A Palace for The People
In this episode, we explore the history of McMillan Memorial Library, including some background on Lucy and Northrup McMillan, who it’s named after. Wanjiru and Wachuka walk us through the library as they share the story of Book Bunk’s inception of their dreams for this library.
Ways to listen
Wachuka and Wanjiru introduce us to Jacob Ananda, Head Librarian of McMillan Memorial Library and Orpah Agunda, an Inventory intern at Book Bunk and long-term resident of Kaloleni. Both featured guests share how growing up in Makadara and Kaloleni, the libraries shaped them into who they are today by instilling in them a love for books and inclusive public spaces.
The People Need Public Space
In this episode, we listen to Dr. Wangui Kimari and Dr. Alfred Omenya converse with Wanjiru and Wachuka about the colonial history of Nairobi’s urban planning and how these segregated divisions endure in present-day Nairobi. Nairobi was not made for us. Wanjiru explores how we can change this by highlighting the importance of public space in fostering creativity in Nairobi’s citizens.
Books! Books! Books!
How to actually build a library! In this episode, Wachuka begins by telling us about the process of creating the first-ever digital catalogue of McMillan Memorial Library. It took 23 people, 8,332 hours and loads of stickers! She also speaks with Dr. Henry Chakava, a publisher with the African Writers Series from Heinemann in the 1970s. Both of them converse on Nairobi and East Africa’s rich literary scene. Many of these authors’ books from the region will find a home in McMillan Library and its branches.
A Palace Needs a Roof
In this episode Wanjiru and Wachuka go deep into the history of architecture and the British empire. We ask, who designed the McMillan Memorial Library building? And how do we make sure we keep it standing?
Wanjiru speaks to Dr. Sarah Longair – an expert in the architecture of the British Empire- to try and find out more about the design, and we speak to architect Balmoi Abe, about the future of the building.
Episode 6 – A Palace full of Memories (KAR)
In this episode, we explore a significant element of Kenya’s history; the King’s African Rifles. How is this multi-battalion British imperial regiment connected to the McMillan Memorial Library?
Episode 7 – Bunk Books