Friday, September 26, 2008

News from Uganda libraries

Kate Parry writes:
I talked to Dan at Kitengesa [the librarian] a couple of days ago. The roof of our new building is now nearly finished, and our new reading program "20 Challenge" is under way. Library members can sign up for the Challenge at the beginning of a month, and if they read twenty books by the end of it, they get a certificate and a small prize (a volunteer at a nearby project has given us a bunch of pens which we can use for prizes; I also bought a set of them). Since the Challenge readers must talk about every book they read with one of the librarians, Dan and Lucy have decided to keep the number of participants down to twenty in any one month; then the next month another twenty get a

Regarding the prize received by one of our UgCLA members, Francis Kigobe, that you mentioned yesterday.... he was awarded a prize by the national newspaper, New Vision, as someone who had made a difference for his community. He did so by setting up a community library and working hard for years to get people to use it. I discovered a couple of days ago that I myself had had a hand in his getting this prize: the competition was set up with the help of a friend of mine whose husband was then working for New Vision, and she remembered me speaking of Francis and the splendid work he'd done. The newspaper articles about him can be read at these links:

He won two million shillings -- about $1250!

Finally, an article that I wrote about two years ago about the Kitengesa library is at last being published in the Teachers College Record. Its title is "The Story of a Library: Research and Development in an African Village," and it can be read online at
I'm afraid you have to pay for the article, but the abstract, at least, can be read for free.

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