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Kenya Library of the Year (Maktaba Award) 2013


The Jomo Kenyatta Foundation in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Kenya, and the Kenya Library Association once again presented the prestigious Maktaba Award 2013 on 26th September.

The annual event was held at the National Museums of Kenya Nairobi and aimed at giving recognition to the best libraries and information centers in Kenya.

This year, the Catholic University of East Africa trounced all to emerge the winner of the coveted title. The winner took home a cash prize of 250,000 Kenya shillings, a book voucher, a magnificent trophy and a certificate.

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.

Jomo Kenyatta Foundation's motto is supporting your education; what a better way to achieve that than to motivate our libraries to be the big drivers of a reading culture in this era.

The Library of the Year Award, which was introduced in 2010, is a platform that gives all libraries an opening to compete in different categories, this award seeks to honor and recognize excellence, innovation and creativity.

During the event, speaker after speaker led by the chief guest, the Vision 2030 Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mugo Kibati underscored the importance of libraries in our society and the key role they play in helping Kenya realize the dream of access to knowledge for all .

Librarians and information managers were urged to come to the limelight and proactively work on providing information services to all as well as embrace technology in their day to day workings.

The precondition 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 participated in the following categories:

  • Special libraries
  • Public school libraries
  • Private school libraries
  • Public libraries
  • Academic libraries.

Though the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) emerged the overall winner, there were winners in the various categories listed above. The participants went through a rigorous process where they 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.

This year, 76 libraries participated in the competition, a notch higher than last year, which is a clear signal that the award is gaining popularity in Kenya and more and more libraries desire to excel in the service provision and get recognition for their efforts.

A panel of judges with expertise in information management, marketing, and information technology analyzed the library profiles and visited all the libraries for assessment.

The winning libraries for 2013 are as follows:



Public School

Private Schools

Community Library

Public libraries

Overall Winner



Nairobi Primary School

Makini School

Amani Kibera Community Library

KNLS Buru Buru

Catholic University of East Africa.




Our Lady of Nazareth

Aga khan Mombasa

WEBB Memorial Library

KNLS Nairobi Area




Precious Blood Riruta

Kenya Flospa Primary

Siaya Community Library

KNLS Kakamega Library

This year away from the norm there was an introduction of a special commendation award, the winner was Kenyatta National Hospital Library, this library deals with terminally ill children who have cancer.

The Library of the year 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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