BACKGROUND OF MUST LIBRARY, ITS SECTIONS AND SERVICES
Mbarara University library started in 1989 with the founding of Mbarara University of Science and Technology in its core functions of teaching, learning, and research through the provision of information resources and services. The library started from a humble beginning with the library building which would only house forty stacks with a book stock of five thousand five hundred fifty (5550) volumes most of which were donations. The sitting capacity was seventy three (73) seats; there were no proper working area and offices. There were four (4) members of staff manning it.
With the increasing number of library users resulting from yearly student in-take and the annual book stock, the University was faced with the challenge of expanding the existing library structure. Fortunately through the Government funding and fundraising from well-wishers a storeyed library building was commissioned by His Excellency Yoweri Museveni in 1998. By 2001 the building was completed and functioning. This is in manifestation of fifth law of Library Science as stated by Dr Ranganathan (1891) who is referred to as the “Father.” of Librarianship that a “Library is a growing organism.”
Today the library has a collection of over 85,000 monographs with annual addition of about 2800 textbooks and subscribes to electronic information resources such as; e- databases of scholarly journals, CD-ROM, among others. There is also a book bank system with a collection of basic textbooks for the taught courses. It has a sitting capacity of 700 readers, but still there is need to extend the existing library building to create more reading space for the increasing number of students and staff. However, in the meantime departmental libraries have been established e.g. Pharmacy, IITR, Management Science, among others to minimize the challenge of space shortage. There are 9 qualified members of staff i.e. 2 holding Masters, 2 Bachelors, 2 Diplomas, and 3 Certificates in Library and information studies
In long term, the University has secured money from African Development Bank (ADB) to construct a 1,500 seater library at the new site at Kihumuro. The architectural design is in place and construction work is expected to start early next year (2015). According to the plan the library structure is expected to provide enough reading space, space for shelves and stacks, seminar rooms, offices, technical room, Archive, among others. This will also come with its challenges but we shall cross the bridge when we reach it.
MUST library draws its strength in terms of information resources from being a member of the Consortium of Uganda University libraries, who negotiates for low cost electronic information resources, such as international databases, e-books, and scholarly on-line journal articles covering various subjects. This has enhanced access to up – to date peer reviewed literature. Today a total no. of 90 computers is connected to internet. The library collection is accessed through on-line public access catalogue (OPAC) locally designed and KOHA library management system in which data entry is ongoing.
The University library has local and International development partners such as Lund University, Cornell University, British library, among others. This partnership has enhanced service delivery through services like electronic document delivery where documents that are not available in the library are obtained from our partner libraries. The library has donor support such as SIDA –SAREC, Book Aid International (BAI) and American Embassy-Uganda among others.
However, there are challenges and threats which the library is facing and will continue to face but service delivery must continue. SUCCEED WE MUST
A centre of excellence in provision of information services for the advancement of knowledge.
The Mission of Mbarara University Library is to support and supplement the teaching and research activities of the University through provision of information and other services.
1. To select and acquire the best and affordable current seminal world thought to support the diversified academic and professional fields offered by the University and provide general support to national development.
2. To effectively process, preserve, provide access to and/or disseminate information available in the house or through international databases and inter-library loans.
3. To foster a caring and supportive environment in which service to customers is paramount.