Kenya National Bibliography is published annually by the Division and contains list of bibliographic resources, print or audio-visual acquired as legal deposit. The Legal Deposit Act mandates publishers, to deposit two copies to the Director National library and three copies to the registrar of books and newspapers. All these materials are then published in the Kenya National Bibliography (KNB). The organization maintains a database of Kenya’s intellectual output with the aim of achieving effective National Bibliographic Control in line with the principle of Universal Bibliographic Control. Kenya National Bibliography serves as a selection tool for scholars, lecturers, students’, librarians among others. National Libraries over the ages have been potent instrument for creation, acquisition and dissemination of local content thereby preserving and promoting transmission of cultural practices and values from one generation to another. They are reservoir of recorded knowledge of a community, which is being preserved for posterity.
Kenya National Bibliography is a collection of publications that are published in or with an interest to Kenya. The Books and Newspapers Act, Cap 111 of the Laws of Kenya (Miscellaneous amendments no. 22) of 1987, states that "every publisher in Kenya is required to deposit two copies of each title published, with the knls Director within 14 days of publishing the title at the publisher’s cost". These legal deposits (together with books published outside Kenya, but with an element of Kenya and those published by Kenyan writers outside Kenya) form the National Collection, “Kenyana".
The National Library is responsible for the production of Kenya National Bibliography (KNB). This is a compilation of "Kenyana" collection. Though the production of the KNB started in 1980, it was after amendments of the Kenya National Library Service Board Act, Cap 225, Laws of Kenya in 1984 that knls was given the full responsibility of the production of KNB, which is an annual publication. KNB is a record of Kenya's publishing output and foreign publications of interest to Kenya.
It functions primarily as a practical information tool. Its records provide basic information required for selection and acquisition by information and library professionals in Kenya and elsewhere worldwide.
It contributes to Kenya's national input in International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC) and the Universal Availability of Publications (UAP) Programmes.
It gives the statistical account of Kenya's publishing output, reveals the strength of Kenyan publishing and reflects the success or failure of the Books and Newspapers Act. It serves as model catalogue entries, which may be directly copied by libraries and other information centres in the country.
The following is the preface of the current copy of KNB.
P R E F A C E
The principle objective of the current Kenya National Bibliography (KNB) is to record comprehensive and accurately the bibliography data of all the books, research reports, conference proceedings, pamphlets, maps, current serial titles (including annual reports, year books, biennials, etc) on first appearance and subsequent name/title changes, selected audio-visual and other non-print materials etc., published in Kenya. Foreign publications of interest to Kenya, by subject or otherwise, and foreign works by Kenya nationals are also included. Asterisk (*) appear against all foreign imprint materials in the main Classified Subject Sequence. Brochures, routine government publications (parliamentary bills, amendments of bills, parliamentary debates, individual acts, etc.) programmes, advertising matter/trade literature, and other ephemeral are omitted.
Publications produced locally by international intergovernmental and private organisations (United nations environment programme, International Livestock Research Institute, United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, etc.) based in Kenya are not Included in the KNB, except for materials by these agencies with significant Kenyan subject contents. However, all publications with Kenyan imprint emanating from regional organisations (African Development Bank, East African wildlife society, African Medical Research Foundation etc.) based in Kenya are included in the Bibliography.
1980 annual marks the beginning of the current KNB. Works published in 1979 and before constitute materials for the retrospective KNB. The current list basically Kenya's imprint and foreign "Kenyana" materials produced in any one year. Publications missed in either the current or the retrospective KNB are recorded in the subsequent edition/cumulating.
Only new serial titles and name/title changes or current periodicals are included in the KNB. Kenya Periodicals Directory (KPD), a sister publication of KNB lists titles of current serials and periodical cessation’s in two separate classified subject sequences.
Bibliographic data used in the compilation of the KNB is based on the Legal Deposit publications received at the Kenyan National Library Services under the books and Newspapers Act-Miscellaneous Amendments No. 22 of 1987. Government publications and other items acquired through purchase, exchange or as donat ions/gifts for the Kenya collection (Kenyana) of the Kenya National Library Services, also supplement the legal deposit materials in the compilation of the KNB.
The National Reference & Bibliographic Department also plans to issue a number of other bibliographies to compliment the coverage of the Kenya National Bibliography.