An assessment of library services provision to children in selected Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools in Kampala District - Uganda.
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This study was conducted to investigate the status of library services provided to children in selected U.P.E schools in Kampala district - Uganda so as to recommend strategies that can be adopted to improve on the services. Three schools i.e Nakasero, Mpererwe and Ttula primary schools were used as case studies. A survey research design which involved use of both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection was used. Methods of data collection used were questionnaire method, interview method and observation method. The study population included children from Primary 5-7 in the different 3 U.P.E schools since they were the primary users of the library services, teachers and library staff of the selected U.P.E schools. Random sampling was used to obtain a sample size of 310 children from the entire population of children of 1380. Since all teachers were involved in teaching these children at one point and given that their population size was small, they were all considered for the study and they totaled to 81 teachers. Each school had 1 library staff and these were included in the study population since they were well conversant with the running and management of library activities. Thus the entire study population was 394 (i.e. 310 children, 81 teachers, and 3 library staff). The findings indicate that children do not make use of availed printed materials to get the information they want but rather rely on friends, parents and teachers. Relevant library resources are lacking with most text books being outdated and irrelevant to the school syllabus. Information materials are kept in cupboards and boxes making accessibility difficult. Services provided are limited to only reading services and on a small scale borrowing services. ICT services, user advice services, information services and user education services are not availed in the libraries. In addition, facilities such as buildings, chairs, tables, shelves and reading space are inadequate. The teacher - librarians lack the professional skills required to manage a library. Thus it was concluded that UPE schools lack proper library services that children can use to meet their information needs. The study recommended that the government through Ministry of Education and Sports should come up with a policy that will require all government schools to build and establish well facilitated libraries. The ministry should support and facilitate schools in terms of funds, information materials and continuous monitoring visits to the schools not forgetting the personnel to work in the libraries.