The Nakuru National Library has introduced an ingenious book swapping program to provide an inexpensive way for people to exchange books, to be able to read different books without having to pay for it.
The Chief Librarian, Mrs. Purity Mutuku said the swapping of books was an inventive way of encouraging and improving the reading culture in the country, and it enhances the library as a community resource centre. She was speaking on Wednesday at a press conference in her office.
She said many people have books which they have already read but were occupying unnecessary space in their homes adding Book swapping or exchange program allows for de-cluttering and introducing new books in home libraries.
Mrs. Mutuku said the book exchange relies on users leaving and taking books from the willing giver and in most cases it ends up creating friendship from total strangers, who they would never have met without a book swapping library program.
She said the practice was common in western countries where travelers can leave a book they have finished reading and pick another for free. And the Nakuru library wants to replicate that noting that since tourists who enjoy reading get thrilled to leave and pick a new book from various countries as a memento.
The Chief Librarian added that a number of Kenyans actually enjoy reading but the cost of buying new books was prohibitive and once they learn about book swapping they were willing to exchange their old books with new ones.
“The first time we introduced book swapping we were-overwhelmed because many people arrived with cartons of books, which some donated to the library, and they made new friends,’’ she stated.
Also, the chief librarian said through the book swapping program they have initiated a forty book reading per year for all their members so as to psyche and increase awareness of continued reading for all members of society.
By Veronica Bosibori