Pioneering SMS service to alert job-seekers to opportunities

National Library of Uganda, Lira and Masindi public libraries

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Young people learn computer and internet skills in National Library of Uganda in Kampala.
Young people learn computer and internet skills in National Library of Uganda in Kampala.

Community need

National Library of Uganda tackles two key barriers to youth employment. Firstly, the arrival of high speed broadband has opened up many jobs, but without computer and internet skills, young people are excluded from these opportunities. Secondly, young people do not have access to information about jobs and further education, especially in rural areas.

The innovative project

With support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), National Library of Uganda partnered with Lira and Masindi public libraries to develop EIYE - the Electronic Information for Youth Employment project. EIYE provides free computer and internet training, and employment support to vulnerable young people in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, and two rural district administrative centres, Masindi and Lira. The project also pioneered a free mobile phone text messages (SMS) service to alert the library’s trainees to job and study opportunities.

EIFL-PLIP Project timeline

May 2012 - April 2013.

achievements and impact

In just one year (2011/2012), the three public libraries improved the career prospects of over 500 young people, through ICT training and the SMS opportunities alert service. Librarians created a database including the names and career interests of 1,000 young people and sent out 5,000 SMS alerting them to job and study opportunities.

Additional resources

Read a two-page case study about the project.

More libraries contributing to employment

Read about more innovative public library services contributing to employment and community economic wellbeing. PLIP-EMPLOYMENT

After finishing the library’s training, I received a message on my mobile phone about a secretarial position. I immediately applied and was shortlisted. Three days after the interview, I received a call saying I had got the job! Mobile phone communication has transformed my future!
Sarah Apuu, National Library of Uganda trainee