Kenya’s camel bookmobile needs donations

When I first mentioned the camel library service a few years back, I had no idea how many people rely on it.

Since then, author Masha Hamilton has accompanied the camels on trips through Kenya’s isolated Northeastern Province, “near the unstable border with Somalia,” during a drought, and returned with photos and a video showing the crowds of people who gather every time the “bookmobile” visits.

“[T]he bush is hard on books,” she writes, “and the traveling library needs more.”

[L]ibrarians in the Northeast Province who travel with the camel bookmobile told me children’s storybooks are most popular, general fiction is also high on the list, and much interest is shown in nonfiction books covering topics ranging from astronomy to geography to history. The librarians also said patrons especially love it when a book is inscribed with a note from the sender. It helps them feel connected to places only barely imagined.

You know that box of old textbooks and novels you keep meaning to drop off at the Salvation Army? Well, donation instructions are here.


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