To accomplish its mission, the UN Library at Nairobi welcomes researchers to use its online and print collections, and gives information on Environment, and UN related issues. Librarians are available to assist researchers in:

  • Accessing information on issues related to environmental management, climatic change, urban development, housing, sustainable cities, slum upgrading, gender mainstreaming, human rights, children and other related areas.
  • Finding publications of UN agencies e.g. UNEP, UN-HABITAT, UNDP, UNIC, UNHCR, UNIFEM, UNICEF etc,.
  • Using the Library's electronic resources.

Reference Services

The Library has specialized reference facilities for UN agencies namely; UNEP, UN-HABITAT, UNDP, UNIC, UNHCR, UNIFEM and other specialized agencies. It serves UNstaff, delegates, diplomats, internal and external students and others such as governmental and Non-Novernmental Organizations, who come to access information in their various specialized fields.

The Library's Information Service responds to requests for research assistance by telephone, email, fax, or by person. Upon request, assistance is provided in using research tools, including the UNALIS database and other databases available.

Loan Services

Library Loan facility exists for all UN staff members and members of other agencies and organizations. They are allowed to borrow materials from the Library under the stipulated Library Loan Policy. In summary most materials can be borrowed for two weeks. Current periodicals on display in the Periodical Reading Room, can only be borrowed overnight. Loans are renewable depending on demand of the materials.

Selective Dissemination of Information:

The Library regularly sends information to users so that they can keep abreast with the latest developments in their fields of interest. Through this specialised information service, the Library tries to meet the needs of individual users. To assist in the assessment of their needs, the Library sends out, on an on-going basis, user-profile questionnaires to staff and programmes of UN Agencies in Nairobi to collect data on their information needs. This service provides users with the most up-to date information from specialised commercial electronic databases (e.g., Science Direct, Dialog, Proquest, Lexis-Nexis) as well as hard copy journal articles to which the Library subscribes.

Guided Tours :

This is a service that is managed by the Sergio Vieira de Mello Library in conjuction with other UN agencies. Its main aim is to disseminate information about the work and achievements of the United Nations and the UN Agencies to the general public and open up the United Nations Complex at Gigiri to members of the public, develop positive attitudes/perceptions about the work of the United Nations and the UN Agencies to the general public and also act as a direct link for the visitors to the UN, providing them with insight and knowledge into the functions and activities of the UN and the UN Agencies. Click here for more


Online Services:

The Library offers its users access to numerous online services. Users can access the Library's Online Catalogue (UNALIS) among other Online Databases like Lexis-Nexis, ScienceDirect, Proquest and others. They do not only allow access to specific agency books and periodicals but also to reference materials like yearbooks, handbooks, dictionaries etc, UN Official Document System (ODS), Online Journals and Index to Periodicals and Books. More information can be accessed from the Library.



The Library has a cyber space with 24 computers. The service is dedicated for users who may want to do online research to get information through the internet, online databases and CD-Roms. The qualified staff in the library help the users to get the required information in time. Photocopying and printing on request are also done in the cyber space.