In the five years, the Uganda Community Libraries Association has had a considerable impact. Right now, we have about 100 library members, representing Uganda’s major regions. The idea of complementing the education system with a less formal education at the community level is spreading nationally.
More than 20 libraries were founded due to donors discovering the UgCLA organisation. While UgCLA cannot give libraries direct support, it does provide advice and inspiration through the example of its established members.
At least 15 libraries have transformed as a member of UgCLA, receiving grants and/or recruited volunteers. Libraries who have not received any grants or volunteers have still increased their capacity. Through UgCLA provided training at its conferences and workshops, community librarians have become better at programme planning, proposal writing and financial accounting.
Serving different schools at different educational levels, library members are efficient. They also provide informal education to those who are not in school, like young children, school dropouts and adults who never had any formal education opportunities. Libraries enable their users to teach themselves.
Community libraries have also encouraged other social and economic developments. For example, the Kitengesa Community Library has attracted both a forestry and a tailoring project, which employs more than 40 local people. The Mpolyabigere Community Library serves as a centre for combating HIV-AIDS. The Bunabumali Good Sumaritan Orphan and Needy Project has attracted funding to develop a health education centre.