Kabubbu is 35 km outside Kampala, 5 km off the main road. In spite of the proximity to Kampala, there is no public transport closer than Gayaza, 5 km away, and because of this the Kabubbu village is quite isolated and poor. Most people are subsistence farmers, and a few grow vegetables to sell in Kampala.
Kabubbu Community Library (KCL) is a programme under Kabubbu Development Project. The project has a primary and secondary school, health centre, foster home, tourist centre and other social support programmes. It was started in 2003 with support from Quicken Trust, a charity organisation based in the United Kingdom.
The library shares its compound with a primary school and the Kabubbu Development Project offices. The building is spacious, and with a collection of about 7,000 books and 7 computers, it is one of the better-equipped community libraries in Uganda.
In addition to regular library services, KCL it offers an educational programme for children, and programmes for adult literacy and agricultural skills development.
Community and schools
There are five primary schools and three secondary schools served by the library. The local people benefit from library programmes through better farming skills, development clubs for orchards, goat farming and a piggery.
Kabubbu Community Library Service was launched in a classroom in February 2003. The 2004 annual evaluation of the Library service revealed new levels of empowerment among the adult literacy users. Users reported that they had learned many basic skills for the first time, including counting money, understanding dates and writing their names. Literacy students had overcome the shame they felt at being illiterate, increased their self esteem and gained skills, giving them hope for the future. The library has been a success story since its inception and now has broadened to provide core information for community development besides providing traditional library services.
Activities and programmes
Children’s Book Club
At the moment there are 48 children from P1 and P2 who come to the library from 2 pm to 4 pm every day for Children’s Book Club. The children are poor performers who have been selected by their teachers. The librarian reads aloud to them in English and Luganda, and those who can read also read themselves. After reading the children draw pictures from the stories. Sometimes teachers suggest topics for remedial classes, which the librarian carries out. The purpose of Children’s Book Club is to help children concentrate and develop interest in reading. Unlike to ordinary classroom situation, the Children’s Book Club is more about learning through play and discovery.
Users are free to use the computers, including the Internet. If they want instruction, they agree upon a time for each computer lesson with a librarian, and come for as many classes as are needed. The same eight adults usually return on a regular basis. About 10 secondary school goers come daily, mainly to use the Internet, and they take turns to share the computers. In addition, 10–15 young children come to play on the computers on Thursdays, when the adults in the literacy class are learning tailoring.
Adult Literacy Class
Presently there are 28 adult learners who are following a nine month functional adult literacy programme. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday they come for basic adult literacy classes; on Thursday they learn tailoring, and Friday they learn how to use computers. KCL also provide follow-up programmes; either goat- or pig-rearing; where each participant gets a kid or piglet to rear.
Adult Literacy Follow-up Activities
There are two groups of adults with eight and twelve people in each group. The librarian brings books to the groups every Wednesday/Thursday. Depending on the text, either the librarian reads or the learners read. Longer books are read over several days. The books are in English or Luganda, and on a relevant topic such as health, agriculture or education. After the reading there are discussions, and after finishing a book the group agrees on an activity related to the book, such as using a new agricultural method, improving their diet or be better at savings etc.
The library venue can be used for meetings, seminars and workshops if someone from the Kabubbu Development Project requests it.
Library activities are supported by Kabubbu Development Project in partnership with Quicken Trust. The support covers librarians’ salaries, books and stationery. UgCLA has provided management and proposal writing training, and Friends of African Village Libraries donated 85 books in 2008. Through Kate of UgCLA the library was sponsored to print: Who gave the a Luganda children book.
Resources and staff
The building is one big room, about 15 by 10 metres. The furniture and equipment include:
7 stationary computers
3 printers (out of service)
1 old typewriter
8 sowing machines
3 cupboards (for tailoring materials and books)
23 educational posters from Mango Tree
7 wooden chests
There are three librarians: Ssebbagala Anette, Katetemera Rita and Napagi Augustine. One afternoon every week Annette and Rita go out to either of the two adult literacy follow-up groups. Both are nursery teachers and have participated in a couple of workshops on library and adult literacy topics.
Augustine is the library team leader and mainly does administrative work for the library and the rest of the Kabubbu Development Project.
Use and Users
Primary school children come to read books and play with computers and listen to stories during Children’s Book Club. Secondary school students mainly come to read textbooks and their own notes, and to use the computers. Adults come for the adult literacy classes and meetings, from Monday to Friday, starting at 2 pm.
The librarians keep a list of all titles, and another for issued books. The administrator reports to the Kabubbu Development Project chief executive Director on a monthly basis.
Rules and Regulations
The library is adapted to school hours, and is open between 2 pm and 6 pm on weekdays, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays. Books my be kept for two weeks. There is a poster informing the users that they have to leave their bags with the librarians. In addition, users are asked to wash their hands before handling books.
Kabubbu Development Project
How to get there (from Kampala)
Taxi from Old Taxi Park to Gayaza trading centre, then a boda-boda to Kabubbu “amasomero g’abazungu”/ ”school for whites” (5 km, no public transport)
Kabubbu Development Project
PO Box 39175
Augustine Napagi (administrator): 0782 967 820
Augustine Napagi (administrator): firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.quickentrust.com (does not describe the library)