My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World
When we think of a library, we picture a building on a street or perhaps a room in a school. But some libraries aren't kept behind four walls. Some move from place to place in the most remarkable ways: by bus, by boat, by elephant, by donkey, by train, even by wheelbarrow. These unusual mobile libraries are often the only way that books can be brought to people in remote areas, such as the mountains of Thailand, the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, or rural areas of Zimbabwe. In places such as these, the arrival of the libraries is a major and much anticipated event. But the books would never reach the people without the hard work of dedicated librarians and volunteers.
Margriet Ruurs, writer and educator, contacted librarians around the world and asked them to share stories about their libraries. In many cases, volunteers and librarians took camera in hand to photograph their mobile libraries and to record the happy faces of children receiving books. The result is this inspiring photo essay, which is a celebration of books, readers, and librarians. Why would librarians go to the trouble of packing books on the backs of elephants or driving miles to deliver books by bus? Because, as one librarian in Azerbaijan says, "the mobile library is as important as air or water."
A lively, unusual, and enthusiastically recommended title
By Midwest Book Review - October 4, 2005
How are books brought to children around the world? We're used to a library consisting of a building - but some move from place to place by bus, boat, and even animal or wheelbarrow. Mobile libraries are often the only ways books come to remote world locations - and My Librarian Is A Camel comes from libraries around the world. Margriet Rurrs asked librarians to share stories about their libraries: the result often was not only a verbal description and stories, but color photos: all of which are included in this lively, unusual, and enthusiastically recommended title.
Better than Santa Claus !!
By mcHaiku "nmi" - June 22, 2006
What could be a more precious gift than learning to read? It's time for Santa to take second place! Do children today really lack interest in our 'wider world'? Writers for newspapers & magazines frequently write about *GEOGRAPHICALLY-CHALLENGED* young people. Author Margriet Ruurs' book tells children of the many ways in which libraries are brought to the doorsteps of readers in thirteen far flung countries in this world. It isn't dry-as-dust information -- it is exciting & colorful; mind-boggling in some instances.
Our Bloomington (IN) daily paper does print a map frequently with squibs of news from about ten 'hot spots' on this Earth. Everyone could gain by studying such a map & adopting a regular habit of "connecting the dots" between countries and happenings, and between happenings and long-term effects on individual lives, and our Universe.
In Australia huge trailer-trucks are solar-powered & very high-tech, powering computers and air conditioning,... read more
Have books, will travel
By Judy K. Polhemus "Book Collector" - December 1, 2007
"Neither rain nor snow, nor sleet nor dark of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." The postman's creed, you say? Yes, but now it applies to a new group of people: mobile librarians.
Margriet Ruurs, writer and educator, read a newspaper article describing the mobile library in the desert areas of Kenya. She began to wonder if children in other remote areas receive books. Thus began the scrapbook of mobile libraries from all over the world. After Ruur made the contact, librarians shared stories and photographs of their unique mode of book delivery. Ruur includes a total of thirteen mobile libraries. Each shows a two-page spread containing a map insert of the country's location, a box about the area, and the story and photographs of each mobile library in action.
Because there are thousands of islands in Finland's geography, the library goes to the children by boat. In the northern Lapland region of the Artic, a book... read more