National Library of Kenya under construction

The Nairobi area library has experienced significant growth in terms of the number of users who visit the library on a regular basis. A visit to the library can attest to this as one is likely to witness large crowds of people congregated at the library entrance in the early morning hours as they await official opening time. While the population of Nairobi has continued to grow with more people requiring library services, the library has not been able to keep pace with this growth, thus the existing facilities are inadequate to cater for this growing number of users. The Kenya National Library Service (knls) therefore faces the challenge of adequately catering for this increasing number of library users as well as responding to their diverse needs (see above picture where library users queue to gain access to the limited spaces at the Nairobi Area library)

National libraries are custodians of a country’s collection in both published and manuscript form.  Knls provides a collective and solidified memory and knowledge about Kenya and its various communities and tribes. Such knowledge connects the current generation to the generations that preceded it.  These collections are memories that represent a part of something that endured since the beginning of recorded history and will continue to endure as part of the future legacy. By preserving the collections, knls solidifies the history, culture, and memory of Kenyan citizens. Such memories are important for a country’s heritage and promotion of family values.

The upcoming project is a state of the art facility that addresses the needs and requirements of the current and future generations in terms of ICT, social integration as well as unlimited access to information in a variety of formats. The design concept is developed based on the African drum, a symbol that represents information, communication and storage that traditional African communities used in the past.

Salient features:

  • Full-fledged digital library
  • Auditorium
  • Recording studio
  • Cultural hub
  • Gallery
  • Publishing press
  • Sitting capacity of approximately 5000 people
  • Income generation wing

The building is also a cultural outfit both in design and functionality. National libraries worldwide are custodians of a country collection in both published and manuscript forms.  Similarly, knls provides a collective and cultural memory and knowledge about Kenya and its various communities and tribes. Such knowledge connects the current generation to the generations that preceded it.  These collections are memories that represent a part of something that endured since the beginning of recorded history and will continue to endure as part of some future legacy. By preserving the collections, knls solidifies the history, culture, and memory of Kenyan citizens, and this is important for a country’s heritage and family values.