Opening Asia for Russia

On the island of Java, books are given in exchange for garbage

14.11.2021 185 просмотров

Children bring plastic cups, bags, bottles and receive books in return. This is how a mobile library works on the Indonesian island of Java. 

three-wheeled truck travels through several areas daily. Driven by Raden Hendarty, she came up with this project back in 2014. At first, the locals were interested in the initiative, but a year later it became clear that without the support of the authorities, the mobile library would not be able to exist.

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“We faced a crisis in 2015: we were short of staff and interest in visiting the library was declining , - said Raden Hendarty, creator of the mobile library. - Therefore, in 2016, the local government provided us with a three-wheeled vehicle, and the city library donated books. Since then our project has been growing. I believe that it is necessary to form a culture of literacy and respect for nature from a young age, and our library is an example of such an attitude to life.”

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Today the mobile library has 75 regular readers. For just one plastic bottle or a discarded bag, locals get access to a collection of 6,000 books and can borrow as many as they want. They usually return it within a week.

“I worry that there will soon be too much garbage on the planet, and this is harmful to health and nature,” says Kevin Alamsia, a student. “So I collect all sorts of rubbish and exchange it for interesting books.”

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Within a week, Raden Hendarty manages to collect about one hundred kilograms of waste. Library staff sort the rubbish and then sell it or give it away for recycling. With the proceeds, Raden buys new books for a mobile collection of poetry and prose. She says that thanks to her project, local residents have become more environmentally friendly. In the future, the woman plans to expand the route of her library on wheels to attract more people to environmental issues and, of course, reading. 

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