The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga has called for easy access of parliamentary library services to the public through online media. Kadaga said that that the public needs to have adequate knowledge on the legislative history of Uganda that is mainly archived by the libraries that they can appreciate the work done by the institution.
“I am now delighted that our Parliament library tell us which law was made on which day in any year, except that I would want to see this information in the newspapers,” says Kadaga.
She added that efforts must be put into place by library associations to ensure that people can utilise the library services to ensure adequate proximity to such knowledge.
The Speaker said this at the 19th Conference of the Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Eastern and Southern Africa (APLESA) on Monday, 06 May 2019 at Skyz Hotel in Naguru.
The five day conference running under the theme, ‘Taking the Parliament to the people: the role of Parliament libraries in bridging the gap between the people and Parliament’ has attracted Clerks to parliament and library officials from Kenya, Tanzania, eSwatini, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Seychelles and Mozambique.
Kadaga said that the theme was relevant in creating avenues for improved reading cultures through easy access to parliament libraries and other libraries in different institutions.
“If an individual came into Parliament, what would be the procedure of accessing the library services? I think this is an area that we need to define because Parliament is for everybody,” Kadaga said.
She commended Zambia and Burundi for setting up constituency offices that brought the legislative institution closer to the people.
The Clerk to Parliament of Uganda, Jane Kibirige said that initiatives had been set up to bridge the gap between Parliament and the people, “… which include the Alfresco document management system, decentralising budgetary allocations and the Parliament Week”.
APLESA was formed in 1994 Zimbabwe following a need for an interest group for parliamentary libraries in order to share experiences.