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An assessment of selection and acquisition practices in meeting library users' information needs at Kenyan National Museum Library

Kaltuma Sama Bonaya (Department of Library, Kenya National Library Service, Nairobi, Kenya) (Kenya National Library Service, Nairobi, Kenya)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 21 December 2022

Issue publication date: 9 February 2023




The purpose of this paper is to show how quality information materials are maintained in Kenyan museum libraries by examining collection development policy, skills and processes used by librarians in acquisition.


A total of 137 respondents, which included 130 registered library users and seven members of staff, completed the questionnaires. This included the principal librarian, for whom an interview schedule was used to collect the required data. A pilot study to ensure data validity and reliability was carried out at the Kenya Medical Research Institute Library. Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS) was used to analyze the research data.


The findings, which were presented both textually and graphically, show that the National Museum of Kenya library lacks a collection development policy to guide the acquisition process, as well as a diverse set of information resources that are both comprehensive and current to meet the current user information needs. Furthermore, the key impediment to the acquisition of information materials was revealed to be financial constraints, and there was a positive effort to involve library users in the acquisition process.

Research limitations/implications

The study focus on library users and library staff at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) library in Nairobi, it may not be, therefore, representative of the acquisition processes at all Kenyan museum libraries. Although NMK has other branches across the country, they were not included in this study.

Practical implications

This paper purposes to provide the Kenyan museum library with important information about maintaining quality information materials from the perspectives of librarians and library users. Despite efforts to improve information materials, the management faces financial challenges.

Social implications

The study unveils underlying picture in selection and acquisition practices which will inform on meeting library users information needs.


The paper is of value as a case study of Kenya Museums Library.



Bonaya, K.S. (2023), "An assessment of selection and acquisition practices in meeting library users' information needs at Kenyan National Museum Library", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 43-50.



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