Harnessing digital power for relevance: status of digital transformation in selected university libraries in Uganda

Document Type



AKU-East Africa; School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa; Libraries


Purpose This study aims to assess the extent to which Uganda university libraries have implemented digital transformation technologies and to determine the facilitators and barriers affecting the implementation of digital transformation in selected university libraries in Uganda.

Design/methodology/approach This study used a convergent parallel mixed methods design. It was conducted in six selected university libraries in Uganda, which were in three private and three public universities. The study sample included 103 librarians with a minimum qualification of a bachelor’s degree and six library directors.

Findings The findings indicated that there was an average (n = 37, 48.7%) implementation of digital transformation in the selected university libraries in Uganda. Some of the barriers hindering digital transformation included inadequate funding, lack of awareness of digital technologies, inadequate ICT skills, insufficient ICT infrastructure and limited staff among others. There is a need for library management to provide support in the form of funds, policies and human resources to implement such digital transformation.

Research limitations/implications The criteria for choosing universities were those that have been around for at least 10 years. The reason for this was that it was assumed that these universities would have well-established staff development programmes and procedures as well as be likely to have incorporated technology into their services, including libraries. This study’s limitations stem from the fact that this criterion for selection might not apply to all Ugandan university libraries, particularly those that are less than 10 years old and may not have been well represented in this study.

Originality/value The magnitude of the problem of digital transformation in university libraries in Uganda is unclear because of the limited research available in the Uganda library and information science field. This study presents the status of digital transformation in Uganda university libraries.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Collection and Curation