The History of Library Automation at Hawassa University, Ethiopia.

Background & Current Status

There are nearly 34 public universities in Ethiopia. Among them, the 10 universities of Addis Ababa, Jima, Mekele, Arbaminch, Hawassa, Haramayah, Bahir Dar, Adama Science & Technology, Gondar, and Dila University are the First Generation Universities, Hawassa University is one of the universities

The former Debub  University and the now renamed Hawassa University were established in Hawassa on April 25, 2000, as a result of the merger of three colleges in southern Ethiopia.

Today, Hawassa University has strengthened its capabilities by adding new faculties, research institutes, research departments, projects, and facilities. At the same time, due to the increase in the number of students entering the university, it actively participates in expansion activities to develop its admission ability.

Today, Hawassa University is a comprehensive university dedicated to providing education, research, training, and community outreach services through its diverse academic unit fields.

Following the library modern library trends, the Hawassa University library system is moving from a traditional library workplace to a digital workplace in today’s world. The library automation project is comprised of people from the university library system, all branch libraries’ Head Librarians, library staff, and ICT professionals. In November 2007, the Hawassa University automated library system was launched.

Automation was restarted in August 2009 and rolled out on a wider scale,  was sponsored by the NORAD project of Hawassa University, costing nearly 1,000,000 (1 million ETB). The automation process is performed or directed by an automation team composed of university library systems, information science departments, and ICT professionals.

Finally, Koha (Integrated Library Management System) has been installed and put into operation.

Hawassa University Library Automation Project Team Members in 2009

Hawassa University Library Automation Project team members from left to right,

  • Mohammed Dabullo library director,
  • Tesfaye Bayou (assistant professor), Department of Informatics Lecturer & team leader of the automation project,
  • Mulugeta Woldetsadik, Main Campus Library Coordinator,
  • Yared Berhanu, Director of Information and Communication Technology.

The library system of Hawassa University  consists of the following eight libraries: School of Natural and Computational Sciences, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, School of Economics and Business, School of Law and Governance, School of Technology, School of Agriculture, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Wondo Genet Forestry, and Natural Resources Library College

At present, we are also working hard to adapt to the 21st century to provide better library services to meet the needs of scientific library users or millennia, to make library automation sustainable, and to make the library more efficient and effective information services Our interests and ambitions.

We are also interested in improving the current Koha / ILMS system. If necessary and there is more user-friendly software conducting system analysis and design research with relevant domestic institutions (current senior managers of the university), the library operation must be competitive. With other superior institutions both domestically and internationally.

Comparing Hawassa University   Library with other university libraries in Ethiopia, our library is in a better position to integrate ICT into the library and its general services. However, on the other hand, it must be understood that in order to satisfy the interests of users or customers of our library, a lot of effort and, of course, many developments, are still leading the library within the scope of the working environment.

The Hawassa University Library must provide users with the latest information technology to cope with a fiercely competitive world. In recent years, the number of students participating in academic courses at Hawassa University has increased and this trend will continue in the future.

In order to meet the needs of students, academic and administrative staff and researchers and to be able to provide them with efficient library services, the HU library must be organized and managed in accordance with modern trends in library  and information science. The level of financial commitment in the acquisition of books and kindred resources, information processing equipment, and training of library staff requires great attention.


Most of the process achieved in this library automation project is due to the unremitting efforts and attention of the university‘s senior management, as well as the active participation of all HU library staff and some HU ICT professionals.

I am very happy to take this opportunity to recognize all AZ participants in the process of the 2009 library automation project.

  An Automated Services – Currently Functional

  1. Automated Book Loan Service.

An automated loan service that dramatically brings down the time needed for book return/ Check-in & book loan/Check out.

  1. Machine Readable Catalogue (MARC) Operation

We import or download from Library of Congress databases books bibliographic data/information & upload into our library database/ILMS.

  1. Online Public Access Catalog Web OPAC Service.

To look for book  users on their desktop, laptop, tablet & mobile network

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