The Kenya National Library Service (KNLS) has a wide library network across Kenya with 60 or so branches, one close to you. Thanks to a recent change to the law governing its operations effected by Hassan Wario, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts, membership is free as long as the prospective member produces passport photos (some libraries will take your photo themselves), fills a membership form and gets a commitment from an institution (an employer or school, for example). This is a dip from the KSh 300 it previously cost for employed adults, and KSh 3,000 for self-employed people), to sign up (with a KSh 100 renewal fee) and a welcome development for those who may not previously have been able to afford it.
The scrapping of membership charges comes with a new introduction: a KSh 20 fee for each book one borrows and a 100% increase in late return fees (from Ksh 5 to KSh 10 per day). For heavy users, such as yours truly, this will result in much more than the KSh 100 annual renewal fee previously charged (a book a week=26*20=520) but it has a positive effect that I’m excited about. And it is this:
Members do not have to pay entry charges (which remain at KSh 20 a day) and that means that more people have a chance to use the library. For people looking to learn, they have a range of books that would aid anyone’s education. The Nairobi Area Library (my local) has an internet connection so you can use the internet, too. For free!
Libraries are a great way to explore the world and educate yourself. Get your KNLS membership today!