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Maktaba Awards 2013

© Goethe-Institut Kenya






The Goethe-Institut Kenya, the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation and the Kenya Library Association organized the 4th edition of the Maktaba Awards (Library of the Year Awards) on 26th September 2013 at the Louis Leakey Auditorium of the National Museums of Kenya.  Over 70 entries were received and winning libraries were awarded for innovation, application of modern ICT, preservation of indigenous knowledge, promotion of local content and provision of services to the local community.  


The overall price (Library of the Year Award) was won by the library of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.  The judges were unanimous in their decision.  This is an ultra modern library, with enough space for users and fully automated. It has the most modern technology that can be found in a modern library anywhere in the world.  It has self check-in, hence no need for a circulation desk. Users manage their own fines for overdue by paying online. The library works with some customers as knowledge ambassadors to publicize the use of e-resources.

The full list of winners is as follows:

© Goethe-Institut Kenya







Academic Libraries:
Catholic University of Eastern Africa Library
(2) The Management University of Africa Library
(3) Mount Kenya University Library

Public School Libraries:
(1) Nairobi Primary School Library
(2) Our Lady of Nazareth Primary School Library
(3) Precious Blood Secondary School Library

Private School Libraries:
(1) Makini School Library
(2) Aga Khan Academy Mombasa Library
(3) Kenya Flourspar Primary School Library

Community Libraries:
(1) Amani Kibera Library
(2) Webb Memorial Library
(3) Siaya Community Library

Special Libraries:
(1) National Museums of Kenya Main Library
(2) Institute of Human Resource Management Library
(3) Nation Media Group Library

Public Libraries:
(1) KNLS Buru Buru Library
(2) KNLS Nairobi Area Library

(3) KNLS Kakamega Library

Overall Winner:
Catholic University of Eastern Africa Library

Special Mention:
Kenyatta National Hospital Children's Library
The Catholic University of Eastern Africa Library - Profile:
The vision of the library is “to be a world class resource centre in the acquisition, organization, preservation, dissemination and application of knowledge” and our mission is “ to facilitate, maintain and enhance quality research, teaching and community service by developing knowledge collections that reflect the mission of the university, providing expertise, appropriate ICTs, outstanding services and by collaborating with institutions within and outside East African to facilitate knowledge resource sharing”. The library has 150,000 volumes of books and 50,000 volumes of bound journals. We subscribes to 350 titles of print journals. The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) subscribes to a wide range of e-journals and e-books and the key e-book collections include the Lexis –Nexus law database and Springer e-books. 

As part of its information literacy program, the library has in collaboration with the students’ body created a group known as “CUEA Knowledge Ambassadors” whose main objective is to promote information literacy among students and lecturers. The Library has a section for the children’s library. This aims at providing library services tailored to meeting the unique informational needs of the children. It targets primary pupils between 7years-12years. To kick of this project the library has partnered with a local bank which has pledged to donate Ksh. 15,000,000 towards the project. As part of its commitment to adapt to the emerging trend of digital information access the CUEA library continues to develop its ICT infrastructure by investing in modern technologies which include:  

  • High speed internet connectivity (optic fibre and wireless technologies with 2500 Internet-ready table places, for use with personal laptops, and 120 private reading Carrels with plug and play internet capability for library customer use. 
  • Library web portal to facilitate access to e-databases, e-books, e-journal   subscriptions & local e-repository of internally generated local content including conference proceedings,  
  • Online payment system to facilitate self- operated printing, subscription to library services, photocopying, etc. This will later be used for payment of other services in the university such as the university bookshop, infirmary and cafeteria.
  • Academic support application softwares e.g.  Word processing, software modeling &statistical packages)
  • A web-based Integrated Library System (ILS) with which library users interact with over the internet to search library online public access catalogue (Available at: for books and journals, reserve them and renew books on loan.
  • RFID technology that facilitates innovative services such as self-borrowing and self-return of library materials, printing and photocopying, security, and inventory of library materials

CUEA is a regional university and therefore the library draws its clientele from countries in the entire region including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia as well as beyond. The library also extends its services to external students and researchers from other universities and colleges as well as the surrounding community and the general public. We have an active collaboration through interlibrary cooperation with most university libraries in the country. The library also has international linkages with other institutions such as Loyola University, Chicago among others.

One of the objectives of the CUEA Library is to promote the welfare of the Kenyan people and beyond community by engaging in community service activities. Over the past the library has engaged in several community service initiatives. Recently, in collaboration with Center for Social Justice and Ethics (CSJE) and KNLS Kibera branch, the library undertook information literacy skills training for teachers in Kibera community. 

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:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
University of Nairobi