Our Story

Mission & Vision

Book Bunk is a social impact firm founded in October 2017 by Wanjiru Koinange and Angela Wachuka. We are working to restore some of Nairobi’s iconic public libraries; The McMillan Memorial Library on Banda Street and two of its branches in Eastlands (Kaloleni Library and Eastlands Library in Makadara). We imagine that public libraries can be steered to become more than just repositories, acting as sites of knowledge production, shared experiences, cultural leadership and information exchange. We see them as sites of heritage, public art, memory and as critical spaces in Nairobi and Kenya’s creative economy ecology.

 

In March 2018, Book Bunk formalised a milestone partnership with the Nairobi City County government. This partnership grants the Trust the mandate to drive restoration efforts and resource mobilisation for these libraries. Book Bunk’s responsibilities include sourcing and management of fiscal and other support; steering and management of architectural restoration and management of these public library spaces including design and delivery of programming.

Our approach to restoration

Experiential

We’re working to transform what people do at the library. We believe that these spaces can continue to nurture academic and literary pursuits, while also providing a home for diverse and accessible programmes and events that are free from political or religious agenda and that celebrate art, well being and learning.

Architectural

Coordinate the physical renovation of these spaces while ensuring their historical integrity is maintained and showcased. We’re also committed to ensuring the communities living around these spaces are the primary beneficiaries of each of these projects.

Social

We want to build ‘Palaces for The People’; public, inclusive and safe spaces where Nairobi’s residents can access whatever they need be it legal advise, tax education, or a neutral space to commune and network. This, in a bid to explore what public space really means in this city.

Digital

We’re working to introduce technology into every aspect of these libraries: access control, collections management, online catalogues as well as digital skills training for librarians and library users. We want the digital lives of these libraries to match that of the digital possibilities of Nairobi.

Core partners