NLU. The data shows that in the process of the establishment of
the NLU their main motivation to act was related to the attempts of solving social
problems of literacy and reading culture. These problems were strongly related to the
state of the public libraries that was mainly perceived as inadequate in the light of
pressing educational and cultural problems. The members of the Parliament were
obviously under high pressure from their constituencies with regard to this matter.
Politicians were aware of the inadequate public library resources and the tasks that
they had to perform in communities and preferred to talk about the public library bill.
However, the politicians were reluctant to do anything that will contradict the
principles set in the Constitution and the Local Government Act. Therefore, they
yielded to the pressure from a part of the library community that managed to push
through the political process the National Library Bill quickly and successfully.
183
As the politicians hold the main power of the adoption of the law, they have ensured
that their main concerns dominate in the law and, thus, strengthened the functions
related to the support of the public libraries. To some extent, this solution
demonstrated that the politicians were quite ignorant and uninterested in the library
matters as such.
This ignorance and lack of interest most probably is a result of the long-term habit of
the political institutions to neglect the library sector in the country as non-essential.
This became evident immediately after the adoption of the Bill. As with many other
laws and plans before, the government did not keep its promises of establishing the
Board and providing the resources; the Parliament did not control the implementation
of the Bill in any way. Only the disastrous situation of the newly established National
Library of Uganda that brought about heavy complaints of the professional librarians
and pressure from the international bodies made them to start looking for solutions and
ensure the basic levels of resources.
The pressures and expectations from the newly established NLU and its internal as
well as external partners made the actors within Ugandan political system assume the
role of the governor and supporter of the NLU and start solving its most urgent
problems.
6.7.3 The roles, motives and actions of the library professional
community in the process of the establishment of the NLU
The librarians were faced mainly with functional and political pressures of inadequate
guidelines, delegitimizing of their activities, scarcity of resources and so on.
They played the role of initiators and drivers of the process of the establishment of the
NLU. The PLB staff engaged in relations with politicians looking for support to their
ideas and tried to manipulate the situation by withholding information from the groups
that were naturally interested in the issues of a national library. Thus, they have
enacted the norms of political activity established in the country trying to protect their
interests.
At the same time professional library community was the main source of knowledge
and competence regarding the issues of the library sector at large and the national
library in particular. Part of them conducted a wide analysis of existing national library
laws and international standards, the other part acted as critics not only in defense of
their own interests, but also as the intellectual and professional opponents with equal
and sometimes better knowledge than of those who initiated the process. On the other
hand, both parts looked for existing examples of national libraries, thus, activating the
mechanisms of mimetic isomorphism.
The professional library community remains the main source of LIS knowledge and
competence after the establishment of the NLU and leads its development of as an
institution by conducting and expanding its activities all over the country. They are
also the main fighters for the attention of the government and politicians. For solving
184
the difficulties the librarians look for allies inside and outside the country. The
librarians of the NLU are the main carriers of the significance of the NLU as an actor
on the international level and as a national library.
The librarians from public libraries place their expectations of development and
frustration with inadequacies with the NLU. While the librarians from other libraries
accepted its existence and look upon the NLU as a given fact that is already shaping
the conditions of the library sector in Uganda.
6.7.4 The role played by the NLU in the library sector
After the establishment of the NLU, the professional librarians engaged in relations
with a variety of actors on the national and international scene. On the national level,
the NLU regained much of its influence on the public libraries as it took over the
projects and functions of the PLB. The librarians of the PLB also felt the need to
enhance their role in supporting the weaker parts of the library sector in Uganda and
started working with school libraries, thus, answering the need for innovation.
Though the MULIB and the DLDC are also performing functions of legal deposit and
should become natural collaborators and allies of the NLU, the difference in traditions
and status of the libraries prevents collaboration among them. There is also ambiguity
of the leadership functions of the NLU. The professionals from other academic
libraries regard themselves as more competent and better equipped than the NLU.
Therefore, the NLU has not developed partnership with these libraries.
The publishers became natural partners of the NLU in Uganda as they are sharing
common interests in enhancing reading culture and spreading reading materials. The
NLU managed to some extent to increase its visibility in this community and become
the main organization for depositing legal copies. On the other hand, the NLU and the
publishers compete for certain functions, such as the allocation of the ISBNs and
ISSNs. Though still facing the inadequate guidelines and lack of resources, librarians
try to find the ways and possibilities to reduce the difficulties.
The NLU is displaying the features of a national institution through representation on
the international level, though not yet fully recognized. It is mainly a continuity of the
PLB functions, although it performs national library functions of collection and
processing the national imprint and production of the National Bibliography of
Uganda.
185
At present the NLU develops under pressures that are identified in Fig. 6.2.
Functional pressures
Political pressures
Inadequate guidelines of
National library Act,
2003
Inadequate resources to
sustain its institutional
practices
Adaption of innovative
practices
Coercive
isomorphism
Formal pressures by
NLUexerted by
invitation and
persuasion to the
politicians and
development partners
upon which NLU
depends for funds.
Cultural expectations
in the society within
which the NLU
functions
The National
Library of Uganda
Normative
isomorphism
.Collective struggle of
NLU professional
librarians to define
conditions and establish
legitimation for their
occupational autonomy
Social pressures
.Overlapping
institutional
frameworks
.Increasing social
fragmentation
.Lack of collaboration
between the three
institutions
Mimetic
isomorphism
.Standard responses
of uncertainty
.NLU model after
similar institutions in
developed countries
perceived to be
successful
.Organizational
technology are poorly
understood
.Uncertainty in the
environment
Figure 6.2: The levels of the institutionalization of the NLU
At the same time the NLU is changing and developing into a stronger national
institution through fulfilling the expectations of the Ugandan society and government
as well as international partners. It still has to struggle to ensure required conditions
and acknowledgement of their organization. The uncertain environment still triggers
standard responses that lead to repetition of the recognized patterns.
Looking at my theoretical framework (Figure 6.1), I anticipated analyzing the
pressures that led to the deinstitutionalization of the national library system and the
institutionalization of the NLU. I saw mimetic, normative and coercive isomorphisms
as the mechanisms that are activated after the establishment of an organisation and
help it to develop into a fully fledged institution.
However, the Figure 6.2 indicates that the institutionalization of the NLU is an
ongoing process, and is facing some the pressures that occured before and during the
institutionalization process. The functional pressures include the inadequate resources
186
to sustain its activities; the inadequate guidelines of the National Library Act, 2003
due to the lack of mechanism to implement the collection of the national imprint and
become a true leader in the library sector. The political pressures make the the NLU
to adapt innovative practices: the collection of the national imprint, production of the
national bibliography and develop gradually other functions as stipulated in the Act,
which are mostly related to public libraries and the society. The Social pressures are
due to the overlapping institutional practices leading to the duplication of the functions
and dissipation of limited resources with regard to the collection of the national
imprint in MULIB, DLDC and NLU; the production of two national bibliographies in
the country which include the Accessions List of DLDC and the National Bibliography
of Uganda by NLU. There are 25 districts with public libraries out of 81 districts; as
more and more districts establish public libraries the NLU is faced with increasing
social fragmentation of supervision giving standards and guidelines to the public
libraries. There is lack of collaboration between MULIB, DLDC and NLU that can be
attributed to the differentiation of groups or disagreeing beliefs and practices.
Coercive isomorphism is clearly visible when NLU exerts force to the politicians (the
government) for funds to pay rent, procure land for the national library building,
production of the National Bibliography of Uganda and other activities. The NLU
through formal pressures by persuation and invitations has written proposals to the
development partners to fund activities such as book donations, community reading
tents, and book exhibitions. The NLU operates under the Ministry of Gender, Labour
and Social Development and in directly under the Minister of State for Gender and
Cultural Affairs. It is therefore legally sanctioned and culturally expected by
politicians to improve the reading culture of the society and participate in adult literacy
campaigns, assistance in the establishment of community and public libraries. These
activities are therefore a direct response of the government mandate. Normative
isormorphism is still dominant, after the struggle to establish the NLU and protect its
status. The NLU professional librarians are continuing with the struggle to ensure that
they have capacity to carry out the national library activities efficiently and effectively
through training and funding. This is an indication that the NLU staff members are still
public librarians, and the NLU priority still lies with public libraries as it continues
most of the activities of the the PLB. Mimetic isomorphism is whereby the NLU is
trying to imitate other national libraries in the developed countries, which they
perceive to be successful. The NLU professional are uncertain on how to go about
performing the activities of a national library. They therefore try to model themselves
after the national libraries of the developed world by suggesting training, attachments
and library visits to the national libraries in the developed countries in order to learn
the good practices.
Though the start of this process was quite alarming, the NLU as a young institution has
survived so far. There are all indications that it is becoming stronger institutionalized
in the library sector and society life of Uganda. The prospect of a library building and
staff development will strengthen the NLU further.
187
So, I have found that the pressures and mechanisms of change continue to work over
time. Prior to its establishment pressures and mechanisms of change affect the
institutions that become the source of a new institution. After a new institution is
legitimized, the same and new pressures and mechanisms of change are activated and
start influencing further process of institutionalization. The categories employed in the
theoretical framework of institutional theory helped me to understand the process of
the profound change in library sector when a new central institution is conceived by
people with different aims and backgrounds and starts developing in a complex human
environment. Though the model was build and tested in the economically developed
Western countries, it proved useful to understand the processes in Uganda, that is, in
an entirely different political, historical, and cultural environment. The categories of
pressures and mechanisms of change were especially fruitful for answering the
questions about the roles of participants in the process and the consequences of their
behavior.
Contribution to knowledge
This study has employed the institutional theory in regard to institutional change;
deinstitutionalization and institutionalization processes. This theoretical approach has
for the first time been applied in a different context in the field of Library and
Information Science. It has been used on the development of a national library in a
developing country, Uganda. This new institutionalism approach, I believe, has made
contribution to the theoretical perspective in LIS. The study has used new
institutionalism to find out what factors caused the institutionalization of the NLU, and
the institutional change that occured in the library and information sector after its
establishment. To some extent this might have been achieved also using other
theoretical approaches, but the theoretical perspective chosen here proved to be helpful
in identifying important aspects of the process and in the interpretation of the
emperical evidence. Additionally, I hope this research will be useful to the library
historians specifically in the developing countries.
Further research
The theoretical approach in this study, I believe can also help to explain institutional
change, not only in public and national libraries, but also in other libraries such as
university libraries. By using new institutionalism, studies can be done to improve the
understanding on why university libraries are established and how they change over
time.
188
Summary in Swedish/Sammanfattning
Inledning
Avhandlingens titel är “The National Library of Uganda: its inception, challenges and
prospects, 1997-2007”. Den behandlar institutionella förändringar i Ugandas
bibliotekstjänster, vad som orsakade upprättandet av Ugandas nationalbibliotek (The
National Library of Uganda, NLU ) och den process som ledde till beslutet om
Bibliotekslagen år 2003. Vidare undersöker jag hur biblioteks- och
informationssektorn i Uganda påverkades av bibliotekslagen.
Redogörelse av problemet
Ugandas nationalbibliotek upprättades vid en tid när nödvändigheten av ett nationellt
bibliotek i ett utvecklingsland ifrågasattes och andra modeller för att utöva dess
funktioner hade presenterats och testats. Det oaktat är Uganda det första av de
östafrikanska länderna att sätta upp ett fullfjädrat statligt bibliotek med en modern
lagstiftning, Bibliotekslagen från år 2003. Den process som ledde till detta speciella
beslut och det påföljande bildandet av den nya institutionen i Ugandas bibliotekssektor
är av stort intresse, speciellt som andra institutioner i landet redan utförde vissa av
nationalbibliotekets funktioner. Detta är ett tillfälle att undersöka vad som ledde till
bildandet av ett nationalbibliotek i Uganda. Det ligger också rätt i tiden att såväl
undersöka hur denna nya institution utvecklas och möter utmaningar, som att beakta
bibliotekets lämpliga roller i den socio-ekonomiska miljön och de behov som det
förväntas fylla i landet. En riktig förståelse av vad som påverkar institutionaliseringen
av biblioteket och hur det i sin tur förändrar sin omgivning, kan vara av intresse inte
enbart för Ugandas biblioteksvärld, utan också för att klargöra de processer som bidrar
till uppkomst och etablering av nya nationalbibliotek i allmänhet.
Syfte och forskningsproblem
Syftet med studien är att få förståelse för bildandet och utvecklingen av Ugandas
nationalbibliotek som institution. Studien försöker utreda vilka faktorer som påverkar
bibliotekets etablering och antagandet av Bibliotekslagen samt särskilt de politiska och
yrkesmässiga influenser som medförde de institutionella förändringarna i landets
biblioteks- och informationssektor. Studien behandlar också de nuvarande villkor som
formar biblioteket efter dess etablering och hur detta i sin tur formar biblioteksmiljön i
landet. I detta sammanhang undersöks politikers och yrkesutövares roller i inflytandet
på bibliotekets institutionaliseringsprocess. Studien söker vidare att identifiera
förändringar i omgivningen och de utmaningar som uppstår som resultat av
institutionella förändringar i biblioteks- och informationssektorn i landet och
institutionaliseringen av nationalbiblioteket.
I avhandlingen har formulerats följande konkreta forskningsfrågor:
-
Vilka faktorer i bibliotekssektorn i Uganda skapade förutsättningar för att
etablera ett nationalbibliotek?
Vilka var politikernas motiv och åtgärder som ledde till inrättandet av ett
nationalbibliotek?
189
-
Vilka var de biblioteksverksammas roller, motiv och handlingar som ledde till
inrättandet av ett nationalbibliotek?
Vilken roll spelar nationalbiblioteket i bibliotekssektorn i dag?
Politikerna är parlamentsledamöter och de biblioteksverksamma är bibliotekarier.
Ovannämnda forskningsfrågor undersöks ur ett institutionsperspektiv genom att
tillämpa kvalitativa forskningsmetoder.
Teoretisk ram
I min teoretiska ram behandlas olika institutionsteorier för att utveckla en modell som
stöd för att besvara frågorna och analysera mina empiriska data. Dessa teorier är
förändring (Scott, 2001) och förändringar i institutioner i likhet med dem som
förorsakas av kriser som uppstår ur en växande balans mellan omgivande villkor och
krav och institutioners normativa orientering (Boine and t’Hart, 2000). Japperson
(1991) och DiMaggio (1998a) identifierade institutionalisering, avinstitutionalisering
och återinstitutionalisering som processer i institutionell förändring. Isomorfiska
förändringar (dvs ~ tendenser att förändras genom inflytande från omgivningen)
uppträder genom tre mekanismer, nämligen tvingande isomorfi, normativ isomorfi och
imiterad isomorfi (DiMaggio, 1991), som användes i institutionaliseringsprocessen av
nationalbiblioteket. Orsaker till avinstitutionalisering enligt Oliver (1992), dvs
funktionella, politiska och sociala faktorer, används i min studie för att studera de
faktorer som ledde till nationalbibliotekets födelse.
Det hävdas att institutionsorganiserad praxis vanligen upphör pga förändringar i en
organisation och dess omgivning som förutspår misslyckande eller föråldrande, ändrar
existerande maktfördelning eller förorsakar att organisationer omprövar sin medverkan
till att bevara traditioner. Avinstitutionalisering kan förekomma pga funktionella
påtryckningar i de förändringar av upplevda praktiska eller tekniska hjälpmedel i de
gamla praktikerna, konkurrens om resurser and bevarande av institutionella praktiker,
normer och rutiner. Dessa förändringar kan också knytas till förändringar i miljön som
tex oväntade händelser i omgivningen som direkt utmanar bevarandet av en
institutionell aktivitet. Det antas att aktivering av sådana mekanismer i avinstitutionaliseringen får deltagarna i institutionen att erkänna behovet att göra sig av med
existerande institutionspraktiker och sedan agera på detta. Socialt tryck som påskyndar
avinstitutionaliseringen omfattar förändringar i statliga lagar och strukturella
förändringar i organisationen eller där kollektiva normer och värderingar går isär.
Oreda och overksamhet främjar hastigheten hos de inneboende och konkurrerande
avinstitutionaliseringsprocesserna vid en institution. Studien undersöker om dessa
modererande krafter, dvs den institutionella oredan - som tenderar att öka
avinstitutionaliseringsprocessen – existerade under denna process. De fem
påtryckningarna, dvs politisk, social, funktionell (ämbetsmässig), oreda och
overksamhet, bestämmer sannolikheten för upplösning eller förkastande av en
organisatorisk praxis. Jag undersöker vilka av dessa faktorer som kan urskiljas i den
omgivande miljön och som har haft mest inflytande på att skapa ett behov av en ny
institution, dvs nationalbiblioteket.
190
Det finns tre mekanismer genom vilka institutionaliseringsprocessen visar sig,
nämligen tvingande, normativ och imiterad isomorfi. Jag undersöker när, hur och vilka
av dessa mekanismer som aktiverades av politiska och professionella aktörer och ledde
till institutionaliseringen och skapandet av nationalbiblioteket. Dessutom undersöker
jag politikernas roller, motiv och handlingar som ledde till att biblioteket bildades.
En institution definieras som en social struktur som är sammansatt av kulturelltkognitiva, normativa och regulativa delar. Nationalbiblioteket institutionaliserades och
sanktionerades lagligen genom Bibliotekslagen, som definierade vissa av normerna,
värderingarna, rollerna och rutinerna. Studien försöker förstå hur de funktioner som
dras upp i lagen införlivades i den, hur de viktigaste aktörerna i processen skapade
detta system av institutionella värderingar och rutiner. Institutionaliseringsprocessen
slutar inte iom skapandet av de lagliga grunderna för en institution eller grundandet av
en institution; det är snarare en pågående process. Jag undersöker därför de
förändringar som uppstår i biblioteks- och informationssektorn efter dess
institutionalisering och söker också hitta de roller som nationalbiblioteket spelar i
bibliotekssektorn idag. Förståelsen för de tre processerna i förhållande till
nationalbiblioteket bidrar till att besvara mina forskningsfrågor och fastslå de olika
faktorernas inflytande på omgivningen, liksom de politiska och professionella
aktörernas inflytande och nationalbiblioteket självt i uppkomst och utveckling av en ny
central biblioteksinstitution i ett utvecklingsland.
Metod
Jag använde en kvalitativ forskningsstrategi, eftersom jag tillämpade den normativa
instititionaliseringsansatsen, som ser institutionsnormerna som ett medel för förståelse
hur dessa institutioner fungerar och hur de bestämmer och formar de biblioteksverksammas och politikernas roller. Det var nödvändigt att använda en kvalitativ
ansats eftersom svaren på mina forskningsfrågor behöver en rik och djup beskrivning
av motivation, process, handlingar och roller hos de olika aktörerna under bildandet av
nationalbiblioteket. De metoder jag använde vid datainsamlingen inkluderade
personliga djupintervjuer, dokument- och textanalys och observation. Jag valde
medvetet 20 respondenter från olika institutioner som kunde ge mig djupgående
information till min studie. Institutionerna omfattar the Public Libraries Board (PLB)
(7), the Makerere University Library (MULIB) (2), the Deposit Library och
Documentation Centre (DLDC) (1), Uganda Library and Information Science
Association (ULIA) (2), public libraries (4), East African School of Library and
Information Science (EASLIS) (3) and Uganda Publishers Association (UPA) (1).
De dokument som användes för datainsamlingen omfattar parlamentariskt förfarande
(the Hansard), the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995, the National Library
Bill, 2001, the Local Government Act, 1997; the Makerere University College
(Deposit Library) Act, 1964; the Public Libraries Act, 1964; and the Deposit Library
and Documentation Centre Act, 1969. Förteckningen av viktiga händelser omfattar
protokoll från PLB:s personalmöte där bildandet av nationalbiblioteket diskuterades,
protokoll från ULIA-möte där the National Library Bill och möjligheten att bilda
191
nationalbiblioteket diskuterades; protokoll från MULIB-bibliotekariernas möte den 17
mars 2002 för att diskutera the National Library Bill, 2001; chefens för
nationalbiblioteket tal vid utgivningen av den första delen av the NBU 2005; the New
Vision newspaper 31 January, 2005, när nationalbiblioteket firade sin andra årsdag och
inkluderade artiklar om sina gärningar; och nationalbibliotekets årliga rapporter från
2003/2004 till 2006/2007, som återger nationalbibliotekets verksamhet och händelser.
Resultat
Före nationalbibliotekets tillkomst fanns det tre institutioner, MULIB, PLB och
DLDC, som utförde nationalbibliotekets uppgifter. Då Local Government Act antogs
1997, skedde en omsvängning i politiska intressen när regeringen decentraliserade alla
samhällstjänster inklusive offentliga bibliotek till distrikten för att placera dem
närmare folket. Verksamheten delades upp mellan distrikten och PLB. Distrikten fick
ansvaret för etablering, drift och utrustning av de offentliga biblioteken. Detta gjorde
att PLB blev otillräckligt i sina institutionella anvisningar och struktur, eftersom det
endast återstod begränsad verksamhet som samordning, granskning, kontroll,
utfärdande av standarder och anvisningar till de decentraliserade biblioteken. PLB
försvagades och ställdes inför avbrott i verksamheten, vilket ledde till att PLB:s
personal kom med förslaget att nationalbiblioteket skulle institutionaliseras.
MULIB och DLDC fick lagligen hand om att samla in och bevara nationellt tryck. De
institutionella strukturerna och riktlinjerna var dock otillräckliga för att utföra denna
verksamhet, beroende på brist på resurser, otydliga och gammalmodiga lagregler för
förvaring, personalbrist och brist på utrymme. Dessutom stötte båda institutionerna på
en ökad social splittring i nationalbibliotekets dubbla funktioner av folkbibliotek och
forskningsbibliotek, speciellt med det ökande antalet studenter. Därtill kom
konkurrensen om resurser mellan folkbibliotek och forskningsbibliotek. DLDC
utfärdade en osammanhängande men korrekt och aktuell beståndslista. MULIB, å
andra sidan, tog fram en osammanhängande och inkorrekt Uganda National
Bibliography. MULIB stötte på problem med hållbarheten i denna institutionspraxis
som ledde till dess sammanbrott 1997. Med hänsyn tagen till tillståndet i de
otillräckliga strukturerna i nationalbibliotekssystemet i landet, kände PLB:s personal
ett behov av att grunda ett fullfjädrat nationalbibliotek som skulle vara tillgängligt för
allmänheten. Dessutom tyckte de att det var nödvändigt att stödja viss institutionell
praxis som utfördes av PLB och som var viktig för samhället.
Under arbetet med att sammanställa riktlinjerna för institutionaliseringen av
nationalbiblioteket, försökte PLB:s personal att forma nationalbiblioteket efter andra
nationalbibliotek som de ansåg vara lyckade, såsom de namibiska och norska
depositionslagarna, vilka ansågs moderna. Dessutom ville bibliotekarierna ha ett
nationalbibliotek eftersom de inte ville komma på efterkälken jämfört med de flesta
andra länder. De försökte överföra tryckfrihetskontoret till nationalbiblioteket enlighet
Library of Congress’ exempel och övervägde möjligheten att bilda ämnesbibliotek
som i USA, där det finns nationalbibliotek i medicin, jordbruk, osv. Som ett alternativ
diskuterades bildandet av flera nationalbibliotek som i UK som har National Library of
Wales och National Library of Scotland.
192
Riktlinjerna för the National Library Bill omfattade biblioteksverksamma som
kämpade för att uppnå legitimitet i sin yrkesmässiga självbestämmanderätt. MULIB
och DLDC försäkrade att deras lag inte återkallades. De hade velat bli involverade
redan när principerna skrevs, vilket skulle underlätta för dem att uppdatera sin lagliga
depositionslag, men de involverades i processen försent. MULIB önskade bli det andra
depostionsbiblioteket för internationella dokument. Avseende representation till
styrelsen, föreslog MULIB en representant från biblioteksföreningen och en från
skolan för biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap. MULIB och ULIA ville bli aktivt
engagerade i driften av nationalbiblioteket. MULIB försäkrade att deras rika samling
av sällsynta böcker, uppsatser och avhandlingar inte skulle överföras till nationalbiblioteket. De undrade också hur nationalbiblioteket skulle förse de redan
väletablerade biblioteken som MULIB - med rådgivande tjänster. MULIB föredrog
samarbete med nationalbiblioteket men försökte hindra det att spela den ledande
rollen. På så sätt visade sig maktkampen mellan de yrkesverksamma i processen.
Politikerna uttryckte sin oro för tillståndet på landets bibliotek som hade en bristfällig
organisation; bibliotek i förfallna lokaler, otillräckliga resurser i form av finansiering,
personal och utrymme och gammalmodigt biblioteksmateriel. De saknade riktlinjer
eftersom det inte fanns någon bibliotekspolicy som guidade dem vid etablering och
drift. Politikerna kände att de stiftade en lag i ett vakuum. De offentliga biblioteken i
landet var otillräckliga eftersom hälften av distrikten saknade bibliotek. De offentliga
biblioteken decentraliserades till de lokala myndigheterna som saknade resurser och
ökade därmed konkurrensen mellan övriga tjänster som utbildning, vård, och
vägbyggen. Offentliga bibliotek prioriterades inte av de lokala myndigheterna, varför
de tenderade att försvinna.
Politikerna påpekade att det fanns en brist på läskultur i samhället. De införde nya
rutiner för att förbättra situationen och föreslog etablerandet av offentliga bibliotek för
de distrikt som inte hade några, införande av ICT och att köpa modernt och relevant
biblioteksmateriel för att locka folk, speciellt studenter, att besöka och använda
bibliotek, lägga mer kraft på literacy-kampanjer för vuxna och föreslå regeringen att
prioritera bibliotek genom att öka resurserna till denna sektor. Bibliotekspersonalen
och politikerna hade olika uppfattning om bibliotekspropositionen (the public library
Bill), eftersom den nya strukturen fortfarande måste koordineras med de offentliga
biblioteken. De refererade till den som en omfattande nationell bibliotekstjänst. Å
andra sidan kallade bibliotekarierna den för en nationell bibliotekslag (National
Library Bill) som i första hand skulle samla in och bevara det nationella arvet.
Efter 2003 inträffade institutionella förändringar i biblioteks- och informationssektorn
i landet. Detta var när de dåvarande reglerna och praktikerna i PLB genomgick
delegitimation, föll i glömska och ersattes av nya regler, ”nationalbibliotekslagen”
2003. Grundandet av nationalbiblioteket ledde till ökad fragmentisering av
nationalbibliotekssystemet. Förlagen har ytterligare ett bibliotek, nationalbiblioteket,
att deponera sina böcker i, förutom MULIB och DLDC, och de tycker att det är dyrt.
Före 2003 tillhörde PLB och de offentliga biblioteken Ministry of Gender, Labour and
193
Social Development. Men efter decentraliseringen överflyttades de offentliga
biblioteken till Ministry of Local Government (MoGLSD). Dessutom
fragmentariserades offentliga bibliotek to olika avdelningar i distrikten, medan
nationalbiblioteket blev kvar i MoGLSD. Tryckningen av de två nationella
bibliografierna, dvs National Bibliography of Uganda av nationalbiblioteket and the
Accessions list av DLDC ledde till överlappande institutionella regelverk eftersom det
var konkurrerande utgivningar.
När nationalbiblioteket hotades med att vräkas från byggnaden pga obetalda
hyresskulder, samlades bibliotekarierna på ULIA och personalen på nationalbiblioteket till kollektiv kamp som gick ut på att påverka regeringen och andra berörda
myndigheter för att garantera att nationalbiblioteket inte skulle vräkas.
Nationalbibliotekets byggnader är bristfälliga; man arbetar i en hyrd icke-funktionell
byggnad som var PLB:s huvudkvarter. Den saknar lämpliga utrymmen för användare,
personal och biblioteksmaterial. Denna situation kan också observeras i de flesta
offentliga bibliotek i landet. Nationalbiblioteket verkade länge utan styrelsen, som är
den styrande delen i nationalbiblioteket och som har otillräckliga resurser för att utföra
sin verksamhet. De flesta ledarskapsroller som utfördes av nationalbiblioteket är
huvudsakligen relaterade till omfattande biblioteksservice som fungerar i
utvecklingsländer. Nationalbiblioteket fortsatte några aktiviteter som utfördes av PLB.
All personal som arbetade på PLB, utom chefen, flyttades över till nationalbiblioteket.
Detta är en institutionell utveckling som innebär att NLU fortfarande är en fortsättning
på PLB snarare än en utgång därifrån.
Volym ett i National Bibliography of Uganda (NBU) är en kombination av publikationer från nationalbiblioteket och MULIB. Denna skrift kan grovt karakteriseras
som en nationell föreningskatalog som är en fortsättning på MULIB:s Uganda
National Bibliography. NBU har utgivits varje år enligt de kulturella förväntningarna
från nationalbiblioteket. På olika sätt har nationalbiblioteket använt medarbetarna vid
utvecklingen för att undanröja svårigheterna att sörja för allmänhetens, kommunens
och skolbibliotekens behov. Biblioteket har strävat efter att försörja offentliga
bibliotek och har också infört nya rutiner. Det är engagerat i befrämjandet av att
läskulturen genom att donera böcker till allmänheten och biblioteken, arrangera årliga
bokutställningar och festivaler, kommunala lästält, ge råd och ge ut manualer om
standarder, dra upp riktlinjer för att etablera kommunbibliotek och utbilda
bibliotekspersonal
för
både
allmänna
och
forskningsbibliotek.
Utvecklingsmedarbetarna hjälpte nationalbiblioteket att underhålla institutionsrutiner,
normer och praxis, eftersom bidraget från regeringen är minimalt.
Ämbetsmässiga och politiska påtryckningar var viktiga vid avinstitutionaliseringen av
det nationella bibliotekssystemet i Uganda. Institutionaliseringsprocessen dominerades
av de tre isomorfierna; tvingande isomorfi, som handlar om externt inflytande; den
normativa isomorfin, som var signifikant hos bibliotekarierna; den imiterande
isomorfin, som också handlar om externt inflytande, och som innebar förslag från de
biblioteksverksamma som ville imitera andra nationalbibliotek på olika sätt – men alla
förslag förkastades av politikerna. Nationalbiblioteket undergår fortfarande
194
institutionalisering och genomgår funktionella, politiska och sociala påtryckningar,
liksom tvingande, normativa och imitativa isomorfier.
Denna studie har använt ett institutionellt perspektiv med hänsyn till institutionell
förändring, deinstitutionalisering och institutionaliseringsprocesser. Denna teoretiska
ansats har för första gången använts i en annorlunda kontext inom biblioteks- och
informationsvetenskapen, dvs utvecklingen av ett nationellt bibliotek i en annorlunda
miljö i ett utvecklingsland, Uganda. Jag tror att detta nya institutionaliseringsperspektiv har lämnat ett bidrag till det institutionella perspektivet inom biblioteksoch informationsvetenskap. Dessutom är forskningen inte enbart viktig för bibliotekshistorikerna, utan också för politiker i utvecklingsländerna. Ytterligare forskning kan
utföras genom att använda ett institutionellt förändringsperspektiv i universitetsbibliotek i utvecklingsländer.
Den modell som använts för analysen visade sig bidra till identifiering av olika typer
av förändringstryck. De viktigaste aspekterna i den studerade förändringen illustreras
genom följande modell, från kapitel 7, slutsatser.
NLU:s roll i bibliotekssektorn
Efter att NLU bildats, lierade sig bibliotekarierna med olika aktörer på den nationella
och internationella scenen. På den nationella nivån återfick NLU mycket av sitt
inflytande på de offentliga biblioteken när de tog över projekt och funktioner från
PLB. Bibliotekarierna i PLB kände också ett behov att öka sin stödjande roll till de
svagare delarna av bibliotekssektorn och började arbeta med skolbibliotek och på så
sätt svara för behovet av förnyelse.
Även om MULIB och DLDC också är exekverande funktioner för legal deponering
och borde vara naturliga samarbetspartners och allierade med NLU, hindrar
bibliotekariernas olikheter i traditioner och status samarbetet mellan dem. Det är också
oklarheter ifråga om ledarskapsrollerna på NLU. De yrkesverksamma från andra
akademiska bibliotek betraktar sig som mer kompetenta och bättre utrustade än NLU.
Därför har NLU inte utvecklat något partnerskap med dessa bibliotekarier
Förläggarna blev en naturlig del av NLU eftersom de delar gemensamma intressen i att
stärka läskulturen och sprida läsmateriel. NLU lyckades i viss mån öka sin synlighet i
den gemenskapen och bli en huvudorganisation för deponi av rättsliga kopior. Å andra
sidan tävlar NLU och förläggarna om vissa funktioner som tilldelning av ISBN- och
ISSN-nummer. Trots att de fortfarande har otillräckliga riktlinjer och brist på resurser,
försöker bibliotekarierna hitta vägar och möjligheter att minska svårigheterna. NLU
visar kännetecken på nationell institution genom sin representation på den
internationella nivån, trots att den inte är till fullo erkänd. Den är huvudsakligen en
fortsättning på PLB:s verksamhet, även om den utför nationella biblioteksfunktioner i
att samla in och preparera nationellt tryck och alster från National Bibliography of
Uganda.
195
F n arbetar NLU under påtryckningar som beskrivs i Fig. 6.2:
Funktionellt tryck
Bristfälliga riktlinjer i
National library Act,
2003
Politiskt tryck
Socialt tryck
Anpassning till nya
rutiner
Överlappande
institutionsramverk
Bristfälliga resurser för
att underhålla
institutionsrutiner
Ökande social
fragmentisering
Brist på samarbete
mellan de tre
institutionerna
Tvingande isomorfi Formellt tryck på
NLU via anmodan och
övertalning från de
politiker och
utvecklingspartner
vilka NLU är
beroende av för sin
finansiering
Kulturella
förväntningar i den
miljö där NLU verkar
Direkt respons från
politikernas
regeringsmandat
Ugandas
nationalbibliotek
Imiterad isomorfi
Oklara standardsvar
Normativ isomorfi
Gemensam kamp från
bibliotekarierna på NLU
för att definiera villkor och
etablera legitimitet i sin
yrkesmässiga självbestämmanderätt
NLU-modell efter
liknande institutioner
i utvecklade länder
som uppfattas som
lyckade
Låg grad av förståelse
för organisationsteknologi
Osäkra förhållanden
Figur 6.2 Nivåerna i institutionaliseringen av NLU
NLU förändras och utvecklas på samma gång till en starkare nationell institution
genom att uppfylla förväntningarna från såväl det ugandiska samhället och regeringen
som från internationella parter. Biblioteket måste fortfarande anstränga sig för att
uppnå de nödvändiga villkoren och erkännande av sin organisation. Osäkerheten i
förhållandena utlöser fortfarande standardsvar som leder till upprepning av gamla
mönster.
I Figur 2.2 föregrep jag analysen av de påtryckningar som ledde till avinstitutionaliseringen av det nationella bibliotekssystemet och institutionaliseringen av NLU. Jag
såg tvingande, normativ och imiterad isomorfi som de mekanismer som aktiveras efter
att en organisation har bildats och som hjälper den till en fullfjädrad institution.
Figur 6.2 indikerar dock att institutionaliseringen av NLU som en pågående process
och som möter vissa av de påtryckningar som skedde före och under institutionaliseringsprocessen. De funktionella påtryckningarna omfattar de bristfälliga
196
resurserna för att upprätthålla dess aktiviteter; de bristfälliga riktlinjerna i National
Library Act av 2003, beroende på brist på tekniker för att implementera samlingen av
nationellt tryck samt att bli en sann ledare i bibliotekssektorn. De politiska
påtryckningarna gör NLU lämpligt för innovativa praktiker: samla in nationellt tryck
och alster från nationalbibliografin, att gradvis utveckla andra funktioner som
stipuleras i Library Act, vilka huvudsakligen är relaterade till offentliga bibliotek och
samhället. Socialt tryck som beror på överlappande institutionella praktiker som leder
till dubblerade funktioner och upplösning av begränsade resurser med hänsyn till
samlingen av nationellt tryck hos MULIB, DLDC och NLU; alster från två
nationalbibliografier i landet som omfattar Accessions List från DLDC och National
Bibliography of Uganda från NLU. Det finns 25 distrikt med offentliga bibliotek av 81
distrikt; när fler och fler distrikt öppnar offentliga bibliotek möter NLU en ökande
social fragmentarisering av den kontrollinstans som beslutar om standarder och
riktlinjer för de offentliga biblioteken. Det råder en brist på samarbete mellan MULIB,
DLDC och NLU som kan hänföras till differentieringen av grupper eller olika uppfattning och rutiner.
Tvingande isomorfi är klart synlig när NLU utövar makt mot politikerna (regeringen)
för att få medel till hyra och köpa tomt till den nationella biblioteksbyggnaden,
produktion av National Bibliography of Uganda och andra aktiviteter. NLU har via
formella påtryckningar och påbud skrivit förslag till sina samarbetspartner för att
finansiera aktiviteter som bokdonationer, kommunala lästält och bokutställningar.
NLU arbetar under Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development och indirekt
under the Minister of State for Gender and Cultural Affairs. Det är därför lagligen
sanktionerat och kulturellt förväntat av politikerna att bidra till att förbättra läskulturen
i samhället och delta i kampanjer för vuxnas läsande och bistånd till kommunala och
offentliga bibliotek. Dessa aktiviteter är därför ett direkt svar på regeringens uppdrag.
Normativ isomorfi är fortfarande dominerande efter kampen med att etablera NLU och
skydda dess status. Bibliotekarierna på NLU fortsätter kampen för att försäkra att de
har kapacitet att utföra bibliotekets verksamhet effektivt genom utbildning och finansiering. Detta är en indikation på att NLU:s personal fortfarande är offentliga
bibliotekarier och att NLU prioriterar de offentliga biblioteken när det fortsätter den
huvudsakliga verksamheten från PLB. Imiterad isomorfi är när NLU försöker imitera
andra nationalbibliotek i de utvecklade länderna som de anser vara lyckade.
Bibliotekarierna på NLU är osäkra på hur de ska utföra nationalbibliotekets
verksamhet. Därför försöker de forma sig efter nationalbibliotek i den utvecklade
delen av världen genom att föreslå utbildning och biblioteksbesök hos dem för att lära
sig bra rutiner. Trots att början på denna process var ganska alarmerande, har NLU
hittills överlevt som en ung institution. Allt pekar på att det blir starkare institutionaliserat i bibliotekssektorn och samhällslivet i Uganda. Utsikten av en
biblioteksbyggnad och personalutveckling kommer att stärka NLU ytterligare.
Jag har funnit att förändringstryck och förändringens mekanismer fortsätter över tid.
Innan de bildas påverkar förändrningspåtryckningar och tekniker de institution som
blir källan till en ny institution. Efter att en ny institution legitimerats, aktiveras samma
och nya förändringspåtryckningar och sätter igång en ny institutionaliseringprocess.
197
De kategorier som behandlas i den institutionsteoretiska ramen hjälpte mig att förstå
den process av djup förändring i bibliotekssektorn när en ny central institution ska
föreställas av människor med olika mål och bakgrund och börjar utvecklas i en
komplex mänsklig miljö. Trots att modellen byggdes och testades i det ekonomiskt
utvecklade västerlandet, visade den sig användbar för att förstå processen i Uganda,
dvs i en helt annorlunda politisk, historisk och kulturell omgivning. De olika
kategorierna av förändringspåtryckningar var speciellt fruktbara för att besvara frågor
om deltagarna i processen och konsekvensen av deras handlande.
Bidrag till kunskap
Denna studie behandlar den institutionella teorin med hänsyn till förändring;
avinstitutionaliserings- och institutionaliseringsprocesser. Denna teoretiska ansats har
för första gången inom biblioteks- och informationsvetenskapen använts i en annan
kontext än i utvecklade industriländer. Den har använts på utvecklingen av ett
nationalbibliotek i ett utvecklingsland, Uganda. Detta har bidragit till ett teoretiskt
perspektiv i LIS. Studien har använt ny institutionalism för att undersöka vilka faktorer
som orsakade institutionaliseringen av NLU och den institutionella förändring som
skedde i biblioteks- och informationssektorn därefter. Till viss del kan detta ha
uppnåtts också genom att använda andra teoretiska ansatser, men det teoretiska
perspektiv som valts här, visade sig vara användbart för att identifiera viktiga aspekter
i processen och för att tolka den empiriska evidensen. Dessutom hoppas jag att denna
forskning kommer att vara användbar för bibliotekshistoriker, speciellt i
utvecklingsländerna.
Vidare forskning
Den teoretiska ansatsen i denna studie kan förhoppningsvis också bidra till att förklara
institutionell förändring, inte bara i offentliga bibliotek, utan också i andra bibliotek, t
ex universitetsbibliotek. Genom att använda ny institutionalism kan studier göras för
att förbättra förståelsen av varför universitetsbibliotek etableras och varför de
förändras över tid.
198
SOURCES AND REFRENCES TO LITERATURE
Unpublished sources
Emperical material from interviews
Public Libraries Board annual report 1973/74
National Library of Uganda annual report 2003/2004
National Library of Uganda annual report 2004/2005
National Library of Uganda annual report 2005/2006
National Library of Uganda annual report 2006/2007
Memo of the Minister of Gender Labour and Social Development to the cabinet
Minutes of meeting of the Makerere University Library professionals held on 15
March 2002
Minutes of meeting of the Public Libraries Board senior members of staff discussing
the possibility of establishing the National Library of Uganda
Brief of the National Library Bill, 2001: areas of concern
Uganda Library Association submission to the Social Services Committee of
Parliament about the National Library Bill
Speech by the director of the National Library of Uganda at the launching of the first
volume of the National Bibliography of Uganda, 2005
National Library of Uganda guidelines for establishing a community library
Standards for districts and community libraries
Published sources
University College of East Africa (Deposit Library) Ordinance, 1957
Ministry of Education, the Castle report, 1963
The Makerere University College (Deposit Library) Act 1964
The Public Libraries Bill, 1964
The Public Libraries Act, 1964
Public Libraries Bill, 1969 (Hansard) Parliamentary debate on the Public Libraries
Bill, 1969
The Deposit Library and Documentation Centre Act, 1969
199
The Second Five-Year-Development Plan 1966/67-1970/71
The Third Five-Year-Development Plan 1971/72-1975/76
Action programme, 1977/78-1979/80
Ministry of Culture and Community Development, 1976
Ministry of Education and Sports, 1989
Ministry of Education and Sports (1992) White paper of Education
The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995
The Local Government Act, 1997
National Library Bill, 2001: clarifications on the issues raised by the Social Services
Committee of Parliament on 19 March 2002
The National Library Bill 2001(Hansard) Second reading 11, 12 September and
Third reading 17 September 2002 retrieved 28 April, 2006
http://www.parliament.go.ug
National Library of Uganda. Opening of the new Masindi Public Library building.
Retrieved 7 September, 2009. http:///www.nlu.go.ug
The National Library Act, 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2006 http:///www.nlu.go.ug
The New Vision Newspaper, Monday, January 31, 2005
The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda as at 15 February 2006
State of the population report of Uganda, 2006
Rules and procedure for the Parliament of Uganda. Retrieved 28 April, 2006
http://www.parliament.go.ug
National Bibliography of Uganda 2005
National Bibliography of Uganda 2006
National Bibliography of Uganda 2007
Database of African Theses and Dissertations (DATAD)
Retrieved 27 March, 2008 http://www.aau.org/datad
Uganda Science Digital Library (USDL) retrieved 27 April, 2008
http://www.mulib.mak.ac.ug
200
Published documents
Abidi, S. A. H. (1972). Training of library personnel for Uganda. Paper presented at
the Seminar on development of library services in Uganda. Kampala, Uganda,
25 February
Abidi, S. A. H., & Kiyimba, J. (1983). The impact of legislation on development of
libraries in Uganda. Libri, 33(2), 113-125.
Ali, H. (1978). Development of school libraries. Paris: UNESCO.
Audunson, R. (1999). Between professional field norms and environmental change
impetuses: A comparative study of change processes in public libraries. Library
and Information Science Research, 21(4), 523-552.
Batambuze, C. (2003). Uganda Library Association. In M. A. Drake (Ed.),
Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. New York: Dekker.
Bell, S. (1967). Library development in East Africa: a study of its foundations and
administration policy in Ghana, Nigerian, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya,
Tanzania and Zambia. Diploma, University of London, London.
Boine, A., & 't Hart, P. (2000). 'Institutional crises and reforms in the public sector'. In
H. Wagenaar (Ed.), Government institutions: effects, changes and normative
foundations. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Castle, E.B. (1963). Castle report. Kampala: Ministry of Education.
Clerk, B. R. (1960a). The "Cooling out section-out functions" in higher education.
American Journal of Sociology, 65, 569-576.
Collins, R. (1979). The credential society. New York: Academic Press.
Cotta-Schonberg, M. & Nielsen, E. K. (2008). The relationship between the national
library and the metropolitan university library: the Nordic scene. Alexandria,
20(1), 1-10.
Cyert, R., & March, J. G. (1963). A behavioural theory of the firm. Englewood Cliffs,
NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Dalton, M. (1959). Men who manage. New York: Wiley.
DiMaggio, P. J. (1988). Interests in institutional theory. In L. G. Zucker (Ed.),
Institutional patterns and organization: culture and environment. Cambridge,
MA: Ballinger.
201
DiMaggio, P. J. (1998). Interest and agency in institutional theory. In: L. G. Zucker
(Ed.), Institutional patterns and organizations. Cambridge Mass: Ballinger
DiMaggio, P. J. & Powell, W. W. (1983). State expansion and organization fields. In:
R. H. Hall & R. E. Quinn (Eds.), Organizations theory and public policy.
Chicago: Chicago University Press.
DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1991). The introduction. In: P. J. DiMaggio & W.
W. Powell (Eds.) The new institutionalism in organizational analysis. Chicago:
Chicago University Press.
Feuntes-Romero, J. J. (2003). The concept of a national library in less developed
countries, with special reference to Africa. Alexandria, 15(1), 23-35.
Goodrum, C. A. (1980). National libraries. In R. Wedgeworth (Ed.), ALA World
Encyclopedia of Library and Information Services (pp. 391-402). Chicago:
American Library Association.
Gouldner, A. W. (1954). Patterns of industrial bureacracy. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.
Gubrium, J. F. & Holsterin, J. A. (2001). Handbook of interview research: context and
method. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.
Hansson, J. (2004). "The social legitimacy of library and information studies:
Reconsidering the institutional paradigm". In B. Rayward (Ed.), Aware and
responsible, papers of the Nordic international colloquium or social-culutral
awareness and responsibility in library, information and documentation
studies. Lanham MD: Scarecrow.
Hansson, J. (2006). Just collaboration or really something else? On joint use libraries
and normative institutional change with two examples from Sweden. Library
Trends, 54(4), 549-568.
.
Hansson, J., & Kawalya, J. (2007). Institutional change in the Ugandan library sector - the
establishment of the National Library of Uganda. Information Development, 23(4),
278-289.
Hawley, A. (1968). Human ecology. In D. L. Sills (Ed.), International Encyclopeadia
of Social Sciences (pp. 328-337). New York: Macmillan.
Hockey, S. W. (1960). Development of library services in East Africa: a report
submitted to the governments of East Africa. Nairobi: The British Council.
Hockey, S. W. (1971). The development of library services in East Africa. In A. B.
Wallenius (Ed.), Libraries in East Africa (pp. 163-170). Uppsala: Scandinavian
Institute for African Studies.
202
Humphreys, K. W. (1966). National library functions. UNESCO Bulletin for Libraries,
20(4), 158-169.
Huxley, E. (1945). Report prepared on behalf of the East African Colonial
governments following a survey of libraries in literature provision. Nairobi:
East African Colonial governments.
Hill, M. R. (1993). Archival strategies and techniques: analytical field research
(Vol. vol. 31). Newbury Park C.A: Sage.
Ikoja-Odongo, J. R. (2004). Public library politics: the Ugandan perspective.
Information development, 20(3), 169-180.
Ilomo, C. S. (1985). The history and work of Tanzania Library Services 1963-1980. In
C. S. Wise (Ed.), Aspects of librarianship: collection of writings (pp. 98-153).
London: Mansell.
Japperson, R. L. (1991). Institutions, institutional effects, and institutionalism. In W.
W. Powell & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.), The new institutionalism in organizational
analysis. Chicago: The University Press.
Jauslin, J.-F. (1996). The Swiss National Library and its environment. Information
Technology and Libraries, 15(15), 113-117.
Kasozi, A. B. K. (1994). The social origins of violence in Uganda:1964-1985. Montreal:
McGill.
Kaungamno, E. E. (1985). Patterns of library and information services in some
Anglophone African countries south of the Sahara In C. S. Wise (Ed.), Aspects
of African librarianship: a collection of writings (pp. 264-313). London:
Mansell.
Kaungamno, E. E., & Ilomo, C. S. (1979). Books build nations (Vol.1: Library
services in West and East Africa). Dar es Salaam: Transafrica.
Kawalya, J. (2000). The national bibliographic network: the need for cooperation
between Deposit Section of Makerere University Library and the Deposit
Library and Documentation Centre of the Uganda Management Institute. M.Sc.
(Inf.Sc.), Makerere University Library, Kampala.
Kawalya, J. (2009). Building the national memory: the role of Legal Deposit Acts in
Uganda. Paper presented at the International Conference on Knowledge
Management: Knowledge Archtecting for National Memory.
Kawesa, B. M. (1986). 'Uganda'. In World Encyclopeadia of Library and Information
Services (3rd ed.). Chicago: America Library Association.
203
Kibirige, H. M. (1977). Development of secondary school libraries in Uganda, 19521972. Unpublished M Lib., University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Kibirige, H. M. (1977). Public libraries in East Africa in the mid-1970s: a comparative
critique. UNESCO Bulletin for Libraries, xxxi(6).
Kigongo-Bukenya, I. M. N. (1971). The Public Libraries Board in Uganda. In A. B.
Wallenius (Ed.), Libraries in East Africa (pp. 145-162). Uppsala: Scandinavian
Institute of African Studies.
Kigongo-Bukenya, I. M. N. (1990). Combatting illiteracy in Uganda through the
public library services. In Information and libraries in the developing world
(pp. 124-133). London: Library association.
Kigongo-Bukenya, I. M. N. (2000). The state of Ugandan bibliographic control and
strategies into the 21st century. Library Review, 49(2), 64-76.
Kigozi, D. (1990). Bibliographic control in the 1990s and beyond: strategy for
development of library and information services in Africa. A uganda country
report. Paper presented at the Ninth Standing Conference of Eastern, Central
and Southern African Librarians (SCECSAL IX).
Knight, J. (1992). Institutions and social conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.
Krasner, S. (1983). International regimes. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Larsen, K. (1968). Librarians and library training in East Africa. In Library work in
Africa. Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of African Studies.
Larsson, M. S. (1977). The rise of professionalism: a sociological analysis. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
Line, M. B., & Line, J. (1979). Concluding notes. In M. B. Line & J. Line (Eds.),
National libraries. London: Aslib.
Line, M. B. (1988). National libraries in a time of change. IFLA Journal, 14(1), 20-28.
Line, M. B. (1989). National library and information needs: alternative ways of
meeting them, with special reference to the role of national libraries. IFLA
Journal, 15(4), 306-312.
Line, M. B. (1990). Do we need national libraries, and if so what sort? An assessment
in the light of an analysis of national library and information needs. Alexandria,
2(2), 27-38.
Lofland, J. (1971). Analysing social settings. Belmont, CA: Sage.
204
Lor, P. (2003). What prospects for national libraries in Africa? A South African
perspective. Alexandria, 15(3), 141-150.
Lor, P. J., & Sonnekus, E. A. S. (1997). Guidelines for legislation of national library
services: The Hague, IFLA.
Lwanga, T. K. (1971). Education of librarianship in East Africa. Paper presented at
the Standing Conference of African University Librarians (SCAUL), Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia 10-13 February
Lwanga, T. K. (1971). The library of Makerere University. In A. B. Wallenius (Ed.),
Libraries in East Africa (pp. 131-143). Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of
African Studies.
Lwanga, T. K. (1972). Trends in library development in Uganda since 1962. In G.
Chandler (Ed.), International Librarianship (pp. 37-44). London: Library
Association.
Makara, S. (1998). Political and administrative relations in decentralization. In A.
Nsibambi (Ed.), Decentralization and civil society in Uganda: the quest for
good governance. Kampala: Fountain Publishers.
March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1976). Ambiguity and choice in organizations. Bergen:
Uniuresitetsforlagel.
March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1983). Organizing political life: What administrative
reorganization tell us about government American Political Science Review, 77,
281-297.
March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1984). The new institutionalism: organizational factors in
political life. American Political Science Review, 78, 738-749.
March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1989). Rediscovering institutions. New York: Free Press.
March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1994). Democratic governance. New York: Free Press.
March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1996). Democratic governance. New York: The Free
Press.
Matogo, B. M. K. (1975). Leading issues in development of public libraries in
emergent Uganda: 1960 -1970. Libri, 25(4), 298-317.
Mchombu, K. J. (1985). Alternatives to the national library in less developed
countries. Libri, 35(3), 227-249.
205
Mcpherson, M. (1964). They built for the future: a chronicle of Makrere University
College 1922-1962. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Meyer, J. W. (1968). Collective disturbances and staff organizations on psychiatric
wards: a formalization. Sociometry, 31(180).
Meyer, J. W. (1977). The effects of education as an institution. American Journal of
Sociology, 83, 53-77.
Meyer, J. W., & Hannan, M. (1979). National development and national system.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: formal structure as
myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83, 340-363.
Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1991). Institutionalized organizations: formal structure as
a myth and ceremony. In W. W. Powell & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.), The new
institutionalism in organizational analysis. Chicago: The University Press.
Meyer, J. W., Scott, W. R., & Deal, T. (1983). Organizational environments: ritual
and rationality. Beverly Hill, CA: Sage.
Mulira, N. [et. al.] (2008). Transforming institutions through Information and
communication technologies: the Makerere University experience. Kampala:
DICTS.
Museveni, Y. K. (1996). Tackling the tasks ahead: election manifesto. Kampala:
National Resistance Movement.
Mutibwa, P. M. (1992). Uganda since independence: a story of unfulfilled hopes.
London: Hurst.
Mutula, S. M., & Nakitto, M. M. T. (2002). Book publishing patterns in Uganda:
challenges and prospects. African Journal of Library, Archives and Information
Science, 12(2), 177-188.
Nabeta, T. T. T. (1968). Commission's report on library services throughout Uganda.
Kampala: Public Libraries Board.
Nekyon, A. A. (1969). Report of the committee of inquiry into the affairs of the public
libraries. . Kampala: Public Libraries Board.
Neuman, W. L. (2006). Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative
approaches (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Nyerere, J. K. (1968). Freedom and socialism: Uhuru and ujamaa. Dar es Salaam:
Oxford University Press.
206
Oliver, C. (1992). The antecedents of deinstitutionalization. Organization studies,
13(4), 563-588.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks,
C.A.: Sage.
Perrow, C. (1986). Complex organizations: a critical essay (3rd ed.). New York:
Random House.
Peters, B. G. (2005). Institutional theory in political science: The 'new institutionalism'
(2nd ed.). London: Continuum.
Pfeffer, J. & Salanick, G. (1978). The external control of organizations: a resource
dependence perspective. New York: Harper and Row.
Powell, W. W. & DiMaggio, P. J. (1991). The new institutionalism in organizational
analysis. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Rittberger, V. (1993). Regime theory and international relations. Oxford: Clarendon
Press.
Robinson, G. O. (1991). American bureaucracy: public choice and public law. Ann
Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Rosenberg, D. (1994). Issues: can libraries in Africa be sustainable? Information
development, 10(4), 247-251.
Rowan, B. (1982). Organizational structure and the institutional environment: the case
of public schools. Administrative Science Quarterly, 27, 259--279.
Saith, S. S. (1971). The East African School of Librarianship: past, present and future.
In A. B. Wallenius (Ed.), Libraries in East Africa (pp. 171-187). Uppsala: The
Scandinavian Institute of African Studies.
Saith, S. S. (1972). East African School of Librarianship. In A. Kent & H. Lancour
(Eds.), Encyclopeadia of Library and Information Science (Vol. 7). New York:
Dekker.
Schick, F. L. (1971). The international standardization of libary statistics. UNESCO
Bulletin for Libraries, 25(1), 2-11.
Scott, W. R. (1983). The organization of environments: network cultural and historical
elements. . In J. W. Meyer & W. R. Scott (Eds.), Organizations of environments
(pp. 155-175). Beverly Hills: Sage.
Scott, W. R. (1987). The adolescence of institutional theory. Administrative Science
Quarterly, 32, 493-511.
207
Scott, W. R. (1991). Unpacking institutional arguments. In W. W. Powell & P. J.
DiMaggio (Eds.), The new institutionalism in organizational analysis. Chicago:
The University Press.
Scott, W. R. (2001). Institutions and organizations (2nd ed.). California: Sage.
Scott, W. R., & Meyer, J. W. (1991). The organization of societal sectors: propositions
and early evidence. In W. W. Powell & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.), The new
institutionalism in organizational analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago
Press.
Selznick, P. (1949). TVA and the grass roots. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Selznick, P. (1957). Leadership in administration. Illinois: Row Peterson.
Selznick, P. (1996). Institutionalism 'old' and 'new'. Administrative Science Quarterly,
41, 270-277.
Sturges, P. (2001). The poverty of librarianship: an historical critique of public
librarianship in Anglophone Africa. Libri, 51, 38-48.
Sugden, R. (1986). The economics of rights, cooperation, and welfare. Oxford: Basil
Blackwell.
Sylvestre, G. (1987). Guidelines for national libraries. The Hague: IFLA.
Teubner, G. (1986). Dilemmas of law in the welfare state. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Tolbert, P. S., & Zucker, L. G. (1983). Institutional sources of change in formal
structures of organizations: the difussion of civil service reform, 1880-1935.
Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, 22-39.
Tukahebwa, B. G. (1998). The role of district councils in decentralization. In A.
Nsibambi (Ed.), Decentralization and civil society in Uganda: the quest of good
governance (pp. 12-30). Kampala: Fountain Publishers.
Tukahebwa, B. G., & Kabonesa, G. (2000). Literautre review on decentralization and
human resources at the districts. Final report. Kampala: Makerere Institute of
Social Research.
Tumusiime, J. (2008). Publishing and national development: an overview of Uganda's
publishing industry, past, present and the future. Paper presented at the Seminar
on publishing, copyright and licensing in the internet era on 21 February.
208
Tyulina, N. (1976). National libraries. In A. Kent, H. Lancour & J. E. Daily (Eds.),
Encyclopeadia of Library and Information Science (Vol. 19, pp. 94-113). New
York: Marcel Dekker.
Uganda. (1965). Makerere University College (Legal Deposit) Act, 1964. Entebbe:
Government Printer.
Uganda. (1970). The Deposit Library and Documentation Centre Act, 1969. Entebbe:
Government Printer.
Uganda. (1990). Uganda education. Retrieved 7 May 2009, from Photius:
http://www.photius.com/countries/uganda/society/uganda_society_education.ht
ml
Uganda. (2003). Uganda: history and politics. Retrieved 8 May 2009, from Institute
for Security Studies
http://www.iss.co.za/Af/profiles/Uganda/Politics.html
Uganda. (2004). Uganda: education. Retrieved 7 May 2009, from Library of Congress:
http://www.photius.com/countries/uganda/society/uganda_society_education.ht
ml
Uganda. (2006). History of Buganda until 1889. Retrieved 12 May, 2009, from
WHKMLA:
http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/eastafrica/bugandapre1889.html
Uganda. (2007). History of Uganda, 1890-1918. Retrieved 12 May 2009, from
WHKMLA: http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/eastafrica/uganda18901918
Uganda. (2007). History of Uganda, 1919-1939. Retrieved 12 May 2009, from
WHKMLA: http:www.zum.de/whkmla/region/eastafrica/uganda19181939.html
Uganda. (2008). History of Uganda, 1939-1962. Retrieved 12 May 2009, from
WHKMLA:
http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/eastafrica/uganda19391962.html
Uganda. (2009). Early independent Uganda. Retrieved 8 May 2009, from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia/wiki/Early_independence_Uganda
Uganda. (2009). Education in Uganda. Retrieved 7 May 2009, from Library of
Congress: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Uganda
Uganda. (2009). History of Uganda (Publication. Retrieved 7 May 2009, from History
World: http://www.historyworld.net/textonly
209
Uganda. (2009). Uganda: history, geography, government and culture. Retrieved 8
May 2009, from Infoplease: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108066.html
Uganda. (2009). Uganda: people and history. Retrieved 8 May, 2009, from Infoplease:
http//www.infoplease.com/country/profiles/uganda.html
United Nations (2008). State of the world population: reaching a common ground,
reaching a common ground: culture, gender and human rights. New York:
United Nations Population Fund.
UNESCO (1954) Development of public libraries in Africa: the Ibadan seminar 27
July – 21 August, 1953, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Paris: UNESCO
UNESCO. (1958). National libraries: their problems and prospects. Paper presented
at the symposium on national libraries in Europe, Vienna, Austria
UNESCO. (1963). UNESCO regional seminar on the development of public libraries
UNESCO Bulletin for Libraries, 17(2) , pp. 108-118.
UNESCO. (1964). Regional seminar on the development of national libraries in Asia
and the Pacific, Manila, Philippines
UNESCO. (1966). Meeting of exprerts on the national planning of library services in
Latin America, Quito, Equador.
UNESCO. (1968). Meeting of experts on the national planning of library services
in Asia: Final report. Colombo
UNESCO. (1971). UNESCO expert meeting on national planning, documentation and
library services in Africa. Final report.
UNESCO. (1997). Guidelines for legislation for national library services - section of
the
national
libraries.
Retrieved
16
March
2004
http://www.ifla.org/VIIsl/gnl/gnl-il.htm
United Nations Development Programme (1997). Development report 1997.
United States (2009). Background note: Uganda (Publication. Retrieved 8 May 2009,
from United States. Department of State:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2963.htm
Wadala, A. W. (2007). The politics of decentralization in Uganda.In D. Asiimwe & B.
M. Nakanyike (Eds.), Decentralization and transformation of governance in
Uganda (pp. 41-60). Kampala: Fountain Publishers.
210
Were, J. (1994). Evaluation of public library services in Uganda. Makerere
University, East African School of Library and Information Science (BLIS)
Kampala.
Xuereb, P. (1978). National libraries in developing countries. In R. N. Lock (Ed.),
Manual of library economy (pp. 47-60). London: Bingley.
Zucker, L. G. (1977). The role of institutionalization in cultural persistence. American
Sociological Review, 42, 726-743.
Zucker, L. G. (1983). Organizations as institutions. In S. B. Bacharach (Ed.), Research
in sociology of organizations (pp. 1-42). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Zucker, L. G. (1987). Institutional theories
Sociology, 13, 443-464.
of organizations. Annual Review of
Zucker, L. G. (1991). The role of institutionalization in cultural persistence. In W. W.
Powell & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.), The new institutionalism in organziational
analysis. Chicago: The University Press.
211
APPENDICES
APPEDIX A: Letter of introduction from the Uganda National Council for Science and
Technology
212
APPEDIX B: Idenetity card from the Uganda National Council for Science and
Technology
213
APPENIDX C: Interview guides
I. Public libraries Board members of staff and stakeholders representatives to the
Social Services Committee to discuss the National Library Bill, 2001
1. What is your qualification and level of education?
2. How long have you been in library and information science profession?
3. Describe your service in library and information work in Uganda?
(Organization, position, responsibilities and duties, years of service, etc.)
4. Were you part of the inception of the National Library of Uganda Bill?
5. What comments do you have on the consultations and involvement of various
stakeholders in the drafting of the Bill
6. Comment of any developments during the period of drafting the NLU Bill/Act.
7. What were the significant issues pursued in the drafting of the Bill?
8. What criterions were followed in the drafting of the Bill?
9. How was the committee selected?
10. What were the basis for selection and recommendation of the committee
members?
11. Was the idea of establishing the NLU timely?
12. What main events, either national or international do you associate with the
idea of establishing the NLU?
13. In your view, was it necessary to establish the NLU at this point of time for
Uganda?
14. What motivating factors could be used to explain the whole process that led to
the establishment of the NLU?
15. What were the advantages of establishing the NLU?
16. What were the key issues or criteria in determining the functions of the NLU?
17. Do you think the functions that were put in the NLU Act were comprehensive
enough?
18. In light of the library and information environment in Uganda, what comment
do you have about the functions of the NLU?
19. What role do you see the NLU playing in the development of library and
information services in Uganda?
20. Are you satisfied with the role of the NLU in developing library and
information services in Uganda?
21. Do you think there is need of rethink and reshape the role of the NLU in
development of library and information services in Uganda?
22. What role do you envisage the NLU should play?
23. What were the key issues that were considered about the operation of the NLU?
24. What challenges do you see that face the NLU?
25. In your view, how do you think does the environment affect the operation of the
NLU?
26. What in your view will be the transformation in the NLU in the future?
27. Are there anything else you would like to say?
Thank you very much for you time
214
II. Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA)
1. How long have you been in this position of the ULIA executive?
2. Describe briefly the role and contribution of ULIA in the library and
information sector of the country.
3. Was the ULIA involved in the drafting of the NLU Bill?
4. Describe the consultations and involvement of the ULIA in the drafting of the
NLU Bill.
5. Was there a position or key issues that the library association wanted in the
NLU Bill?
6. Was the library Association satisfied with the outcome of the Act?
7. Is there anything that you will like to add on?
Thank very much for your time
III. Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals
1. What is your qualification and level of education?
2. How long have you been in the library and information service profession?
3. Describe briefly your service in library and information work in Uganda?
4. Were you involved or consulted in drafting the Bill?
5. What comments do you have about the consultation and involvement of
professionals in Uganda in the drafting of the Bill?
6. Are you satisfied with the provisions of the Act ?
7. In your view, was it necessary to establish the NLU?
8. What do you think were the forces behind the establishment of the NLU?
9. What events do you associate with the establishment of the NLU?
10. Did the LIS professionals have great influence in the establishment of the
NLU?
11. What were the roles or contributions of the professionals in the establishment of
the NLU?
12. What are your views the National Library Act?
13. What other functions apart from those listed should the NLU play?
14. What in your view are the roles the NLU is playing in the development of
library and information services in Uganda?
15. Do you think the NLU’s role is satisfactory?
16. What do you envisage in terms of the future in the development of library and
information services in the Uganda in regards to the NLU?
17. What are the challenges facing the new NLU?
18. What are the achievements the NLU has made so far?
19. What would you suggest to overcome some of the current challenges to the
NLU?
20. How would you want the NLU to be in the future?
21. Is there anything you would like to say?
Thank you very much for your time.
215
Appendix D: Face to face in depth interviews sound recording,
conducted from October 2005 to February 2007
No.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
Date
25 October 2005
31 October 2005
1 November 2005
14 November 2005
18 November 2005
2 February 2006
6 February 2006
31 August 2006
12 September 2006
13 September 2006
15 September 2006
18 September 2006
4 October 2006
12 October 2006
1 8 October 2006
22 November 2006
25 November 2006
24 January 2007
25 January 2007
1 February 2007
Respondent
A3
A1
A2
A6
C3
A4
A5
E1
G1
F4
C1
E2
A7
D1
B1
C2
B2
F1
F2
F3
Length
120 min
110 min
95 min
65 min
55 min
120 min
45 min
65 min
95 min
70 min
45 min
50 min
110 min
75 min
110 min
85 min
35 min
120 min
50 min
45 min.
216
Appendix E: Districts with public libraries (Annual report, 2006/2007, p. 5)
No
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
District
Arua
Bugiri
Entebbe
Library
Arua Public Library
Bugiri Public Library
Entebbe Public
Library
Gulu
Gulu Public Library
Hoima
Hoima Public Library
Ibanda
Ibanda Public Library
Jinja
Jinja Public Library
Kabale
Kabale Public Library
Kabarole Kabarole Public
Library
Kalangala Kalangala Public
Library
Kampala Kampala Public
Library
Kamuli
Kamuli Public
Library
Kiboga
Kiboga Public
Library
No.
14.
15.
16.
District
Kisoro
Lira
Masaka
Library
Kisoro Public Library
Lira Public Library
Masaka Public Library
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
Masindi
Mbale
Mbarara
Moroto
Moyo
Mubende
Masindi Public Library
Mbale Public Library
Mbarara Public Library
Moroto Public Library
Moyo Public Library
Mubende Public Library
23.
Nebbi
Nebbi Public Library
24.
Soroti
Teso Public Library
25.
Tororo
Tororo Public Library
Appendix F: Districts without public libraries
No.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
District
Adjumani
Apac
Bundibujo
Bushenyi
Busia
Iganga
Kaberamaido
Kamwenge
Kapchorwa
Kasese
Katakwi
Kayunga
Kibale
Kitgum
No.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
District
Kotido
Kyenjojo
Mayuge
Mpigi
Mukono
Nakasongola
Nakapiripirit
Ntungamo
Pader
Paliisa
Rakai
Rukungiri
Ssembabule
Yumbe
217
Appendix G: National Library of Uganda organization chart
MINISTER
BOARD
DIRECTOR
DEPUTY DIRECTOR
TECHNICAL
SERVICES DEPT
Bibliographic
services
Division
ICT
Division
Corporate
Affairs
Division
INSPECTORATE,
RESEARCH &
EXTENSION SERVICES
DEPT.
Preservation and
Conservation
Division
Research &
Extension
Services
Division
Inspectorate,
Monitoring &
Training
Division
INFORMATION &
REFERRAL
SERVICES DEPT.
National
Library
Collection
Division
Interlibrary
&
Document
supply
Division
Finance &
Administration
Division
218
Appendix I: The National Bibliography of
Uganda
219
Appendix I: Community libraries (NLU annual report, 2006/2007, p.6)
No.
1.
2
3.
Community Library
Adumi Community Library
Bileafe Community Library
Buikwe Community Library
No.
9.
10.
11.
4.
12.
6.
7.
Bwindi Learning Education Centre
Community Library
Bukunja Rural Women Association
Community Library
Kaberamaido Community Library
Kasangati Resource Centre
8.
Kijura Community Library
16.
5.
13.
14.
15.
Community Library
Kitengesa Community Library
Kyabutaika Community Library
Nakaseke Multipurpose
Community Centre
Nazigo Community Library
Pakwach Uganda pioneer’s
Assocation Community Library
Rwenzori Resource Centre
Uganda Literacy and Adult
Learners’ Association Community
Library
Zigoti Community Library
220
APPENDIX J: CHRONOLOGY OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY IN UGANDA: IDEAS AND EVENTS
Date
Events
1946
1948
1958
1963
1964
1964
1964
1965
1969
1969
1973
1976
1976
1987
1993
1997
1998
1998
1998
1999
1999
2001
2002
2002
2002
2002
2002
2003
2005
2006
2007
Attempts made to make Makerere College Library a deposit library for East Africa
Public libraries established by the East African Literature Bureau
The Makerere College of East Africa (Deposit Library) Ordinance, 1958
Uganda Bibliography published in Uganda Journal by B.W Langlands
The East African Literature Bureau hands over public libraries to Public Libraries
Board
The Public Libraries Act, 1964
The Makerere University College (Deposit Library) Act, 1964
Uganda National Bibliography published in Makerere University Library Bulletin and
Accessions List
The Deposit Library and Documentation Centre Act, 1969
The Second Five-Year-Development Plan 1966/67 – 1970/71
The Third Five-Year-Development Plan 1971/72 – 1975/76
Uganda Bibliography published in Uganda Journal by B.W. Langlands ceased
publication
Uganda National Bibliography published in Makerere University Library Bulletin and
Accessions List ceased publication
Uganda National Bibliography published by Makerere University Library
Deposit Library and Documentation Centre Accessions List
Uganda National Bibliography published by Makerere University Library ceased
publication
Public libraries decentralized
Public Libraries Board staff write concept paper to establish the National Library of
Uganda
The Public Libraries Board approves the concept paper
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development introduce the concept paper
to the Cabinet
The Cabinet approves the concept paper
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs drafts the National Library Bill,
2001
The Uganda Library and Information Association meeting to discuss the National
Library Bill, 2001
The Makerere University Library Staff meeting to discuss the National Library Bill,
2001
The Social Services Committee of Parliament and the stakeholders meeting to discuss
the National Library Bill, 2001
Parliament debate on the National Library Bill, 2001
Public library Act, 1964 repealed
The National Library Act, 2003
The National Bibliography of Uganda volume one
The National Bibliography of Uganda volume two
The National Bibliography of Uganda volume three
221
Publications in the series Skrifter från VALFRID
Enmark, Romulo: Defining the Library's Activities. (ISBN 91-971457-1-X) International
Publications; 1
Biblioteksstudier. Folkbibliotek i flervetenskaplig belysning. Red. Romulo Enmark.
(ISBN 91-971457-0-X) Skriftserien; 1
Biblioteken och framtiden, del I. Red. Romulo Enmark. (ISBN 91-971457-1-8)
Skriftserien; 2
Biblioteken och framtiden, del II. Red. Lars Seldén. (ISBN 91-971457-2-6) Skriftserien; 3
Hjørland, Birger: Emnerepræsentation og informationssøgning. (ISBN 91-971457-3-4)
Slut
Hjørland, Birger: Emnerepræsentation og informationssøgning. 2. uppl. med register.
(ISBN 91-971457-4-2) Skriftserien; 4
Biblioteken, kulturen och den sociala intelligensen. Red. Lars Höglund. (ISBN 91971457-5-0) Skriftserien; 5
Hjørland, Birger: Faglitteratur. Kvalitet, vurdering og selektion. (ISBN 91-971457-6-9)
Skriftserien; 6
Limberg, Louise: Skolbiblioteksmodeller. Utvärdering av ett utvecklingsprojekt i Örebro
län. (ISBN 91-971457-7-7) Slut
Hjørland, Birger: Faglitteratur. Kvalitet, vurdering og selektion. 2. rev.udgave.
(ISBN 91-971457-8-5) Skriftserien; 8
Pettersson, Rune: Verbo-visual Communication – Presentation of Clear Messages
for Information and Learning. (ISBN 91-971457-9-3) Skriftserien; 9
Pettersson, Rune: Verbo-visual Communication – 12 Selected Papers. (ISBN 91-9730900-1) Skriftserien; 10
Limberg, Louise: Skolbiblioteksmodeller. Utvärdering av ett utvecklingsprojekt i
Örebro län. (ISBN 91-973090-1-X) Skriftserien; 11 (nytryck av nr 7, bilaga inne i boken)
Barnbibliotek och informationsteknik. Elektroniska medier för barn och ungdomar
på folkbibliotek. Red. Anette Eliasson, Staffan Lööf, Kerstin Rydsjö. (ISBN 91-973090-28) Skriftserien; 12
Folkbildning och bibliotek? På spaning efter spår av folkbildning och livslångt
lärande i biblioteksvärlden. Red. Maj Klasson. (ISBN 91-973090-3-6) Skriftserien; 13
Zetterlund, Angela: Utvärdering och folkbibliotek: En studie av utvärderingens
222
teori och praktik med exempel från folkbibliotekens förändrings- och
utvecklingsprojekt. (ISBN 91-973090-4-4) Slut
Myrstener, Mats: På väg mot ett stadsbibliotek. Folkbiblioteksväsendets framväxt i
Stockholm t o m 1927. (ISBN 91-973090-5-2) Skriftserien; 15
Limberg, Louise: Att söka information för att lära. En studie av samspel mellan
informationssökning och lärande. (ISBN 91-973090-6-0, Slut).
(ISBN 91-89416-04-X, nytryck 2001 och 2003) Skriftserien; 16
Hansson, Joacim: Om folkbibliotekens ideologiska identitet. En diskursstudie
(ISBN 91-973090-7-9) Slut
Gram, Magdalena: Konstbiblioteket: en krönika och en fallstudie. (ISBN 91-973090-8-7)
Skriftserien; 18
Hansson, Joacim: Klassifikation, bibliotek och samhälle. En kritisk hermeneutisk
studie av ”Klassifikationssystem för svenska bibliotek”. (ISBN 91-973090-9-5)
Skriftserien; 19
Seldén, Lars: Kapital och karriär. Informationssökning i forskningens
vardagspraktik. (ISBN 91-89416-00-7 Slut). (ISBN 91-89416-08-2, nytryck 2004)
Skriftserien; 20
Edström, Göte: Filter, raster, mönster. Litteraturguide i teori- och metodlitteratur
för biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap och angränsande ämnen inom humaniora
och samhällsvetenskap. (ISBN 91-89416-01-5) Slut
Röster. Biblioteksbranden i Linköping. Red. Maj Klasson. (ISBN 91-89416-02-3)
Skriftserien; 22
Stenberg, Catharina: Litteraturpolitik och bibliotek. En kulturpolitisk analys av
bibliotekens litteraturförvärv speglad i Litteraturutredningen L 68 och
Folkbiblioteksutredningen FB 80. (ISBN 91-89416-03-1) Skriftserien; 23
Edström, Göte: Filter, raster, mönster. Litteraturguide i teori- och metodlitteratur
för biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap och angränsande ämnen inom humaniora
och samhällsvetenskap. Andra aktualiserade och utökade upplagan.
(ISBN 91-89416-05-8) Skriftserien; 24
Sundin, Olof: Informationsstrategier och yrkesidentiteter - en studie av
sjuksköterskors relation till fackinformation vid arbetsplatsen. (ISBN 91-89416-06-6)
Skriftserien; 25
Hessler, Gunnel: Identitet och förändring - en studie av ett universitetsbibliotek och
dess självproduktion.(ISBN 91-89416-07-4) Skriftserien; 26
Zetterlund, Angela: Att utvärdera i praktiken - en retrospektiv fallstudie av tre
223
program för lokal folkbiblioteksutveckling. (ISBN 91-89416-09-0) Skriftserien; 27
Ahlgren, Per: The Effects on Indexing Strategy-Query Term Combination on
Retrieval Effectiveness in a Swedish Full Text Database. (ISBN 91-89416-10-4)
Skriftserien; 28
Thórsteinsdóttir, Gudrun: The Information Seeking Behaviour of Distance
Students. A Study of Twenty Swedish Library and Information Science Students.
(ISBN 91-89416-11-2) Skriftserien; 29
Jarneving, Bo: The Combined Application of Bibliographic Coupling and the
Complete Link Cluster Method in Bibliometric Science Mapping.
(ISBN 91-89416-12-0) Skriftserien; 30
Limberg, Louise, Folkesson, Lena: Undervisning i informationssökning:
Slutrapport från projektet Informationssökning, didaktik och lärande (IDOL).
(ISBN 91-89416-13-9) Skriftserien; 31
Johannisson, Jenny: Det lokala möter världen: Kulturpolitiskt förändringsarbete i
1990-talets Göteborg. (ISBN 91-89416-14-7) Skriftserien; 32
Gärdén, Cecilia, Eliasson, Anette, Flöög, Eva-Maria, Persson, Christina,
Zetterlund, Angela: Folkbibliotek och vuxnas lärande: Förutsättningar, dilemman
och möjligheter i utvecklingsprojekt. (ISBN 91-89416-15-5) Skriftserien; 33
Dahlström, Mats, Under utgivning. (ISBN 91-89416-16-3) Skriftserien; 34
Nowé Hedvall, Karen, Tensions and Contradictions in Information Management:
An Activity-theoretical Approach to Information Activities in a Swedish
Youth/Peace Organisations. (ISBN 978-91-85659-08-1), Skriftserien; 35
Francke, Helena, (Re)creations of Scholarly Journals. Document and Information
Architecture in Open Access Journals. (ISBN 978-91-85659-16-6), Skriftserien; 36
Hultgren, Frances, Approaching the future: a study of Swedish school leavers' information
related activities. (ISBN 978-91-89416-18-5), Skriftserien; 37
Söderlind, Åsa, Personlig integritet som informationspolitik. Debatt och
diskussion i samband med tillkomsten av Datalag (1973:289). (ISBN 978-91-89416-208), Skriftserien; 38
Nalumaga, Ruth, Crossing to the mainstream – Information Challenges and Possibilities
for Female Legislators in the Ugandan Parliament. (ISBN 978-91-89416-20-1),
Skriftserien; 39
Johannesson, Krister, I främsta rummet. Planerandet av en högskolebiblioteksbyggnad
med studenters arbete i fokus. (ISBN 978-91-89416-21-5), Skriftserien; 40
224
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement