Service Charter

This charter sets down what knls is and what it does, and its commitment to provide the Kenyan communities with the highest quality and accessible services that the available resources will allow. Kenya National Library Service (knls) Board is a corporate body of the Kenya government that was established by an Act of Parliament Cap 225 of the Laws of Kenya (1965) to provide library and information services to the Kenyan public.

We in knls recognize that information is a basic commodity in everyone’s life, and we want to make sure that the services we provide are responsive to your needs and will translate to both individual and community empowerment. We want to provide these services to your satisfaction and take pride in the contribution that we will have made to your individual and national development, general well being, and to the economic growth of Kenya. This charter serves as a commitment that knls intends to live up to its mandate.

Our customers

Our library customers cover the entire public and they include: Individuals, students, children, youth, researchers, government agencies, private institutions, pensioners, prisons, hospices & hospitals, schools, orphanages and persons with disabilities, among others.

Our Vision:

The hub of Information and Knowledge for Empowerment

Our Mission:

To enable access to information for knowledge and transformation of livelihoods

Strategic Objectives

  1. To improve the reading culture among the Kenyan people through informed and targeted intervention programs
  2. To increase access to information through development, equipping and maintenance of libraries
  3. To enhance availability of information resources through utilization of modern technologies and strategic partnerships
  4. To enhance collection and preservation of national bibliographic information through legal deposit copies and other sources
  5. To strengthen institutional capacity by upholding responsible corporate governance, resource mobilization and human capital development.

Our Mandate

The knls Board is mandated by the Act to: Promote, establish, equip, manage, maintain and develop libraries in Kenya

Our core values

In all our dealings with you, we will be:



Customer Focused

Knowledge driven


For more:


Strategic Plan (2012 to June 2017)

Due to rapid political, economic, socio-cultural and technological changes in our external environment, a review of our position as a National library service is critical to ensure that our services and products remain relevant to our customers and stakeholders. We also have an obligation to contribute to the Government of Kenya’s strategic objectives that are broadly aimed at holistic development of the nation.

The Kenya National Library Service Board successfully completed the review of this strategic plan whose plan period is July 2013 to June 2017. The process of review was participatory and mutual between the Board as policy makers and Management as the implementers.   

This document will form the basis through which our stakeholders can measure our progress and identify areas of collaboration for enhanced impact of library and information services to the communities.  

The Board appreciates the continued support from the government and development partners, which has significantly contributed to the growth of the services and the expansion of our library network. This growth has created desire by Kenyans to be a part of the information community to transform their livelihood for better living. It is incumbent of us as citizens to embrace information for innovative development.  

The Board is committed to full implementation of this plan to improve service delivery to target communities. To all our stakeholders, we will ensure that we deliver services to you beyond your expectations in line with our revised vision and mission. We welcome your constant feedback and communication to enable us transform our organization into a national center of excellence for preservation and dissemination of information for knowledge and creativity.

Silas Kobia
May 2013



knls Board recognizes the need to network with the public and private sector as well as individuals in its noble role to ensure that library and information services are accessible to as many Kenyans as possible. In effect, institutions dealing in information generation and management have become the focus of society as sources of the most needed commodity in today’s development process. The sudden reduction of the earth as a global village is an example of the information revolution the world is going through. More than ever before, the role of information managers has found its way to the forefront. The critical challenge is that Kenya cannot be left behind in this global process that puts high premium on information. The Board therefore values the contribution of stakeholders and other development partners as the sure way of enhancing accessibility to information by all.  

Some of the partners who have assisted the Board in enhancing library and information provision to Kenyans include, among others:

    Book Aid International (BAI) of UK donates books to deserving institutions through knls. Once the books are received by knls distribution is done on a first come first served basis. Deserving institutions are expected to apply for the books to the Director, knls.
    Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) Support Data Access points in 10 knls Community Libraries.
    Electronic Information for Libraries Network (EIFL) key supporter of e-health project.
    National Book Development Council of Kenya (NBDCK) supports knls’ reading campaigns every year. These include: Annual National Book Week Celebrations and Children & Community Reading Tents.
    Foreign embassies: Chinese Embassy has been giving scholarships to knls librarians to study Phd, Masters in Information Science at Postgraduate level in China.
    United States Embassy in Nairobi has given some funds for the extension of the Children’s Section at the knls Kisumu Provincial Library. The donation was presented to knls by Karen Hartman, Public Affairs Section in early November 2007.
    World Bank donates books on various development issues to knls. The books are available at the Development Information Center (DIC) at the National Library Division, Nairobi.
    Goethe-Institute has been offering capacity building programmes to knls staff on cost-sharing basis.
    Various communities, development partners and individuals who have contributed greatly to the development ofCommunity Based Libraries (CBLs).
    Computer for Schools Kenya donated 11 computers to Naivasha and 20 computers to Munyu Community libraries. knls is also expecting another 200 computers from Computer for Schools in partnership with Computer Aid International. These would be distributed to the branch libraries countrywide.
    Oxfam donated books on gender issues.
    African Braille Center donated 2 Closed Circuit TVs from FORCE Foundation for the visually impaired persons.
    Individual Kenyans like Dr. Manu Chandaria, among others have constantly been donating books to the library.
    Kenya AIDS NGO's Consortium (KANCO).
    Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examination Board (KASNEB)
    International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).
    International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID).
    United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
    International Network for Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP).
    American team of students donated USD 2406 = Ksh.159, 000 for the Camel Library on 21st July 2007. The students from William Paterson University Kenya Study Abroad program and The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers accompanied by their Kenyan lecturer Dr. Monicah Nyamwange.
    Plan International to Embu library donated Motorcycle for book box service, TV and DVD to Embu library.
    ExPat Foundation through BAI (UK) donated funds to buy books for Naivasha knls library, Naivasha Maximum Prison library and the Camel library.
    Maskew/Miller Longman sponsored a workshop for branch librarians on usage of electronic resources in libraries in September 2007.
    Kenya National Archives
    Safaricom :- sponsored tournment