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The tasks of the University Library System towards the accomplishment of the functions and objectives enlisted in theUniversity of Nairobi Act 1985 are, to carry out basic functions of acquiring, organizing and disseminating information in support of the University mission. More specifically it is to provide reading, reference, research materials and other library services to the students, academic staff, non-academic staff and to a limited number of qualified outsiders.

The University of Nairobi Library System is composed of twelve libraries grouped into six college libraries plus a central library. The central library known as Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library (JKML) also houses the administration, central services such as acquisitions, cataloguing co-ordinating unit, the union catalogues, the bindery and the archives. The system has a total stock of approximately half a million volumes, inclusive of books, periodicals and other non-print materials. The stock is divided into a general lending materials ands specialised research collections. Books in the library system are classified by the Library of Congress Classification Scheme. A union catalogue of library materials held in the system is maintained in the JKML. Sub-libraries have catalogues of their own holdings.

The library system has a staff of 160.