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Maktaba Award 2011

The Goethe-Institut Kenya, the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation and the Kenya Library Association presented the Maktaba Award 2011 on 16th September in Nairobi.

The Award aims to recognize excellence in the provision of library and information services in Kenya. The introduction of a national library award in Kenya is driven by the realization of the key role that information plays in the modern world and the fact that Kenya is part of the global information society. The Library of the Year Award comes in the form of a cash-prize of Ksh. 250,000/=, books, a trophy and a certificate.

The library of the Kenya National Archives and Documentatation Services is the winner of the prize for Library of the Year 2011. The jury was convinced by the ongoing elaborate digitization project carried out by the National Archives to preserve old and valuable national information material.

The Library of the Year Award, which was introduced in 2010, is an annual event where all libraries compete in different categories and excellence, innovation and creativity are recognized and rewarded. The organizers and the library fraternity believe that the development of Kenya will only be realized if access to knowledge for all is given top priority. The message to all librarians and information managers is that they must play a central role in providing information services.

The prerequisite for this is to have modern, well equipped and user-friendly libraries manned by well trained librarians and information professionals. The Library of the Year Award aims to inject more professionalism, creativity and innovation in the library scene in Kenya.

Libraries were allowed to participate in the following categories:

  • academic
  • large public
  • community
  • school and
  • special libraries.

Participating libraries were assessed in the following areas among others:

  • Quality and innovation in provision of library and information services
  • Integration of modern technologies in service provision
  • Promotion of local content
  • Relevance of the services provided to the local community
  • Sustainability of the services and programmes
  • Provision of multicultural library services.

A total of 70 libraries participated in the competition this year. This is almost double the number of entries received last year, when the Maktaba Awards were launched. The organizers attribute this large number of participating libraries to the awareness raised by the launch of the library of the year award and the desire for more libraries to excel in the service provision and get recognition for their efforts.

A panel of judges (with backgrounds in information management, marketing and information technology) analyzed the library profiles and visited all the libraries for assessment. The judges then compiled the results of the libraries assessed before making a decision on who the winners were.

The winning libraries for 2011 are as follows:

Position Academic School Community Special Public Overall Winner
1 USIU Oshwal Academy Nursery School Amani Kibera Community Library Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service KNLS Buru Buru Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service
2 KCA University Makini School Haller Education Centre Mombasa Communications Commission of Kenya National Museums of Kenya
3 Kenya Institute of Management Our Lady of Nazareth Webb Memorial Library Malindi Kenya Airways Lamu Fort Library

This project is modeled on the German Library of the Year Award. Kenya is the first country in Africa to introduce an annual national award for libraries. It is for this reason that all the libraries that participate in the national Library of the Year Award (Maktaba Award) have every right to be proud of their achievement. Any queries regarding the Maktaba Awards may be addressed to:

Project Partners:
Kenya Library Association:



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