The historical development of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Library dates back to 1948 during times of the then East African Statistical Department (EASD). In 1956 three separate statistical units were established to serve each of the three states i.e. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania. Each unit therefore, had its own library to serve and provide statistical information needs of each territory.
In 1961, the Kenya Statistical Act (CAP 112) was enacted and the statistical unit was formally established as a Government Statistical Office together with its own library. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics was established through an Act of parliament (Statistical Act 2006) and the Bureau has continued to maintain and equip its own library up to date.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has been playing a provital role in the disseminating of all official statistics both within and outside the country. It is therefore, an essential infrastructural component of the Bureau with the following specific objectives:-
- Storage and dissemination of all published official statistical information.
- Acquiring, organizing and processing of reading materials for the various professional needs of the Bureau.
- Selling of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics publications to the members of the public.
- Conducting publications exchange programmes with relevant institutions.
- Provision of reference services, literature searchers and subscription services to all interested users.
- Conducting selective disseminating of information to its users.
- Provide custody of all Kenya National Bureau of Statistics publications and ensure their timely distribution to the staff and to all District statistical offices in the country.
- Provision of reading space, sitting facilities, photocopying and other library services to all interested users.
- Provision of necessary support service to the Bureau in any of its professional activities.
- Normal circulation of library collection and its access.
The types of the library collection materials normally maintained in the library includes the following:-
- Kenya National Bureau of Statistics publications
- Government publications e.g. reports, sessional papers, laws of Kenya etc.
- Reports from reputable institutions such as UN, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, WHO etc.
- Statistical materials from other statistical establishments.
- Material received from exchange partners e.g. CBK, KIPPRA, and IPAR etc.
- Publications from East African Community secretariat through legal deposit rights.
- Policies/official documents/reports from line Ministries and Departments.
- Annual Reports from Parastatals and Companies.
- Journals and periodicals on various subject fields.
- Textbooks mainly on Economics, Statistics and other subject fields.
- Donated publications from well-wishers and charitable institutions.
The library is currently located on the ground floor of Herufi House where it occupies 315m2 after all the renovations were completed. It now can accommodate a sitting capacity of 80 to 100 users at a time.
As part of modernizing and upgrading the library, shelves, textbooks, tables, chairs, computers etc have been procured through funds donated by DFID. It should be appreciated that DFID was kind enough to fund the entire upgrading process.
The main objectives of modernizing the library were to make it achieve the following:-
- To become a National Statistical Information Centre.
- To expand and provide more reading and sitting space.
- Provide the library with current information.
- To improve in the provision of current information.
- Computerize the information services.
- Improve on its dissemination activities.
The library is normally patronized by users who may be categorized as follows:-
- Members of Staff of the Bureau.
- Members of staff of the Ministries of Finance & Planning.
- Students, Scholars, Academicians and Researchers from various Colleges & Universities.
- Other Civil Servants/policy makers.
- Users from NGO’s.
- Business men/women
- Member of the General Public.
The intended future development plans of the library are as follows:-
- Upgrading of the library LAN to host over10 computers for online access of library materials.
- Installation of a library security system and accessories
- Automation of library records/services management systems.
- Setting up/subscriptions of electronic online journals and periodicals.
- Acquisition of a medium size color printing press.