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August 29, 2007

News & Opinion: Books via camels and mules

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 8:08 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Earlier in August Kevin Kelly blogged a unique book mobile service. Two such services deliver books to the readers in the remote areas of Venezuela (via mule) and Kenya (via camel).
Meet a Venezuelan bibliomula:
mule20mobile.jpg
And a Camel Book Mobile in Kenya:
camellibrary.jpg
These mules and camels are sometimes the only access remote communities have to books. And books are not all they provide. The two organizations that run the book mobiles have big plans for the future.In Venezuela:
As the project grows, it is using the latest technology. Somehow there is already a limited mobile phone signal here, so the organisers are taking advantage of that and equipping the mules with laptops and projectors. The book mules are becoming cyber mules and cine mules. "We want to install wireless modems under the banana plants 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."

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.