Parked in the corner of a small community park in Lahore’s Gulberg, the Alif Laila Book Bus is a safe haven for readers and an entry into the world of imagination.
Upon entering into the double-decker bus, you’re greeted by its ‘driver’: a stuffed toy behind the steering wheel. The library is colourful, with shelves full of books. Cushions and rugs are spread across the bus. There is a small activities corner where children play games.
A staircase leads to the upper deck of the bus which also is a reading area, cosy for children to get lost in another world.
“When we come here, we get to read a lot of books and also gain knowledge about our national heroes such as Edhi,” said a student.
The library, with more than 12,000 books, caters to reader from the ages of four years to 15 years. The subscription costs between Rs50 to Rs500 a year.
Reading books instils a lot of knowledge in children, said Basarat Kazim, the manager of the library.
“While reading books, children find a new world for themselves, and it strengthens their minds,” she said.
The mobile library has been catering to the needs of young readers for 40 years now.
Its purpose is to not just encourage reading but also to highlight the lack of libraries in the city.