Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers about Book Bunk.

Book Bunk Trust is an incorporated Charitable Trust founded in 2017 by Angela Wachuka (publisher)  and Wanjiru Koinange (writer)  for the sole purpose of restoring public libraries in Nairobi. Our work is inspired by a fundamental belief that libraries today can offer much more to its publics, serving as centres for art, learning, history and community. We’re governed by a Board of Trustees, steered by our founders, guided by an Advisory board (coming soon) and championed by a growing network of friends, partners, supporters and learners. 

We started with research. These libraries have always been championed and frequented by active users who have shared desired improvements and other key usage data. Our first action was to speak to general audiences and to then co-design some art and creative showcases in these spaces as part of the overall restoration, which has included a public call-out to host experiences for Nairobi residents as well as a call-out for volunteers to share skill sets. A full restoration, in our view, means updating socialexperientialphysical and digital lives of these libraries. 

Not presently. We have our hands full with the three locations in Nairobi at the moment – a great opportunity to learn and apply this elsewhere, once we’ve earned our stripes and tested our model! 

No. We are working in partnership with custodians of these spaces, and situating our work within the particular histories and cultures of the spaces and their communities. We also host weekly tours highlighting these histories

Yes, our events and sessions are all targeted at the communities living around the respective libraries. We host quarterly community feedback sessions for updates on the progress of things, as well as input from library users and surrounding communities. 

Additionally, we extend work and other opportunities to local residents – as at March 2020, Kaloleni Library’s restoration had employed 28 Kaloleni residents, providing carpentry, roofing, painting works, general cleaning and other labour required.

While we work to improve the membership experience, library users who wish to access the collections can acquire membership from Nairobi City County in person at the McMillan Memorial Library on Banda Street. We will notify the public when a new membership system is in place and in the meantime, sign-up to receive membership notification in future. 

Book Bunk is currently not mandated to rent out any of the library spaces for private events. We are currently working on the terms as well as prerequisite repairs required to make this a seamless experience. We will share a rate card as soon as we have one – sign up here for alerts

We share all call-outs for interns, volunteers and others via our social media pages and on our website. Our last call for volunteers closed on 31st March 2020. 

In order to ensure that we are curating a library catalogue that meets the needs of each library’s users, we generate wish lists needed for each, paying particular attention to their histories, and those of their collections. Please donate books from this list, generated specifically for the library’s children’s collection and leaning heavily on stories by African authors. Should there be particular collections/ titles you think our public libraries ought to have, please write to Syokau. 
Write to Syokau
Our goals for 2020 are to continue to grow and develop our teams; complete the restoration of the Kaloleni Branch (on course), begin work on the Makadara (Eastlands) branch, and to carry out urgent repairs (electricals, sanitation, wifi) to the main branch. Our research team continues to work on sorting through the current collection and as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, we hope to resume programming events at the libraries. 
We’re working on securing the resources and partnerships needed to deliver these goals and are always keen to explore new precious partnerships and connect with more donors. If you’d like to plug into our dreams for Nairobi’s libraries or know someone who might, please write to Sahar below.
Write to Sahar

Sure, thank you for the future coverage. Please visit our news page first for an idea of what’s already been covered, then send an email to hello@bookbunk.org with information about your piece, media entity or platform and with whom you would like to speak. 

We’re creatures of the internet! Links to all our social media platforms are available below.