At least not in the U.S. You do hear about them elsewhere.
In Ethiopia, there’s one that is hugely popular. It’s not a traveling bus filled with rows of books, though. It’s a cart on wheels pulled by two donkeys. When it comes into town, children run to it. The “librarian” lets the donkeys rest in the shade, parks the brightly painted wooden cart, lowers the sides to reveal the shelves of books, and the kids choose a book and sit in the shade to read.
In the homes of these children, there are rarely books. There’s not many at school either. The children look forward to greeting the donkeys and filling their minds with the words in the books.
When it’s mid-afternoon and time for the traveling bookshelves to move to the next destination, the children help put the books and the stools they have been sitting on back into the cart and harness the donkeys. The books are not the only teaching tool of the mobile library. The donkeys are as well. In Ethiopia, donkeys are generally despised and ill-treated. By using the donkeys to pull this precious cargo, the project tries to teach children to respect animals, even the lowly donkey.
The children are leaning many things through this Ethiopian Books for Children and Educational Foundation (EBCEF) project.
The staff say the children have made great strides in their learning and in their behaviour since getting regular access to books.Mezrasha Kibret, EBCEF’s project manager in this area, believes books are the key to everything.
Most are from poor families; for them, even the modestly priced picture books published by EBCEF cost something like two days' wages.
"If we are interested in changing the world," he says, "then we have to read."If you’d like to read the full story of this project, check out the article in the BBC News.