National Library

The National library Division (NLD) is under Kenya National Library Service and it provides the National Library functions and services which distinguishes it from the Public Library Services. NLD is a repository for legal deposits in accordance with the Books and Newspapers Act Chapter (CAP) 111 of the Laws of Kenya which facilitates preservation of the national imprint. One of its responsibilities is creation, acquisition, preserving and dissemination of local content on a global scale.

According to books and newspaper Act (CAP 111) statute law, Miscellaneous Amendment No. 22 of 1989,The publishers of every book printed and published in Kenya “shall before or within fourteen days after publication of the book, at his own expense deliver to the Registrar such number of copies thereof, not exceeding three in number. And in order to facilitate the publication of the national bibliography of Kenya under 4 (k) of the Kenya National Library Service Board Act, before or within fourteen days, deliver to the Director, Kenya National Library Service, two copies.

Kenya National Bibliography

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.

Summary of the Functions:

  • Preservation of National Imprint as the repository center for legal deposits
  • Publish the Kenya National Bibliography (a list of the books published in Kenya or about Kenya in any given year) and Kenya periodicals directory
  • Serve as the National ISBN agency that is mandated by the International ISBN agency to issue ISBN to Kenyan publishers
  • Provide reference and referral services
  • Provide online electronic resources (e-journals, e-books)
  • Stock specialized collections government publications such as Laws of Kenya, Kenya Gazettes and past newspapers dating back to 1980
  • Act as data information center for the World Bank
  • Facilitate international inter-library lending
  • Kenya National Library Electronic Resources Databases

Kenya National library service (knls) has diverse stock that meets the needs of diverse clients who use the service. Apart from print publications, knls subscribes to e-resources which are very popular with library researchers. knls is a member of Kenya Library and Information Services Consortium (KLISC) which was established in 2003 with the main objective of collective subscription to electronic resources to cope with the increasing cost of information resources. Consortium draws its membership from University Libraries, Research institutions, Public/National Libraries. Through the consortium knls subscribes to the following e-resources accessed in the National Library Division

The national library services are offered at Maktaba Kuu, Buruburu and Nakuru.