64 Libraries Reopened After 10-Month Closure

  • The new ultra-modern Maktaba Kuu building which houses the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS) headquarters.
    The new ultra-modern Maktaba Kuu building which houses the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS) headquarters.
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  • The Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) has announced the reopening of 64 libraries throughout the country following a prolonged closure occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In a public notice on Thursday, January 28, the corporation stated the libraries were set to resume normal operations from February 1, 2021.

    "Our services shall be available throughout our normal hours of operation," the notice revealed in part.

    The libraries are set to operate on weekdays from 8am to 6:30pm closing at 5pm on Saturdays.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta during the opening the new library on November 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta during the opening of the new library in November 2020.
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    The buildings will remain closed on Sundays and public holidays.

    At the same time, the KNLS Head office relocated to Maktaba Kuu building at Community area, Upperhill, from KNLS Buruburu library premises.

    KNLS libraries are located in various towns in the country with the headquarters at Maktaba Kuu which was opened in November 2020.

    Maktaba Kuu is the first multi-purpose library in Kenya, which aims to open new avenues for Kenyans to learn, obtain information, expand their intellectual horizons and promote a reading culture.

    The building has state of the art facilities including a 300 capacity children theatre, a 50-capacity senior citizens section and four auditoriums with a combined capacity of 1,200 people tailored to provide spaces for local authors and artists to showcase their work.

    It also has 500-seater gallery dubbed Sanaa Centre which is available to local artists to showcase their artifacts.

    To enhance access to library materials the government is implementing a Ksh250 Million virtual library to ensure Kenyans have access to quality, timely and relevant information held by the Kenya National Library from the comfort of their homes.

    The President disclosed that the virtual library, which will be launched by June 2021, will have a capacity of 15 million publications.

    "The first phase will digitise 800,000 books, periodicals, research papers and government publications. It will also contain 600,000 e-books, which are currently accessible offline through e-readers across 63 KNLS branches countrywide," Kenyatta stated.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of Maktaba Kuu in November 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of Maktaba Kuu in November 2020.
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