Search books by typing book title or Authour


Download Documents

Jarida la maktaba
ZLS Policy
ZLS Brochure
ZLS ORG Structure
ZLS law
Customer Care Contract

Library workshop

Staff Training
User Training
Teacher library Training
Children programe
Inservice Training

Quick Links

Charting Page
Our Donors
Open Access
Staff mail
Free books
Online Catalogue

Library links

Central Library IIT Kharagpur
Tanzania library board
Library of Congress

Library working Days

From Monday To satarday
Sunday ........... Closed
Library working hour
From 8:30 a.m to 18:00 p.m

Online user's counter



The need to establish a public library in Zanzibar was emanated by the Hockey's Report. Unfortunately the political changes in Zanzibar in early 1960s interrupted the project and in fact it was never implemented. The spirit to start a Central Public Library however has always been there and was revived in 1980s. It was USIS who asked permission to establish a library. The idea was accepted by Zanzibar Government and the Americans dispatched two containers full of books and furniture. Then the Ex-telecom was chosen as a good site for the new library. Unfortunately, the government of USA postponed this program before it took off. The books and furniture were given to Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. Then the Ministry turned to British Council to get help to establish its own Central Library. In 1988, Zanzibar Public Library, the first public library was established in Zanzibar Town by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. The library was first located in the Ex-telecom Building which is now the famous Serena Inn. Later in late 1989 it was shifted to another temporary base in Vuga, near the Zanzibar High Court. Thereafter in December 1994 the first branch library was opened in Chake Chake, in the sister Island of Pemba. From April 2005, five district libraries are established in Zanzibar Island and three district libraries in Pemba. As starting point, these district libraries are temporary accommodated in the Teacher Centers (TC) which are well established and are located centrally in each district. Each Teacher Centre received two boxes of books and more books are to be supplied in September, 2006.


The management has also outlined its mission so that the current vision is realized. Among the mission are:-
To create conductive working environment for efficient and effective delivery of services;
To ensure good maintenance and provision of necessary facilities;
To ensure provision of good library service;
To purchase books, newspapers and periodicals;
To provide fast, adequate digital information through the use of internet services.


In the year 2004/2005 the Z.L.S had spelt its vision, that is:- 'To have a society which is satisfied with good library and information services'


To help and support education, cultural, leisure and information needs for all peoples of Zanzibar and Pemba.


To enhance the library development in Zanzibar, the government passed the bill 'Zanzibar Library Services Board Act of 1993'.Among the functions of this Board are:-
to promote establish, equip, maintain and develop libraries in the Islands of Zanzibar in search a manner as to meet the library requirements of the whole population there of;
to actively promote book reading and library use throughout the islands;
to set up, establish, equip, manage, maintain and develop documentation centers and to provide documentation services;
to initiate, sponsor, participate in, finance and assist in campaigns for the eradication of illiteracy;
to provide an efficient and effective library service in both urban and rural areas, catering for the library needs of all sectors of the community;
to stimulate public interest in literature generally, and Swahili literature in particular;
to encourage the production and distribution of books and other literary works;
to provide the facilities and means for the study of, and for basic training in, the principles, procedures and techniques of librarianship and such other related subjects as the Board may from time to time decide;
to sponsor, arrange and provide facilities for conferences and seminars for discussion of matter relating to library and documentation services;
In pursuance of the above objectives and functions, the library engages itself
It conducts short courses for untrained library workers who operate the departmental libraries and documentation centers.
It helps schools, government institutions and NGO to establish their libraries or documentation centers.
It works with embassies or NGO's to conduct special programs and paper shows.
It cooperates with TLA, AZLIS and SLADS to conduct seminars and workshops.
Offer services to students who conduct research.


The Zanzibar Library Services Board is a government organ under the Ministry of Education And Vocational Training (MoEVT). The president of Zanzibar appointed the Chairman and the Director while Minister of Education and Vocational Training appoints the remaining Board members. According to MoEVT's organization chart, the Board is directly under the Minister. For day to day management of the affair of the libraries is under the Director who is also the Secretary of the Board and Chief librarian. The Director is assisted by two Assistant Chief Librarians, one is for Zanzibar Public Library and another is in charge of Pemba Public Library.