ALADIN Research Scholar at UIL: Community libraries and their influence on literacy
Ugandan scholar Mr Willy Ngaka spent February 2018 at the UIL Library conducting research on community libraries and their influence on literacy development and lifelong learning.
Mr Ngaka is a researcher and lecturer at Markerere University and Uganda Technology and Management University. He is a member of the jury for the UNESCO International Literacy Prize and is on the board of the Uganda Community Library Association (UgCLA).
The low literacy levels and poor reading culture in his country motivated Mr Ngaka to co-found the Uganda Rural Literacy and Community Development Association (URLCODA) in 1999. As well as working to improve literacy levels, the association aims to promote voluntarism, social inclusion, local and global partnerships, research and documentation.
URLCODA takes an integrated approach to literacy and lifelong learning, using community libraries in order to support people to address the challenges posed by today’s knowledge-based economies and societies. Emphasis is placed on activities that enhance acquisition and development of skills related to ICTs, languages, entrepreneurship and building social relationships.
During his research stay, which was supported by ALADIN, he drafted an article on ‘Community libraries, literacy development and lifelong learning in rural Africa: Experiences from an NGO in Uganda’ and shared his work with colleagues at UIL.