The University of Dar es Salaam was first established in 1961 as an affiliate college of the University of London. In 1963 it became a constituent college of the University of East Africa and in August 1970, by an Act of Parliament, it became the University of Dar es Salaam. The Faculty of Law was the first to be established followed later by other faculties until UDSM became a full-fledged university with its own library services and facilities. The library was designed to carter for teaching and learning information needs and demands of different faculties and institutes.
The UDSM has expanded not only in terms of academic and research programmes but also student enrolments. For example, student enrolment rose from 2,000 in the 1980’s to almost 10,000 in 2003. Since then the need for expanded library services, resources and facilities (both print and electronic) as well as space demand for reading, shelving, ICT facilities and peripherals including office space have been felt.
In response to the changes that are taking place, the University Library introduced a number of measures. These include: subscription of full text electronic journals and bibliographic databases, creation of Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) for the entire campus resources and reorganization of the library along subject specialization. Other measures taken are the introduction of a rigorous user training programme in literacy skills, expansion of the physical facilities, computerization of in-house activities – cataloguing, circulation etc. Just to mention a few.
1.2 Vision and mission
The vision of the University of Dar es Salaam Library is: To be a leading academic centre of excellence in the provision, dissemination and preservation of knowledge in the country.
To provide contemporary information services that will empower the University in carrying out its core activities of teaching, learning, research community services/consultancy.
- Quality Service – we value library service and that is credible, responsible and innovative, and that support to teaching and learning, the pursuit of knowledge and lifelong learning.
- Transparency – we value integrity and accountability in our interactions with our colleagues, members of the University and external communities.
- Diversity – we value diversity in perspectives and cultures and the principle of intellectual freedom in providing open and inclusive access to information.
- Collaboration – we value cooperation and teamwork in all aspects of our work, both within the University and with our partner institutions.
1.3 Organization of the Library
The Library is organized into three (3) divisions under broad subject specializations as follows:
(i) Readers Services which include:
- Arts and Social Sciences;
- Science and Engineering.
(ii) Research and Documentation. This is composed of:
- East Africana;
- Research Activities;
- Service to the Community.
(iii) Technical Services which deals with:
- Reference Services;
- Acquisition and Documentation Delivery;
- Information and Communication Technology.
1.4 Functions of the UDSM Library
The key functions of the University of Dar es Salaam Library are:
- To support the mission of the University as a centre of excellence in knowledge and human capacity building through provision of relevant and timely information that enhances teaching, learning and community service functions of the University;
- To support research needs of scholars and researchers;
- To guide and train users in accessing relevant information efficiently;
- To conduct research;
- To provide community services/consultancy services and
- To teach and coordinate the Information Studies Programme.