The service of University of Gondar library system dates back to more than half a century during the establishment of the Gondar Public Health and Training Centre. The library system was established in 1954 to serve students of the Public Health and Training centre in the then Gondar College of Medical Science (GCMS).
In 1978, when GCMS was established the GCMS library was also redesigned in organization, manpower, and in reference books including journals and other supporting documents. This time the library was intended to serve medical doctors, nurses, environmental health students. Beyond this it is intended to support the above programs to meet their objectives in serving as a source of information and reference as well as researchers. However, the service was given in buildings built for other purposes than for library service which does not fit for purpose. The year 1999 was a remarkable date where the GCMS library was transformed into a new building built for library, the now GCMS library.
Until the college was given the right to manage, administer, and run its business independently, all the services and activities were managed and administered by the Addis Ababa University.
With the transformation of the college into Gondar University College in 2003 and to University of Gondar in 2004, a number of branch libraries were emerged together with the increasing number of faculties and the expansion of the university’s purchase and finance system. Hence there are eleven branch libraries currently to make the University of Gondar Library and Documentation System. These are:
- The CMHS branch Library
- CMHS postgraduate branch library
- Maraki Campus CSSH branch Library
- Maraki Campus Law branch Library
- Maraki Campus Postgraduate branch Library
- Maraki Campus Education branch Library
- Atse Tewodros Campus CNCS and CBE Branch Library
- Atse Tewodros Campus Postgraduate Branch Library
- Atse Tewodros Campus Veterinary Medicine Branch Library
- Atse Fasil Campus branch Library
- Tseda Campus Branch Library
Since its establishment, the library supports the university to bring academic excellence through the provision of access to knowledge, information sources, and services that fits the needs of its diverse user community. However the services the library is providing is more of traditional and this is understood from the feedback and the trends other libraries are following. This informs us we need to actively extend our role beyond this traditional focus to provide additional and flexible support to provide new information resources and services supported by current technologies. These services will help the Library and Documentation Service (LDS) to find solutions to new challenges and be responsive to emerging user needs and the University’s changing business environment.
Through building its services continuously, extending its range of information resources, and introducing customized and innovative services, the library is trying to meet and anticipate the imperatives of the university’s mission and corporate objectives. Through these and other mechanisms the library will transform itself into providing strategic services working in collaboration with others for the better development and management of the University’s information resources and services.