In order to make library services affordable to Kenyans and to encourage book borrowing, membership fees has been scrapped and the annual membership renewal fee. Below are the applicable fees … Details/Requirements. Amount (KSH).


  • To apply for KNLS membership, the applicant has to contact the Kenya National Library Service offices.
  • You’ll be requested to fill an application form. Complete the application form and submit
  • The applicant has to make sure he or she has all the required documents that are required for this process to be successful and it can be found under the “Required Documents” section of this page or at KNLS Library Membership page.
  • On Completion of this process, the applicant after meeting all the requirements becomes a registered member. The process usually takes 5-10 mins where library services are fully automated or within one week after presenting all the required where library services are not automated.

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Required Documents

Kenyan citizen Adult (16 Years and above)

  • Clear understanding of the library user manual.
  • Duly completed membership form.
  • A copy of National Identification documents.
  • Commitment from the employer or Head of the learning institution.
  • One recent passport size colour photos.

Kenyan Citizen – Child

  • Clear understanding of the library user manual.
  • Duly completed membership form.
  • Commitment from Head Teacher and parent.
  • One recent passport size colour photos.

Non-Kenyan citizen – Adult

  • Clear understanding of the library user manual.
  • Duly completed membership form.
  • Valid passport.
  • A letter of introduction from home office or a valid work permit.
  • One recent passport size colour photos.

Non-Kenyan citizen – Child

  • Duly completed membership form.
  • Valid passport.
  • One recent passport size colour photos.

Institutional Membership

  • Clear understanding of the library user manual.
  • Application letter signed by the Head institution, who will also act as the guarantor.
  • Group to give the name and details of one of their staff, who would be in-charge of borrowing and returning library books.

Office Locations & Contacts

Kenya National Library Service Head Office

Mumias Road/Ol Donyo Sabuk Road Junction,

P.O. Box 30573 – 00100

Nairobi, Kenya

Phone: +254 20 2158352 / 7786710

Fax: +254 20 2721749



Map Location

Operating hours
Monday Friday: 8.00am to 6.30pm
Saturday: 8.30am to 5.00pm
Sundays & Public holidays: closed
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Open to institutions and individuals, both Kenyan citizens and non-citizens


Free / No Charge


One year

Processing Time

5-10 mins where library services are fully automated or within one week after presenting all the required where library services are not automated.


Junior Membership

All primary children of school going age and below have access to the libraries within the KNLS network at no charge (free). However, for them to borrow books, they have to be registered as members of that library and also pay a book borrowing fee of Kshs. 5 per book borrowed.Adult Membership

For adult membership, no charges are levied for registration but a minimal fee is charged for daily access. In addition, for borrowing of books, one has to be registered as a member and a book borrowing fee of Kshs. 20 is applicable per book borrowed.Institutional Membership

Various categories of institutions may apply for registration at the library of their choice within knls network. The institutions are categorised as; primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, NGOs Community based organizations and religious institutions.

Required Information

  • Full names
  • Postal address
  • Email address
  • Passport/identification document number
  • Phone number
  • Name of the institution
  • Next of kin details

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Need for the Document

Kenya National Library Services is committed to offering access to information and knowledge for empowerment. With a library membership card, you have access to a world of books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, e-books, databases, online journals, public computers and many more that is yours to discover. A library card is one of the best assets that you need to have in order to transform your life.

The quest for knowledge requires availability and accessibility of relevant and timely information to those who may require it, wherever they may be located. This role is effectively fulfilled by the 57 public libraries spread across the country. The Public Library is a division of Kenya National Library Services that provides the following library services to the public;

  • Conducive reading facilities for the public (both adults and children). This is currently being enhanced through refurbishment and construction of modern libraries across the country.
  • Lending of books and other publications to registered members of public.
  • Bulk lending of books to learning institutions.
  • Provision of an online catalogue. The Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) is used to search for book titles. OPAC is now online and enables you to search for book titles from the comfort of your home, office or anywhere else so long as you have internet access.
  • Technical assistance on library development to interested government and private institutions. The library offers consultancy services on how to setup, organize, staff and manage a library as well as providing on the job learning opportunities to librarians through our libraries.
  • Inter-library lending. This enables users to borrow books that are available in other libraries within the KNLS network. The books are delivered to the library where the user is a member.
  • Field practicum opportunities to those studying library and information studies. They also offer community service opportunities for students.
  • Availing Daily newspapers published in Kenya as well as local and international magazines. In some of our branch libraries, the library acts as the main, and sometimes the only source of news to the community within which it is located.
  • The Public Library provides services through two broad categories: adult section and junior section.

Information which might help

The Public Library provides services through two broad categories: adult section and junior section.Adult Section

The Adult Section comprises of:

  • Front office this section provides customer care services where users and visitors can get information on library services while visiting the library or by phone, as well as facilitating regular lending. Lending services are however only accessible to registered members (see membership section for registration details).
  • The Short Loan Counter this is mainly used for publications that are on high demand and limited quantities. Users can borrow the same for a specified period of time after which the materials are returned to be availed to the next user.
  • The Reference Section this facilitates short term lending (typically 4 hours) of reference materials that are on high demand and must be used within the library premises. These include dictionaries, magazines, Atlases among others.
  • The Multimedia section for electronic materials such as CDs DVDs, video cassettes, the library provides viewing aids such as TV screens and headphones. This allows users to interact with the materials without interrupting other users. The multimedia content also includes videos normally sent as accompaniments to the various books available in the library.
  • Braille section the library provides equal opportunity for all including the visually impaired. The Braille section has equipment such as braillers that are used to transcribe regular text to Braille. It also has Navigators which are special equipment that enable users to listen to recorded audio books. We also have CCTV and Videomax used to enlarge materials. The Braille section also offers transcription services (form regular text to Braille) to the public. Outreach services are also offered where trained staff visit institutions for the visually impaired to share material and also interact with the visually impaired. Such institutions include Kiambu, Machakos and Thika schools for the blind.
  • Mobile Services mobile service is aimed at providing library services to communities on the outskirts of Nairobi who may not have regular access to the library. This service is currently provided to institutions located in the following areas; Rongai, Ngong, Ruai, Machakos and Kikuyu. The route is varied every year to ensure equitable service to all locations. Mobile service is also available in Embu, Kisumu and Mombasa counties. The service is offered to designated schools within the areas and students can borrow books and other reading materials and return the same when the mobile bus makes the next visit to the school. Institutions that would require the mobile services may contact the librarians in the branches near their locality for more information

Junior section

The junior section serves children below the age of fifteen (15) years.

Some of the services provided.