Caravan of the Books Kenya’s Mobile Camel Library

A film by Herbert Ostwald, Documentary (52 min.)
ZDF/Arte, 2010  

A library on four legs – the worlds only existing Camel Library is located in Northern Kenya. As they pass antelopes and giraffes, the heavily loaded caravan of camels are routinely carrying books through the rough savannah. In the villages with their houses of mud and dung these tenacious desert ships are wishfully awaited by the people of the nomadic Muslim tribes. Under the shade of acacia trees, especially the children are excitedly turning pages of school books, novels and comics. However, 400 kilometers outside of the capital city of Nairobi the local librarians are still struggling with illiteracy, old traditions, insufficient funds, blistering sun and – stubborn camels… This is the story about the Camel Library, about inquisitive children, about the origins of a book and about a camel and an exceptional librarian in the heart of Africa within the UNESCO-world decade of alphabetization.

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