Camel Book Drive

Donate To Kenya’s Mobile Library

Helping Bring Books Where They’ve Never Been Before


Camel library update, Dec. 6, 2008

Thanks to all who have donated books or money as we enter the holiday season.  We have successfully stocked the camel bookmobile! Both the Garissa and Wajir branches have plenty of books, so additional contributions are going directly to nomadic schools in the region. Please see the email from Mr. Farah below.

Dear Masha,

The book drive was so successful that Mrs Warfa received over 7,000 books. She  is now experiencing space problems and is requesting that we move the book drive to another needy institution. There are many needy nomadic schools that are around Garissa which I believe would appreciate book donations. Could we therefore use their umbrella body, which is: Nomadic Schools, P.O. Box 1204 –70100, Garissa. Kenya.


Meanwhile, Masha, I wish you and your family all the best and remember now you have a leader who hails from Kogelo, and we hope he will market and remember Kenya.


Thank you, Mr. Farah 

Mr. Farah also hopes to have news in January regarding his efforts to collect traditional stories and bind them into books that will travel with the camel library.

MANY THANKS for all your efforts.


Also, please see the email below from one donor.

Masha – I sent about 8-10 books and about 12 or so nice magazines this afternoon.  I will send some more later in the month.  I do want to say that I sent at least 4 very old books, but they are lovely children’s stories, some by Louisa Mae Alcott.  I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I did growing up and even now.

I was sending some magazines from the church college I attended, but I read the list of what not to send before I did, so I took them back out.  Thanks for the help in figuring out what to send.  It is easier to send used books since the postage is so high for me.  I am 71 years old and retired.  But I still want to help all I can.  Thank you again for giving us a place to share with those who really need it.  My husband always said that when you can give someone else something, you are not poor.

Georgia Wessling, Shelbina, MO


The camel book drive began as an efforts by authors in February 2007 and has broadened to include generous booklovers of all stripes, including businesses, libraries, publishers, book groups and individual readers.

November 21, 2007 - Posted by | Authors


  1. Masha, is it better for them to receive hard cover or soft cover? I imagine hard would be more durable but heavier for the camels!

    Comment by Kristin Ohlson | February 14, 2007 | Reply

  2. They really carry a mixture with each run — lots and lots of soft covers, but some hard cover books as well.

    Comment by mashhamilton | February 14, 2007 | Reply

  3. Masha, this moves me so much. I didn’t want until next week to wait to post about this on my blog. I’ve posted it here today: This is the blog I write for the Northwest Suburban Library System, a system of just under 500 suburban Chicago libraries. I have it queued up to post at Bluestalking Reader tomorrow, and I’ll see where else I can get this published as well.

    To all the authors, you’re doing such a wonderful thing. You are to be commended for following your hearts.

    I’ll see about getting together books to send. If no one else is willing to join me I’ll just do it myself. The thought of lighting up those beautiful faces inspires me.

    All best,

    Lisa Guidarini

    Comment by Lisa Guidarini | February 17, 2007 | Reply

  4. Dear Masha,

    I am so inspired! I’ve been emailing my friends for the last month and have gathered boxes of books to send! I’m going to send 1 box per week (or so) for as long as friends and family are willing to donate.

    Thank you all for making this project visible enough to attract my attention.

    Kind regards,

    Comment by Sarah B. | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  5. Dear Masha,

    This is the NEATEST idea! I’m so glad you asked me to become involved. This brings back memories of when I was a poor child in South Alabama — my parents were without the resources to purchase books for their avid book lover daughter — and I would be so impatient standing on one foot and then the other waiting in the hot summer sun for the book mobile to come back so I might enter that little piece of heaven (for me) and sort through the books and select a few… My heart would be pounding as I made my selections and I would gather those books so carefully and then burst from the book mobile and dash to the swing under the old Oak tree and devour those books! What a wonderful thing that book mobile was for the child, Jean Parks… I have tears in my eyes just thinking of it, and now imagining book lovers gathering around the CAMEL BOOK MOBILE to make their selections. You’ve done a wonderful thing with this project. I’m so happy to be a very small part of it. GOOD LUCK to you and may God bless this project! Jean Sasson

    Comment by Jean Sasson | July 24, 2007 | Reply

  6. Masha-I’m with Sophia’s circle from Cincinnati. Next week I’ll travel to Kenya with Sue Keefe, who will carry books from our club. I just ordered several from Amazon to add to our donation. God bless you for doing this.
    Carol Kelly

    Comment by Carol Kelly | August 28, 2007 | Reply

  7. Working full time in a job that requires a lot of travel affords very little time to volunteer on a consistant basis. In fact, I rarely make the meetings of a book club a friend and I started 5 years ago. We often talk about how we could make a difference – this project is it! Actually, I would like to start a fund to buy a camel. Can you please tell me how to do that?

    I can relate to Jean (above) for I too as a child had a bookmobile visit my area in rural Washington State. It was the highlight of the month.

    Thank you for a way to give to children something I have loved my whole life.

    Comment by Janis Parry | February 10, 2008 | Reply

  8. Wow! I am very honored to donate via Amazon. Knowledge is power. Blessings on the Camels, the library people, and the patrons of this unique library.

    Comment by Marianne G Petrino-Schaad | February 15, 2008 | Reply

  9. kenya have much troubles but its great to found one care about the others troubles !
    thanks Masha

    Comment by | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  10. Every week The National Writing for Children Center receives review copies of books for our online radio show, Book Bites for Kids (live on

    We’re happy to start donating these books to the Camel Library. Look for our first box of books to arrive soon!

    Suzanne Lieurance
    Founder, Director,
    The National Writing for Children Center

    Comment by Suzanne Lieurance | March 28, 2008 | Reply

  11. […] to mind another, about a better known (and hence perhaps better funded) library effort in Kenya. The Camel Library uses, you guessed it, camels to take books to people in remote parts of […]

    Pingback by Of Donkeys, Camels and unexpected inspirations… « FriendsOfBooks Blog | December 3, 2008 | Reply

  12. Hit the Amazon wish list and sent off some books. May take awhile to get there apparently. Thanks for organizing this! I think it’s very cool (though one could wish for every child to have access to a library building).

    Comment by Sarah Laurenson | December 8, 2008 | Reply

  13. Do you accept English language books? Do most children learn the English language?

    Comment by Nicole Boles | January 2, 2009 | Reply

  14. That is so exciting to know that the bookmobile is fully stocked & now the generosity of others is spilling over to other nomadic libraries!

    Comment by Latharia | March 6, 2009 | Reply

  15. Ololo! I like what is written here!!

    Comment by A Gambler | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  16. To whom it may concern,

    I am a leadership student at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California. Our school would like to do a book drive to help your cause. Please let us know what we can do to make a difference.

    Morgan Dorsey

    Comment by Morgan Dorsey | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  17. I am an English teacher from Taichung City, Taiwan. My students and I are learning of the camel library in class and feel quite respectful for people who initiated this wonderful idea. Hope everything goes well with you. I hope you will find more encouragements sent by my students. Good luck there!

    Comment by Bruce Win from Taiwan | April 13, 2009 | Reply

  18. I’m come from Taiman,and I’m a student.This library makes me feel very special, although I do not know how many, but still feel pretty good.

    Comment by Sandra | April 22, 2009 | Reply

  19. it is great.

    Comment by wansam dai | April 22, 2009 | Reply

  20. I am a student from Taichung City ,Taiwan.My teather and i are learning of the camel library in class. I hope that Taiwan have camel library.

    Comment by wansam dai from Taiwan | April 22, 2009 | Reply

  21. I’m a university student from Kaohsiung country, Taiwan. When saw this page, everyone had to help these children to study hard. If I have any English books, I would also like to donate. It’s a pity that here in more Chinese books. If children are willing to read Chinese books, I would be happy to donate. Have a nice day.

    Comment by Chia-Hua Liu | April 22, 2009 | Reply

  22. I an a student from Taichung Cuty.There is less Books
    wall every few days use it. read can to effort and Bruce.
    may be if i an tree .book is My water for the works of God

    Comment by ue sn lin | April 22, 2009 | Reply

  23. Greetings!
    Wow!! The Camel library is an eye opener (^_^)
    I am a student of Bruce Winfrom Taichung City, Taiwan.
    Thanks Masha, you’ve done a great job, your project inspired me!
    I truly hope everything goes well with you and your cute camels.
    If you need some help, please tell us!

    Comment by Aya Lien | April 24, 2009 | Reply

  24. I’m a student from Taichung City,Taiwan.The camel library lets me feel that is very special and interesting.

    Comment by Xing lu Chen | April 24, 2009 | Reply

  25. I’m a university student from Taichung City,Taiwan.
    When I hear this Camel library I was very surprised.
    The book for children is very important.
    I hope Camel library can do ever.

    Comment by Ethel Lu | April 26, 2009 | Reply

  26. I have heard this news from my English teacher . I admin your efforts to donat books to children woh need them . I wish one day I can help people who are in need like you .

    Comment by sylvia | April 26, 2009 | Reply

  27. I am a student from Taichung city,Taiwan.
    The Camel library is very specially a space.
    The blessing is every day joyful.

    Comment by yun ju Chen | April 26, 2009 | Reply

  28. I am a university student from Taichung City,Taiwan.
    When I hear this Camel library I was very surprised.
    The Camel library unusual to the local person.
    I hoped that can continue.

    Comment by ZENG, YAO-LIN | April 27, 2009 | Reply

  29. I am a college student from Taiwan. Now I am learning english as second language. My teacher told us about camel library which touch my heart deeply. As libraries in my country are every where but some students never even visit it. In contrast,the camel library is so popular in each village,Kenya. Where every childern are looling for the camle’s comeing.All in all I think I sould spend more times on reading books and I am also in favour of your contribution.

    Comment by snow | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  30. I am a student from Taichung City, Taiwan. At first time, I heard the information of the camel library, I feel it is very interesting. I hope the camel library can continue forever.

    Comment by Wu Shen Dai | May 2, 2009 | Reply

  31. I’m a student from Taichung city, Taiwan. After the midterm, our school’s English class has an article on the camel library. I was very surprised! And we also don’t know how fortunate, don’t know how to cherish, no feedback of others. Feel that they really think about the well-being. Hope that the future one day, I can help disadvantaged groups in Taiwan.

    Comment by Florence Chen | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  32. Hey! I’m a student from Taichung City, Taiwan.
    After I read it, I guess that reading books affords us great pleasure.
    I vow that I would write a book in English for children someday.

    Comment by Florence Chen | May 7, 2009 | Reply

  33. hi i was wondering if this bookdrive is still going on?
    please email me please!

    Comment by esther | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  34. Dear Masha,
    Thank you all for making this project visible enough to attract my attention.

    Comment by keval | November 29, 2009 | Reply

  35. Our club just mailed 20 books to the Nomadic Schools address. We sent another 20 books last year to the Camel Bookmobile.

    Comment by GFWC Taunton and Raynham Juniors | December 29, 2009 | Reply

  36. As a school we are keen to dedicate this year’s money raised during Charity Week to the Camel Book Drive project. How best can we do this?

    Jo Slough.

    Comment by Jo Slough | January 19, 2010 | Reply

  37. Interesting articles, the first i have heard of the camel libary

    Comment by moooks | April 23, 2010 | Reply

  38. Masha,

    Hello from Mozambique. I was interested by this comment:

    “Mr. Farah also hopes to have news in January regarding his efforts to collect traditional stories and bind them into books that will travel with the camel library.”

    I’m working on a Southern Africa initiative that seeks to publish indigenous literature and I’d like to hear if this ever happened.

    Comment by David Ker | July 3, 2010 | Reply

  39. Great job guys. Really, keep it up.

    Comment by Guy@GlobovilleCollegeKenya | July 15, 2010 | Reply

  40. Thanks for Your useful information.!! Its just amazing!!

    Comment by Book Store | October 13, 2010 | Reply

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