Department of Library Services

Our Motto

Reading changes lives

To be a leading agency in the development and management of library services.

To promote effective library services through formulation, coordination and implementation of policies, standards and guidelines; regulations and programmes.

To formulate, coordinate, implement policies and guidelines for libraries in the country and manage the collection, processing, retrieval and dissemination of official information.

The following are the core functions of the department: 

  1. Formulation and implementation of policy and legislative frameworks for Libraries.
  2. Promotion and marketing of library services for nation building.
  3. Rendering of advice to the government regarding the allocation of funds to the Library and Information Service sector.
  4. Promotion of a positive reading culture.
  5. Establishing effective cooperation by all Library and Information Service stakeholders.
  6. Resource mobilization for libraries in Kenya.
  7. Manage the collection, processing, retrieval and dissemination of all official information and coordinate library and information centers within the civil service.
  8. Compile and maintain a catalogue of official publications, databases and websites of libraries in the civil service.
  9. Promote competency development for library personnel in the civil service.
  10. Administer the scheme of service for librarians in the civil service.
  11. Initiate recruitment of library personnel in the civil service.
  12. Establishment of a network of civil service libraries and documentation centers.

Develop Policy and Bill on  Libraries

The ministry has embarked on developing a policy and bill for libraries. The purpose of the two documents is to put in place a policy, legislative and institutional framework for library services in Kenya. The intent is to spar equitable and sustainable development of library services in the country over and above aligning the sector to the Constitution of Kenya (2010).

To achieve the set objectives, the Cabinet Secretary appointed a Taskforce to Develop Policy and Bill for Libraries via the Kenya Gazette on 6th May 2022 (Notice number 4966). The Department of Library Services was designated the headquarters of the taskforce while the inauguration was on 8th June 2022.

The Taskforce is composed of twelve members and its Terms of Reference are:

  1. To conduct background research and provide advisory information to the Ministry on the best possible way of legislatively fulfilling the Constitutional requirements on libraries and related services;
  2. To hold consultative meetings with stakeholders and members of the public to gather and record their views and proposals on the draft policy and bill;
  3. To collect and collate information required to facilitate the development of policy and bills on libraries;
  4. To develop a draft policy and legislative framework required for the implementation of Constitutional provisions on libraries;
  5. To identify inconsistencies and duplication in the existing legislation impacting libraries and the information sector and propose ways of harmonizing;
  6. Prepare a draft Libraries Bill to be forwarded to the Attorney-General for further action.


The Digital Library

The digital library is an initiative of the department and is accessible through an Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC). Electronic information resources contained in the catalog are accessible in various accessible formats such as pdf, word, e-pub, etc.

A link is provided for each resource that is available in the digital library. The library also has e-journals and e-books which are accessible to authorized library users only. Publications in print format are accessible by visiting the respective library where the resource is held. 

Access to print publications held by government libraries is on request and one will be required to use the material in the library. Limitation to the use of e-journals and e-books is in keeping with copyright laws and agreements entered into between publishers and libraries.


Physical Location: Uchumi House 3rd Floor, Aga Khan Walk, Nairobi.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 49849 – 00100, Nairobi.            


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