The Kenya National Library Service (KNLS) has officially unveiled the country’s inaugural virtual library, VTabu. The $1.7 million digital platform was launched at the Maktaba Kuu national library in Nairobi by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Youth, Sports and Arts, Ababu Namwamba. VTabu grants access to over 200,000 reading materials, including digitised books, periodicals, research papers, and government data.
E-books spanning every subject area taught from preschool to university are available on VTabu. Additionally, government entities can utilise VTabu for cloud data storage and digitising important records, images, and maps.
“We no longer need to worry about publication age or having just one surviving copy. We also don’t need to worry about protecting precious maps because they are now safely stored and accessible in digital format,” stated CS Namwamba at the launch.
KNLS Board Chair Robert Theuri Maina added, “Access to information enables citizens to actively participate in governance and legal processes. Libraries are powerhouses and strategic resources in this regard.”
Users can access VTabu through various affordable subscription tiers, including daily, weekly, monthly, biannual, and annual.
CS Namwamba also announced July 12 as Kenya’s inaugural annual National Reading Day aligned with President William Ruto’s vision. This further highlights libraries’ critical role in promoting education, digital literacy, and empowering communities.
Kenya’s new virtual library represents a landmark step in providing citizens nationwide with digital access to educational materials, research, and historical records.
By preserving and digitising precious national resources, VTabu propels libraries into the digital era while making information more equitable. The platform’s launch signifies the government’s commitment to expanding access and opportunity through technology