Tag Archives: Maktaba Awards

Our award-winning library partners

We believe that libraries are hugely important to communities. They are often the best place for people to discover the joy and value of reading and access the books and information they need to support their education and develop their skills. That’s why we’re a proud to support the Kenyan Library of the Year Awards.


Maktaba Awards banner


The awards recognise the very best in library services in Kenya. Each year, we donate brand new, relevant books for each of the winning libraries’ collections. The competition is open to all types of library in Kenya and prizes are awarded to libraries in seven different categories including school, academic, public and community libraries as well as ‘special’ libraries. In this year’s award, a total of 18 libraries won, three per category.


Kisumu library celebrate their win


The awards ceremony was held in September and we were especially pleased that our partner Kenya National Library Service’s (knls) Kisumu branch library was chosen as the overall winner. Two knls branch libraries in Buruburu and Nakuru as well as the Dr Robert Ouko Community Library in Koru were also winners. knls Narok also received a special mention.


Adult section of library


We have worked closely with knls Kisumu library for a number of years. Located in western Kenya, the library has a well-used adult section and popular Children’s Corner. Both of these sections receive brand new books supplied by Book Aid International in every category from academic and professional texts to adult fiction and children’s books. The books we send reflect the wide variety of people from the local community who use the library.

We are particularly delighted to see the growth and work of the Children’s Corner. We developed knls Kisumu library’s Children’s Corner in partnership with knls in 2009 as part of the first 12 Corners we set up in Kenyan libraries. Just like the Children’s Corners we continue to create with our partners today, the Kisumu Children’s Corner received brand new children’s books, a grant to refurbish a space especially for children and a small grant to purchase locally published titles.

Two librarians also attended training in how to work effectively with children, manage a children’s corner and undertake outreach to schools and the community. Further funding enabled us to provide the Children’s Corner with tablets and training for the librarians in using the tablets with children, to support and supplement their printed book collection.

Since 2009, librarian Moses Imbayi and his team at knls Kisumu have continued to expand the library’s work, particularly with children. Through their school outreach programme, the library team now supports 1,700 school book clubs. Schools also regularly visit the Corner to take part in inter-school events including spelling bees, debates and reading competitions. In addition, the library uses the tablets to run a special programme to support children with dyslexia. They are seeing these children grow in confidence and migrate to printed books:

“We are seeing consistent improvement in their performance as far as reading is concerned. It is going to make our work as teachers easier. Teaching a child that can read on their own is much easier than teaching someone who cannot read.”

– Stephen Okong’o, Headteacher at Kaloleni Muslim Primary School, Kisumu.


It was many of these interventions and services that contributed to knls Kisumu library being chosen as the overall winner of the Library of the Year Award. We are proud to have played a part in the library’s success and delighted that their hard work has been recognised in the winning of this award.

We wish all the winning libraries, in particular Moses and his team at knls Kisumu huge congratulations on their achievement.


Maktaba winners

Celebrating excellence in library services in Kenya

Kenya’s National Library of the Year Awards are taking place on Friday!


Maktaba Awards banner


This annual competition for libraries and information centres in Kenya celebrates excellence in library services. We are proud to support the awards each year, providing brand new books for each of the winning libraries’ collections.

The National Library of the Year Award started in 2010 and aims to encourage libraries and information centres to provide high-quality services and promote a culture of reading. For the organisers, the provision of access to relevant, useful information remains front and centre of the awards. It is a key element in the realisation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, set by the United Nations in 2015. These goals include ensuring inclusive and equitable education for all.

The competition is open to libraries of all shapes and sizes and prizes are awarded to libraries in the following categories

Public school libraries
Private school libraries
Special libraries
Public libraries
Community libraries
Academic libraries
Special commendation (given to three libraries which didn’t win their categories but which particularly impressed the judges)

Each participating library is inspected and assessed against certain criteria including the relevance and diversity of its collection, the integration of modern technologies in the services it provides, innovation in service provision, promotion of local content and the relevance of the services it provides to the community it serves.

Winning libraries will each receive a cash prize and books for their collection as well as a trophy and certificate. We are delighted to provide each winning library with a set of atlases as well as 200 brand new, relevant books. We hope these will be of great use to their readers and further support their work to provide excellent services to their communities.

We are looking forward to hearing which libraries win these awards on Friday. In the meantime, we wish best of luck to all the entrants!