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Fort Portal Library Turns to Public for Support

Diana Kobugabe, the Librarian says that the library has started a campaign to solicit funds from the public and organisations for support. Kobugabe explains that quarterly releases by the government are not adequate to keep the facility functioning. Records indicate that since 2011, funding from the government has reduced from 10.6 million to 4.9 million Shillings in 2015.

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Fort Portal Public Library has turned to the public for assistance to enable it remain operational. 

The library which started operations in 1963 has for close to seven years, been supported by the American Embassy which restocked the facility with computers and reading materials.

The American Embassy, however, withdrew support last year, leaving the facility struggling to operate. 

Diana Kobugabe, the Librarian says that the library has started a campaign to solicit funds from the public and organisations for support. 

Kobugabe explains that quarterly releases by the government are not adequate to keep the facility functioning. Records indicate that since 2011, funding from the government has reduced from 10.6 million to 4.9 million Shillings in 2015. 

“Following the withdrawal of funding by the American Embassy and the small quarterly releases by the central government, the library is now facing challenges,” Kobugabe says.

According to Kobugabe, the library lacks funds for constant internet services, repair and periodic maintenance of computers, payment of support staff and lack of adequate reading materials for students in secondary school and higher institutions of learning. 

Kobugabe says that due to the challenges, they have been forced to seek assistance from well-wishers.  She explains that more than 20 million Shillings is required to purchase computers, reading materials, chairs and tables to accommodate the many numbers of users especially during the holidays.

She adds that they have tried to seek support from the National Library of Uganda, in vain. 

Francis Isagara, a student of Business Administration at Mountains of the Moon University in Fort Portal says that although he frequently uses the library because of the quiet environment, the library is poorly stocked.

He says that coupled with inconsistent internet services, he is unable to carry out any research and wants the government to adequately fund the library with books because it will promote the reading culture in Fort Portal.

//Cue in: “I read…

Cue out: “everything from internet.”//

Fort Portal public library is one of the 26 public libraries in the country. Others are in the towns of Arua, Entebbe, Gulu, Hoima, Ibanda, Kabale, Jinja, Kagadi and Kalangala among others. 

Other tows with libraries include Kampala, Kamuli, Kisoro, Lira, Masaka, Masindi, Mbale, Mbarara, Moroto, Moyo, Mubende, Soroti and Tororo. 

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