Information dissemination is not enough: Preparing librarians for effective climate change effects mitigation in Uganda 

Onan Mulumba

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

omulumba@caes.mak.ac.ug or omulumba@gmail.com

Winny Nekesa Akullo

Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority, Kampala, Uganda. winny.nekesa@yahoo.com / nekesawinny@gmail.com

Copyright © 2017 by Onan Mulumba & Winny Nekesa Akullo. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Abstract:

The major role of most libraries (public, research and academic) is to collect, process, store, retrieve and disseminate information. However, this routine demotivates many Librarians, who have potential and the will to effectively and practically create an impact in national development. Climate change is one of the most challenging global occurrences, which has greatly affected many developmental activities such as Agriculture, on which over 80% of Uganda’s population thrives. The aim of this paper was to assess and recommend innovative ways through which librarians can practically participate in climate change effects mitigation schemes in the country, other than mere dissemination of information. The study used a cross-section survey of Librarians in Uganda and a semi-structured online questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions was used to collect responses from Librarians. A response rate of 95.5% was realised and the respondents were mainly (30.95%) from Makerere University, and largely female in terms of gender distribution with 51.2%. Most of the respondents were from academic institutions, and their primary role was mainly (83.7%) librarians, though other roles were observed comparatively significant. It was established that the majority (55.8%) were aware of the 2030 UN Agenda and the sustainable development goals. Librarians and their affiliate institutions were observed to participate in environmental conservation activities, though to a very limited extent. It was observed that air pollution, toxic pollutants and deforestation are the key causes of environmental degradation in Uganda. Librarians should be repositioned to promote products and services which assist in reducing waste as well as promoting awareness campaigns for waste reduction and education. However, this initiative is expected to be affected by challenges which include poverty and subsistence needs of the communities as well as conflicting priorities of the people and the government.

Keywords: Climate change, Librarian involvement, Environmental conservation, 2030 UN Agenda, Uganda

curriculum vitae

Onan Mulumba

Onan Mulumba is an Agricultural Librarian and the Head of the Agricultural Libraries at Makerere University. He is Ex Research4Life users’ representative and Winner of Research4Life Unsung Heroes award 2013. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences and a Masters Degree in Information Science.

Winney Nekesa Akullo

Winny Nekesa Akullo is the Head of Information and Records Management Unit at the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority. She holds a Masters Degree in Information Science from Makerere University. Winny is the Publicity Secretary of Uganda Library and Information Association and Standing Committee Member of the IFLA Government Libraries Section and Ambassador for the International Librarian’s Network.