About National Library Service

The National Library Service (NLS) Board was established by an Act of Parliament 31 of 1967 to promote, establish, equip, manage, maintain, and develop libraries in Malawi. It has seventeen branches in twelve out of the twenty eight districts of the country. It has, through its Rural Library Service, established over two thousand library centres in schools, health centres, prisons, district councils, agricultural development divisions and churches whose aim is to provide, suitable relevant reading and reference materials for use in rural communities for functional information, education and sustenance of literacy skills.

The Malawi National Library Service (NLS) is governed by a Board which comprises the Chairman appointed by the Minister responsible for statutory corporations; representatives from the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development; the University of Malawi; the Ministry of Information; the Catholic Secretariat and the City of Lilongwe. There are also some members who are appointed in their personal capacities. The Board's Chief Executive and Secretary is the National Librarian.


Opening time

Monday to Friday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM.

Closes on Public Holidays

Story Telling Sessions  11:00AM-21:00 PM



National Library Service has an online database OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) of materials of all our Libraries. Users can search a library catalog to locate books and other materials available. Click here to browse through the shelves in all our 17 library branches. You may search library resources by: Subject, Title, Author, Subject, ISBN, Series, Publisher, Publisher Location and Call Number.

Sponsors & Partners

Book Aid International (BAI)

Books for Africa

Children's International

Institute of Develoment Studies (IDS) of Sussex University, UK

Malawi National Commission of Science and Technology (NCST) 

Malawi Library Consortium (MALICO)

Malawi National Commission for UNESCO

REI Foundation


National Archives of Malawi (NAM)

Anglia Book Distributors 

Lions Club

CODE of Canada