Thirty community libraries in marginalized areas will benefit from a donation of 18,000 books to help boost literacy levels.
Through the initiative dubbed Adopt-A-Library, the organizers of Moto Books and Arts Festivals are calling on authors, publishers, book sellers and the general public to participate by donating books.
In a press release, today, ahead of a book drive to be held next month, the Moto Books and Arts Festival Director, Mercy Kibira, says the book donations were part of the activities that would happen during a four-day book and arts festivals to be hosted at the Village Market to mark the World Books and Copyright Day.
“This initiative will see several publishing houses and authors adopt any of the 30 libraries across the country by donating their titles to the community-based resource and information centres,” she said.
Ms Kibira added that they have already secured 9,000 out of the targeted 18,000 from Maktaba, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bridge the literacy gap between school children, the youth and adults from the marginalized communities, saying for every library adopted, they would be donating 300 books.
She appealed to those willing to participate, saying they could drop the books at the Village Market, where the festival would be held or sent via parcel delivery services.
The inaugural MOTO Books and Arts festival will be held from 21st to 24th April to re-ignite interest in books’ reading and enhance the impact of arts and literature in the country.
The festivals will bring together local and international authors, publishers, illustrators, book sellers, artists and brands to showcase their work and share emerging literature trends.
According to the Ms Kibira, the festival will be graced by world acclaimed Ghanaian writer and blogger, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, who has authored best-selling book, ‘The Sex Lives of African Women’.
“Nana who is the keynote speaker at the festival will be participating in the Adopt-A-Library initiative and two libraries in Nairobi’s slums of Mathare and Kibera, which have already been identified for her,” she said.
“The Moto Books and Arts Festival is an initiative that will help to connect like-minded people who are enthusiastic about books and the creative scene, and who also appreciate the hidden gems in the world of art and theatre,” says Ms Kibira.
Half Priced Books Limited and Village Market are the anchor sponsors of the event and the celebrations, will include an exhibition that will provide top publishing brands, authors and book dealers the opportunity to showcase outstanding books, art and culture.
The exhibitors will be drawn from publishing houses, bookshops, licensing and intellectual rights agencies, learning institutions, illustrators, editors, authors, online content creators and media houses.
The World Book and Copyright Day was initiated by UNESCO on 23rd April 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading and is marked in more than 100 countries around the globe with the aim of encouraging children and young people to read for pleasure through its work with authors, illustrators, publishers, bookshops and libraries.
By Wangari Ndirangu