Residing in Osmaniye, Huseyin Ege Kok, 18, turned the barn under his house into a small library with 150 books two years ago.
After his enterprise was heard all over Turkey, Kok began to receive boxes of books every week and now, he has more than 10,000 books in his barn-turned library. He began initiating a traveling library to give children in his neighborhood free books to encourage them to read more. Two years ago, his mother suggested turning the barn under their house into a library, and he decided to follow his mother’s advice.
His story reached millions of people when an article about his journey was published. After he opened social media accounts for his library, Kok began to communicate with more and more people every day. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Kok said he was able to reach out to the masses thanks to his ability to use social media to his benefit. He said that the number of books he has in his library exceed 10,000 thanks to donations from all over the country. “Every week, I receive at least one box of books, which makes me extremely happy. I received most of the books, donated for my library, from Izmir. Book lovers from Antalya, Tunceli, Osmaniye, Adana and Istanbul also donated thousands of books. My aim is to overcome the prejudice about Turks not reading books. I want to expand my library to other villages and districts in Osmaniye,” Kok said.
The young librarian said everybody who wants to read or borrow a book can pay a visit to his library. “Children living in neighboring villages and districts are especially interested in my library. Adults also stop by and borrow books from time to time. It is a nice feeling to bring together booklovers and books,” he said. Kok, who named the library “Yuksel’in Kutuphanesi” (Yuksel’s Library) after his mother, said that the barn was not big enough to hold all his books, adding that his dream is to move his library to a larger prefabricated building.