My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World

by Margriet Ruurs

Hardcover, 2005



Local notes

027.4 Ruu





Boyds Mills Press (2005), Hardcover, 32 pages


Describes unusual mobile libraries found around the world.

Physical description

32 p.; 10.2 x 9.1 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member michcall
This is a great book and not just because it's about libraries. It shows how creative people are in getting books to remote parts of the world. It also brings the concept of librarianship down to its roots - connecting people with information.
LibraryThing member thornton37814
This is the story of how books are delivered to remote villages around the world. The problem with the book lies in the audience for the book. Many of the vocabulary words in the text are too advanced for younger readers, and the text is too academic to interest most younger readers. The book is
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illustrated by photographs. I would have liked to have seen a book aimed at younger readers that relied on an illustrator and vocabulary terms that are at their level. Middle schoolers would probably be put off by the size and format of the book which looks like a children's picture book, but they are probably the ones who would have to be the audience as the book was written.
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LibraryThing member christiq
This is a photo book that discusses how library books are delivered to libraries around the world. This includes by bus, boat, elephant, donkey, train, even by wheelbarrow of places around the world. I think this book is excellent for wondering minds and to show an appreciation and celebration of
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librarians and readers.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Margriet Ruurs, whose subsequent title, My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World, is an exploration of the diverse educational venues to be found around the globe, focuses here on the traveling libraries of the world, and the result is a picture-book that is both
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educational and inspirational. From the elephant-carried tomes that travel to the people of remote northern Thailand, to the solar-powered truck libraries of rural Australia; from the titular camel-led libraries of Kenya, to the mail-delivered library books of Canada's arctic region, the systems discussed in My Librarian Is a Camel are diverse, but their goal is the same: to put books in the hands of young readers, no matter the logistical difficulties involved!

And boy, do those difficulties put my own library "issues" into perspective! I admit it: when it comes to books, I'm extremely fortunate. One might almost say... spoiled. I belong to one of the country's best public library systems, with the right to borrow titles from any of the (well-endowed) libraries in my county, and the ability to request titles from further afield. I've had rare books come to me from Bangor (Maine), Boulder (Colorado), and, in the case of a book I'm reading right now, Bemidji (Minnesota). I've even had a book come to me from the vaunted Library of Congress! (I admit it, that was a thrill!) I have also, over the years, worked in a college library, and in five bookstores (used and new), and have amassed a pretty incredible collection of my own. Except in fairly rare cases, I can probably put my hands on any book I want...

Not so with so many of the world's children! It's a sobering thought that I probably own more books (children's books, mind) than some of the young readers' in Ruurs' book will see in their entire lives! Obviously, despite my occasional griping, I'm very, very rich. And so are many of my fellow Americans, whether they realize it or not. It's really good to be reminded of the fact that, for most people, books are an incredible luxury, something (like education) to be treasured. Something so important and valuable that people are willing to go to great lengths to provide them, to haul them up mountains and through forests, to carry them down rivers, and across long stretches of land. Book are treasure. It seems incredible that I, with a life devoted to and surrounded by books, might occasionally forget that... but fortunately Margriet Ruurs is there to remind me (and young readers), with this highly recommended little book!
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LibraryThing member dukefan86
This is an interesting book about how books are delivered to children (and adults too) in different places throughout the world. In addition to the camel mentioned in the title, other modes of transportation include boats, humans, wheelbarrow, horse, solar-powered truck, and donkey-drawn truck.
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Very informative!
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LibraryThing member Msnem
This book teaches its readers how books are brought to children in thirteen different countries. Kids in remote parts of town cannot wait for new books to be delivered. In Australia, those books are sometimes brought in mobile libraries. In Canada, kids order their books through the mail. England
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has a wheelbarrow right on the beach. This book tells of many more unusual modes of transport, including delivery by elephant! Side bars with small maps and facts about each country accompany each section.

The illustrations in this book are full-color photographs sent to the author from librarians all over the world. There is a world map in the introduction that highlights the countries that are discussed in the book.

From Australia to Zimbabwe, books are brought to children in very unique and creative ways. As one librarian in Azerbaijan explained, they are “as important as air or water.”
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½ (40 ratings; 3.9)
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