Libraries are a very important part of the African literature business as for many who cannot afford to buy many books can get their favourite read at their local one. One of the most unique events on the African continent happens every year as the best libraries in Kenya are celebrated at an annual ceremony. The event called the Maktaba Awards (Maktaba is library in Swahili) gives awards to the best awards and is now in its seventh year with the first events happening in 2010. The awards will be given in the categories of school libraries, special libraries, large public libraries, community libraries, government libraries and academic/research libraries.
Some of the previous winners over the last few years include Dr Robert Ouko Memorial Library which won the award last year as best library in the country. This library was also awarded as the best community library in Kenya. In 2014, Aga Khan University was crowned overall library winner as Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa was awarded best private school.
This year, after the call out was made earlier in the year, the ceremony will be hosted at the Kenya National Museum in Nairobi from 6pm. Those who attend the events will be treated to speeches from – Irene Kibandi the chair of the panel of judges choosing the winners and Uwe Koppel the head of cultural affairs at the German Embassy Nairobi . The keynote address will be given by Prof Okoth Okombo who is the director of the Kenya Sign Language Project, University of Nairobi.
This year the awards are supported by the Goethe Institut, bibliotheca + 3M, Book Aid International, Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, eKitabu, Ministry of Sports, Culture & the Arts, World Reader, and Radio Africa Group.