I attended the Reading for the Future Conference organised by the Reading Association of Uganda a week ago and I got enmeshed in the idea of improving the reading culture of our children. In the process I also met a gentleman who rides around in Western Uganda on his bike visiting schools with his mini library, teaching children how to read and distributing donated books.

Paper to papers and concept to concepts were presented, interesting one at that. But the paper presented by Mr. Lukabwe Fred a Consultant at Enhance Abilities Initiative and Chairperson, NAEA[U] got me thinking that we can do more for future in regard to reading and development of children’s minds.

His paper was about community libraries and how vital they are to community development and empowerment.  Like how community libraries can be involved in children’s reading development, encourage understanding than passing, motivate mother tongue development alongside English and other languages.

 Community Library

This is the local centre of information which is located in an accessible place for everyone who has the ability to read and write can reach. This library is put in place, organized and maintained by the community members themselves.  It is a personal reflection and empowerment making all kinds of knowledge and information readily available to its users.

Mr. Lukabwe said this kind of library can provide the basis of equality of access for all, regardless of age, race, sex, religion, nationality, language or social status. Specific services and materials can be provided for those who cannot afford them, and regular use of services and materials, for example linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, the older persons, children in non formal education or people in hospital or prison can also get access to desired information.

But I have seen our public places, and our privately owned establishments, no one cares about the disabled. Staircases everywhere, yet we must ensure that everyone everywhere is equally represented and facilitated if we want to get Sustainable Development Goals achieved.


Freedom, Prosperity and the Development of society and individuals are fundamental human values. They will only be attained through the ability of well-informed citizens to exercise their democratic rights and to play an active role in society. Constructive participation and the development of democracy depends on satisfactory education as well as on free and unlimited access to knowledge, thought, culture and information. 

Importance of Community Libraries

  1. creating and strengthening reading habits in children at an early age;
  2. supporting both individual and self conducted education as well as formal education at all levels;
  3. providing opportunities for personal creative development;
  4. Gaining accuracy in reading silently and loudly.
  5. stimulating the imagination and creativity of children and young people;
  6. promoting awareness of cultural heritage, appreciation of the arts, scientific achievements and innovations;
  7. providing access to cultural expressions of all performing arts;
  8. fostering inter-cultural dialogue and favoring cultural diversity;
  9. supporting the oral tradition;
  10. ensuring access for citizens to all sorts of community information.

I can’t share the whole paper but find it here and make your own observations and conclusions on the state of libraries  and their importance in your own community.


Patricia Kahill

Patricia Kahill is a multipotentialite Christian entrepreneur, Content Marketing Coach and founder of the Content Marketing agency, Kahill Insights that helps business owners create engaging and interactive content items for digital platforms with a focus on returning a desired outcome. Patricia was the producer of SlamDunk Basketball Talk a show on House of Talent online TV, a former fellow at Harvest Institute for leadership and now an assessor there, and an alumnus of the YELP class of 2017. A member of the BNI Integrity chapter and African Women Entrepreneur Cooperative. She is driven by passion and curiosity, been taking every opportunity that has been given to her with an ambition of stamping her footprint on the world.

One thought on “Community Libraries as a Vital Tool for Community Empowerment”

  1. A drop in the ocean is better than nothing! Please keep up the concerted effort towards promotion of reading culture in Uganda.

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