Management of the music collection to enhance access: A case of Makerere University.
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The study examined the management of the music collection to enhance access at Makerere University drawing from two departments namely: Makerere University Library (MakLIB) and the department of Music, Dance and Drama (MDD). Makerere University is the oldest University in East Africa while the University Library is a provider of library and information services intended to meet the study, teaching and research needs of the University community. It also acts as a National Depository Library. The Department of MDD is involved in teaching African performance and equipping students with practical skills in Music, Dance and Drama and in the process creates and uses music materials which form part of the music collection at Makerere University. The aim of the study was to improve access to the music collection in order to meet the study, teaching and research needs of students, lectures, and other researchers in music. Objectives of the study were: To examine the current state of the music collection; to identify factors affecting management of the music collection; and to recommend strategies of addressing the challenges faced in managing the music collection. A qualitative approach with an ethnographic design was used to enable in-depth examination of the phenomenon under study. The emphasis in ethnography is on studying the entire culture. Data was collected through interviews, observation and document analysis. The author’s experience as the Music librarian provided some background knowledge and inspiration to the study. Data analysis involved developing themes corresponding to the questions for interviews. The themes reflect the problem areas raised in the interviews which are also reflected in research questions. Findings of the study revealed that management of the music collection is affected by both enabling factors and negating factors. Challenges include inadequate space, lack of equipment, budgetary constraints, lack of specialised skills, lack of institutional policies, and preservation and conservation problems. The study concluded that greater emphasis needs to be placed on the management of the music collection because increased graduate work in music necessitates improved facilities for studying music in its various formats. The study recommended that enabling factors be supported and strengthened, while the negating factors are addressed by librarians, music lecturers, researchers and University administration.