The Camel Mobile Library Service in North East Kenya must be one of the most unusual libraries in the world. Each year, the camels bring more than 7,000 books to nomads in Kenya's impoverished North East Province, often because camels are the only means of crossing the inhospitable terrain. Many of the books are supplied by Book Aid International.
Each morning three camels - one carrying two boxes of books, one loaded with a tent and one spare - set off to villages and pastoralist communities. The North East is a predominantly Muslim province, where few adults ever visit a permanent library. The illiteracy level is 85.3 per cent compared to the national figure of 31 per cent. Many of the adults are farmers forced into a nomadic existence by drought or famine. They must follow where their camels and goats go in search of pasture and water. This often means their children have to abandon school.
Rukia, aged 14, is an avid camel-library reader. 'I want to be a doctor when I leave school,' she says. 'My parents died from tuberculosis when I was six. I hope they would be proud of me.'
Here's a kind of library service not often used... I love it!