Kenya National Library Service (knls) Board is a state corporation established by an Act of Parliament Cap 225 of the Laws of Kenya (1965) to provide library and information services to the Kenyan public. The Board is currently under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage. The headquarters library is located at the Maktaba Kuu Building in Nairobi. At inception the headquarters knls library was housed in a temporary building at the then registration office next to Prison Headquarters, where it opened its doors to the public in 1969. The services were later moved to the knls building which was purposely constructed and opened in 1974.
Later in 2012, the Government of Kenya funded the construction of the current Maktaba Kuu building to facilitate appropriate functioning of the National Library of Kenya, and allow clear demarcation between the National Library Services and the Public Library services. Maktaba Kuu was officially opened on 13th November 2020 by His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H., President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-In-Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces.
To date, 64 branch libraries have been established in thirty-three counties, twenty-one of which are based at the county headquarters.