President Uhuru Kenyatta has today announced that the government will launch a Sh250 million virtual library by June 2021.
The Virtual library will ensure Kenyans have access to quality, timely and relevant information held by the Kenya National Library from the comfort of their homes, the President said.
Speaking during the official opening of the new ultra-modern Maktaba Kuu Building housing the Kenya National Library Services Headquarters(KNLS), President Kenyatta said that the virtual library will have a capacity of 15 million publications.
“The first phase will digitize 800,000 books, periodicals, research papers and government publications. It will also contain 600,000 e-books, which are currently accessible offline through e-readers across 63 KNLS branches countrywide,” the President said.
The two year virtual library project will be implemented by the Ministry of Sports, culture and heritage in collaboration with the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund.
“The elaborate ICT infrastructure within the facility will facilitate community access to online information and connect them to the rest of the world,” he said.
Maktaba Kuu is the first multi-purpose library in Kenya featuring a 300 capacity children’s theatre, 50 capacity senior citizens section and four auditoriums with a cumulative capacity of 1,200 people. The auditoriums are designed as spaces for authors and artists to showcase their work.
It also boasts a 500 capacity gallery going by the name Sanaa centre for loal artists to showcase their art.
Maktaba Kuu also has provision for persons with disability with books in different formats such as braille, audiobooks and large print formats.