National Library and Information Services - History/Goals/Achievements


 The National Library and Information Services was established in 1999. However, libraries began in The Bahamas since the early 19th century. The call for libraries came as early as 1804, as populations increased following the Loyalists influx of the 18th century. The first libraries in existence today were started over one hundred fifty (150) years. The Nassau Public Library was established in 1837 and its Act was passed in 1847(See the the link Nassau Public Library). On March 10th 2009, the new National Library and Information Services  Authority Act was passed merging the older board operated libraries in New Providence and those on the Family Islands into one National Library Services System.

National Library and Information Services has the task of uniting over 50 branches libraries in New Providence and the Family Islands into one modern, automated system, offering quality, standardised services in all islands. 


  • To increase outreach programmes for users of various ages and background;
  • To promote educational programmes in local communities;
  • To provide up-to-date information by utilizing current technology; and
  • To make information easily accessible to all persons living in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Establishment of eleven (11) branch libraries in New Providence
Two (2) of the new libraries offer extended evening hours and they are open on Saturday

  • Career Path for library personnel
  • Beginning of automation in public libraries
  • Increased training of library personnel
  • Internet service for users
      •  (i)To increase services at the new National Library and Information Services building(Headquarters for Libraries) , College Avenue, Nassau, Bahamas;
      • (ii) To produce education Community Library radio programmes via Bahamas Library Service Infolight 90. 1FM radio station;
      • (iii) To implement standards and procedures by which libraries operate to provide effective and efficient services for all;
      • (iv) To complete a union catalogue of Bahamian public libraries holdings and national bibliography and indexes;
      • (v) To foster writing of Bahamian Literature by authors with an interest in the oral tradition in order to preserve our culture;
      • (vi) To increase library services through the NLIS Central Administration, Bahamas Library Service Info-Ref Centre, branch libraries and reading centres;
      • (vii)To provide effective supervision of Branch Libraries;
      • (viii) To provide training in library and information competencies for staff;
      • (ix) To provide increase training in library and information competencies for library cadets and the Information Literacy Club membership;
      • (x) To provide quality resources and services for communities;
      • (xi) To provide Story Hour and Outreach programmes for all in the community through procurement