The Mobile Camel Library was set up by the government-owned Kenya National Library Service to improve literacy in the northeast of Kenya in 1996.
When the Mobile Camel Library reaches a destination, the books are spread out on grass mats beneath acacia trees. People from the area walk from all over, sometimes accompanied by their goats or donkeys, and gather around the books with great excitement to choose their books.
The Mobile Camel Library has no fixed location as this would be of no use to the readers who are nomadic in nature and move from one place to another. Instead, the readers can follow the camels wherever they go. They travel Monday to Thursday, starting early in the morning. One camel can carry 2 boxes with 200 books in each box. A second camel carries a tent and a third camel carries the librarian’s things.
The library has 9 camels that work in 3 separate groups and serves 3,500 registered members. The library has its headquarters in Garissa and Wajir. The group travels regularly to 12 different sites which are within an 11 KM radius.
Books are unaffordable to most people in Kenya in the areas where the library operates. They have very little money except for what they need for necessities, like food and shelter. The Mobile Camel Library provides specialist storybooks and books that are useful to their members. They have books that match the syllabus of their current education system.
The Mobile Camel Library has books for young children, secondary school children and adults. Children can borrow 2 books at one time. They have 14 days until the mobile returns to the same centre again. Then they can renew their books or return and get new ones. Have you ever come across the Mobile Camel Library? Do let us know by leaving your comment below.