As the student enrolment at Makerere University’s College of Health Sciences (CHS) continues to increase, the institution has embarked on expanding the Albert Cook memorial library there.
Located within Mulago Hospital, this library is one of the oldest libraries in Uganda, mostly used by medical students. Makerere’s University Librarian, Dr Hellen Byamugisha, said the upcoming library extension would increase sitting capacity by 108, from the current 200 students.
The revelation came during celebrations to mark World Library day last week. The celebrations, held at Makerere since 2009, were held at Mulago for the first time, under the theme Libraries Transforming Society, in a bid to draw public attention to the role that libraries play in the community.
“Through this library, CHS has published the highest number of academic papers in the university in recent years and has tremendously contributed to the ranking and web visibility of Makerere … we need more space for scholars,” Dr Byamugisha said.
“This year’s celebration has been deliberately organised in the CHS to recognise especially the tremendous contributions made to the academic and research disciplines.”
University vice chancellor Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu commended the college for its continued efforts in boosting research output and publications.
“Most published researchers in are found in this college, let me also take this opportunity to commend CHS for continuing to attract grants that have boosted Makerere University’s research output and publications,” Ddumba said.
The chairperson of the University Council, Dr Charles Wana-Etyem pledged to work hard to find resources to revamp the library.
“As the University Council, we are not only aware of the history that forms part of Makerere’s rich heritage but are also fully embracive of it as we seek to address issues of access, quality, efficiency, financing and governance” said Wana-Etyem.
He particularly commended the school for maintaining the missionary Dr Albert Cook’s medical notes, made in the early 1900s, when the practice of modern human medicine was still new.
The dean of the school of Medicine, Dr Charles Ibingira acknowledged that the medical library is an example of Sir Albert Cook’s great work and care for medicine.
He explained that, the Sir Albert Cook Library promotes the use of new modes of scholarly contributions, avails opportunities for dissemination of knowledge as well as bridging the gap between PhD and Masters students.