Venezuela's Four-Legged Mobile Libraries

From BBC News.

A university in Venezuela is using a novel method to take books into remote communities and encourage people to read. The book mules known as bibliomulas are helping to spread the benefits of reading to people who are isolated from much of the world around them.

Spreading the joy of reading is our main aim," Christina Vieras told me.

"But it's more than that. We're helping educate people about other important things like the environment. All the children are planting trees. Anything to improve the quality of life and connect these communities."

The organisers are taking advantage of the limited mobile phone signal and equipping the mules with laptops and projectors. The book mules are becoming cyber mules and cine mules. "We want to install wireless modems so the villagers can use the internet," says Robert Ramirez, the co-ordinator of the university's Network of Enterprising Rural Schools.

"Imagine if people in the poor towns in the valley can e-mail saying how many tomatoes they'll need next week, or how much celery. "The farmers can reply telling them how much they can produce. It's blending localisation and globalisation."

This four-legged mobile library is not just keeping this place alive but making it thrive.


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