Why we need your help
Book Bunk is restoring some of Nairobi’s most iconic public libraries into sites of heritage, public art, collective memory, knowledge production, shared experiences, cultural leadership and information exchange. Our overall objective is to restore these public libraries into inclusive and usable spaces in Nairobi and Kenya’s creative economy ecology.
Founded in 2017, we are inspired by a core belief that our public spaces have the potential to be steered into more than just repositories. Our overall restoration work is governed by a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Nairobi City County government (March 2018) granting us the mandate to drive all the collective efforts required for the restoration of McMillan Memorial Library branches (Banda street, Kaloleni and Makadara). Our responsibilities include sourcing and management of fiscal and other support; steering and management of architectural restoration and management of the three public library spaces including design and delivery of programming. Our work is centred around three pillars;
Research and Inventory: We began our inventory process in April 2019 and have since catalogued all 137,705 items at the three libraries. We are now actively pursuing
partnerships for the digitisation of some of the most fragile material, beginning with newspapers and photographs dating as far back as 1880. Our research data consistently indicates that the average user is under 35 and immediate desired improvements include WiFi installation and skills training workshops. We are also sourcing new titles for children with a focus on material by African authors.
Public programming: In 2019, we hosted 21 public events in partnership with local artists, writers and creative groups selected from a public call-out. This year, with government-mandated closure of libraries, we are placing more emphasis on digital programming, spanning from skills training workshops to programmes centred on artistic, cultural and creative outputs.
Architecture: Phase 1 of the Kaloleni branch was completed in May 2020 with phase 2 currently underway. We have just commenced restoration of the Eastlands branch (Makadara) this month, and in 2021, will begin work on the main branch on Banda Street; the oldest of the three branches, opened in 1931.
raised so far
Nov 11, 2020
Total raised so far
Total plus Gift Aid £187.50
Raised offline £0.00