Camel library

The camel library service is an innovative initiative of knls that has won accolades for its efforts in promoting literacy and reading culture in arid and far flung regions of North Eastern Kenya. In this innovative initiative, camels carry books in boxes specifically made for the project and take them to children in far-flung schools. Also included in the boxes are tents and mats for children to use in the field.  This initiative has been successful in providing relevant books since inception and is an alternative to the motorised mobile library service available in other parts of the country.

The story of how knls uses the ‘ships of the desert’ to carry books to rural settlements and nomadic schools in the arid area was featured as a documentary that has won an award in Germany and gained so much attention, with groups donating books for distribution in the North eastern region.


The use of camels as a transport means to carry books to the nomadic communities started in 1985 and has gained a lot of interest in the community.  The mobile camel library is a common feature at semi-permanent homesteads and the s[arse grazing lands. knls currently has public libraries in Masalani, Garissa, Mbalambala, Habaswein, Tarbaj, Wajir, Griftu, Moyale, Bute and Mandera making it the biggest number of KNLs libraries in one region.