Judith’s Reading Room’s 101th Library – Camel Named ‘Bright’ Delivers Books

NEWS RELEASE  
CONTACT:  Cathy Leiber
484-661-6151
 
Camel Named ‘Bright’ Delivers Books to Children in Hard to Reach Villages
 
October 29, 2020 — Today, Judith’s Reading Room announces its 101st library — the first-ever Judith’s Reading Room mobile library to utilize a camel to deliver books to children.  The camel driver, Murad, and his camel named ‘Bright,’  carried 500  children’s books to the nearly impossible to reach community of Kech Balochistan in southwest Pakistan.
 
The Camel Library for Kech Balochistan was awarded a 2020 Judith’s Reading Room ‘Freedom Through Literacy’ Board Option Prize.  The annual ‘Freedom Through Literacy Award’ honors champions of literacy from all disciplines from around the world.  To date, 36 individuals have been awarded prizes totaling $38,500.
 
In partnership with Ms. Basarat Kazim, President of Alif Laila Book Bus Society, who is credited with the creative and innovative camel library, Murad and Bright will visit three communities on a rotating basis delivering picture books, bi-lingual English & Urdu books, and English language very easy readers.
 
The Camel Library will circulate books via a monitoring system supervised by local volunteers.  Their goal is to develop a reading culture in these isolated communities.  Photos and videos of ‘Bright,’ the camel can be seen at 
 
“Upon seeing ‘Bright,’ one little girl exclaimed, “I never thought camels could carry books.  I only thought they could carry sticks or grass!”  “Parents report that now their children are the ones telling them stories.  Before, it was the other way around,” said Ms. Kazim.  She continued, “another girl exclaimed, ‘please let me keep more than one book — if I finish the book in one day what will I do for the rest of the week?’”
 
Judith’s Reading Room invites members of the community to donate brand new, very easy readers and picture books to add to the Camel Library.  Name tags will be inserted into the gift books with the donors name, if desired.  Donations should be mailed before November 10th to Judith’s Reading Room, P.O. Box 164, Blandon, PA  19510.
 
The mission of Judith’s Reading Room is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  To date, the organization has fulfilled that mission by establishing 101* libraries in 22* countries with over 128,000 books worth nearly US$1.4 million.  
 
Applications for the 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award will be posted on our website at www.judithsreadingroom.org in January 2021.  
 

2020 FREEDOM THROUGH LITERACY AWARD CELEBRATION

2020 FREEDOM THROUGH LITERACY AWARD
Virtual Award Celebration – Sept. 26, 2020

Alif Laila Society has new photos to share!

Basarat and Alif Laila Society, Freedom Through Literacy 2015 grand prize winner,  continues her project in Pakistan.  She just sent us some fantastic new photos!
Basarat believes that by providing access to quality literature, in a country that spends less than 2% on education, will inspire life-long learners and, most importantly, develop positive attitudes so critical for a tolerant society. Convinced that books are change agents and that libraries for children are places of independent research, critical thinking and imagination power houses, Basarat sets a determined and noteworthy commitment to literacy in Pakistan.

GRAND PRIZE – 2015 Freedom Through Literacy Award

Ms. Basarat Kazim, “Alif Laila Book Bus Society’s Mobile Bus Library”
Lahore, Pakistan

 

Basarat believes that by providing access to quality literature, in a country that spends less than 2% on education, will inspire life-long learners and, most importantly, develop positive attitudes so critical for a tolerant society. Convinced that books are change agents and that libraries for children are places of independent research, critical thinking and imagination power houses, Basarat sets a determined and noteworthy commitment to literacy in Pakistan.

Ms. Basart Kazim, "Alif Laila Book Bus Society's Mobile Bus Library"

The Alif Laila Book Bus Society, the non-profit organization led by Basarat, strives to “color Pakistan with quality books and happy reading spaces in communities, schools and rural areas” in order to inspire children to become effective communicators and citizens — this in a country where the majority of children cannot read at grade level.

The metamorphosis of a dilapidated double decker bus into a wonderland of books that travels around Lahore happened more than three decades go. Under Basarat’s direction, guest speakers, story tellers, puppet shows, and big buddy/little buddy shared reading programs nurture an early love of reading and on a higher level, offer teacher training, resource and material development and literacy programs management all in a warm, welcoming environment.

Alif Laia Book Bus SocietyBasarat is responsible for growing Alif Laila Book Bus Society from a mobile library to an entire nationwide educational complex. To date, she has established 100 primary school libraries, five community libraries, hobby clubs, and, of course, its colorfully bright book mobile bus.

We warmly recognize Basarat Kazim as the 2015 Top Prize winner of the Freedom Through Literacy Award for her role in developing sustainable initiatives to combat illiteracy in Pakistan.  For more information visit
Alif Laila Society.

 

UPDATE – see new photos added August 4, 2018!