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Kenya: Draft Legislation to Require Publishers to Deposit Books in Parliament Library

(Oct. 18, 2011) On October 12, 2011, a draft law aimed at amending the Books and Newspapers Act of 1960 was introduced in the Kenyan Parliament. If enacted, the new legislation would require Kenyan publishers to deposit three copies of all books they publish in the Kenyan Parliament's library. (Alphonce Shiundu, Kenyan Publishers to Submit Books to House If Law Amended, DAILY NATION (Oct. 12, 2011).) Farah Maalim, Deputy Speaker of the Kenyan Parliament, had this to say in the memorandum on the legislation:

A legal deposit system at Parliament is important as it acts as a mirror wherein all the glory of a nation's literature is faithfully reflected. It stands as a permanent record of the thoughts, aspirations and discoveries of successive ages and further operates as an instrument to gather a permanent record of the nation's published works (id.)

At present, the Act requires publishers to register and deposit books and newspapers published in Kenya with the Kenya National Library Services and Kenya National Archives. (Id.; The Books and Newspapers Act, ยงยง 5 & 6, Cap. 111, Institute for Security Studies website (last visited Oct. 17, 2011).)