John F. Kennedy Library Addis Ababa University

Addis Ababa University (AAU) Library

Addis Ababa University's library, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library was opened in August 1969.  The library has materials on humanities and social sciences.  The library is reported to have half a million items in its collection.  The Ethiopian collection is also housed in the main library of Addis Ababa University.  This collection consists of materials on Ethiopia written in the various languages of Ethiopia.  This collection is said to contain 30,000 volumes of books and other documents.  The library also has a dissertation and theses collection that includes graduate students' theses and dissertations on the humanities, social sciences, and arts.  The John F. Kennedy Library at Addis Ababa University also is an United Nations depository and holds official documents from the United Nations.  The library also has a digital collection of 10,000 engineering books and reference materials.

Services and Departments

Here are the various services and departments that the library offers to the students and faculty of Addis Ababa University.

Acquisitions- This department is in charge of organizing, acquiring, selecting, and ordering materials for the library.

Cataloging- This department takes the materials acquired by the acquisitions department and catalogs the material.  Also the materials are sent to each of the branch libraries.

Computer and Information Retrieval- This department is in charge of the digital materials that are used by the library.  This department is in charge of the databases, OPAC, and the emails.

Reference- This department deals with user queries, facilitating access to materials, and library instruction.

The library instruction can be either in person or online.

United Nations Depository- This is the repository for documents created by the United Nations.

Circulation- This is the department that deals with the flow of the library collection.

Ethiopian collection- This department houses materials about Ethiopia in any language.

Braille department- This department helps students with disabilities by helping them use and access adaptive technologies.

Information literacy program- teaches search techniques, strategies, web 2.0 technologies, and information literacy concepts.

Binding- This department is the preservation and maintenance section of the library.  This department maintains the print collection.

Database of African Theses and Dissertations (DATAD)- This is a database for dissertations and theses created by graduate students at Addis Ababa University.

Library of Addis Ababa University


Some issues that have come up in the literature about the John F. Kennedy Library at Addis Ababa University. The computer lab at the library only has 12 computers and has no printers.  The library reserves these computer for use by graduate students only. There is the problem with accessing the Internet.  The Internet can only be accessed for 2 or 3 hours a day because of the inadequate infrastructure.  There is also the problem with faculty and students not knowing how to use online resources and also the existence of them.


Addis Ababa University Library web page

Hesse, E. (2003). Assessment of the readiness of libraries in uganda, kenya, and ethiopia to access online scientific information resources. IAALD Quarterly Bulletin, 48(3), 178-189.

Paiva, M. (2008). A quick glance at public and academic libraries in addis ababa, ethiopia. Against the Grain, Retrieved from

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