We are delighted to introduce you to Book Bunk, the final in our series showcasing our newly Adopted Charities. Book Bunk are committed to restoring and reviving some of Kenya’s most iconic libraries. Book Bunk joined the Prospero World family in September 2020 after wowing us with their conviction that public libraries can become vibrant cultural hubs that are truly reflective of the community. 
Book Bunk is a registered Kenyan Charity established in 2017 in order to restore some of Nairobi’s most iconic public libraries so that they become sites of heritage, public art, collective memory, knowledge production, shared experiences, cultural leadership and information exchange. Book Bunk’s overall objective is to restore these public libraries and transform them into inclusive and usable spaces in Nairobi, thereby strengthening Kenya’s creative economy ecology. 
Book Bunk are working in partnership with the Nairobi City County government to direct the restoration of McMillan Memorial Library branches in Banda Street, Kaloleni and Makadara. They are responsible for sourcing and financial management, steering and management of architectural restoration and management of the three public library spaces including design and delivery of programming. 

In short, Book Bunk seek to reclaim public libraries for inclusive use by Nairobi’s residents and visitors, provide access to libraries on and offline collections, curate programmes and workshops, and incubate and fortify networks and partnerships within the creative sector. They will achieve this by focusing their work on three key areas. 

  • Research and Inventory: Book Bunk began their inventory process in April 2019 and have since catalogued137,705 items at the three libraries. They are now actively pursuing partnerships for the digitisation of some of the most fragile items beginning with newspapers and photographs dating as far back as 1880. Their research suggests that the average user is under 35 who strongly wish for Wi-Fi and skills training workshops to be offered in the libraries. Book Bunk are also sourcing new titles for children with a focus on material by African authors. 

  • Public programming: In 2019, Book Bunk hosted 21 public events in partnership with local artists, writers and creative groups. This year, because of the pandemic, libraries have been closed. Book Bunk have responded by offering a digital programme of offerings that includes skills training workshops as well as artistic, cultural and creative offerings. 

  • Architecture: Phase 1 of the restorations at the Kaloleni branch were completed in May 2020 and phase 2 is currently underway. Book Bunk also began restoration work at the Eastlands branch (Makadara) in the Summer of 2020, and work is scheduled to begin in 2021, on the main branch on Banda Street, the oldest of the three branches, which opened in 1931. 


Their work has a strong focus on the public and seeks to benefit approx 150,000 individuals each year. This will include the following groups. 

  • Children (3-12yrs): Arts-based programming; storytelling sessions, arts and crafts activities, film screenings, school holiday music camps, homework clubs 

  • Young Adults and Youth (13-35yrs): Activities during extended library hours, film screenings, arts-based programming, skills training workshops 

  • Women (18-65yrs): skills training workshops and programming through partnerships with organisations specialising in cultural entrepreneurship, microfinance, financial iteracy, health and digital access 

  • Senior Citizens (65-85yrs): cultural programming and cross-generational learning and exchange 

  • Creative Community: access to library, archives, peer-to-peer learning, programme co-design/delivery, event space 


Book Bunk’s founder’s Wanjiru Koinange and Angela Wachuka, tell us more.