Let’s gate-crash a 1930’s bash!

Every year on 11th December, Book Bunk hosts an annual fundraising Gala at the McMillan Memorial Library to raise money for our library restoration work as well as to remind our communities that libraries can serve as hotspots for glamour and culture, and as new exciting spaces for meaningful interaction!

A Night At The Library

Let’s gate-crash a 1930’s bash!

The theme this year is Gate-crashing the 1930s. It is an invitation to re-imagine the original opening ceremony of the McMillan Memorial Library in 1931.

In case you didn’t know this, McMillan Memorial Library is Nairobi’s oldest library and Kenya’s second oldest library. The library was built by Lady Lucie McMillan in honour of her late husband, William Northrup McMillan. But this library was intended to be used by colonial settlers, to the exclusion of native Kenyans. So when the library was opened in April 1931, we suspect that there were no Kenyan guests in the room. Imagine that!

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This year’s gala theme is “1930’s fashion. This event will attempt to recreate the original opening of the McMillan Library in 1931. However, we know indeginous Kenyans were not allowed inside the building in the past. So, we invite our guests to imagine themselves as a group of rebellious gate-crashers attending this event! What would your parents or grandparents have worn had they been invited to attend this event in 1931 and how would you recreate this outfit today? Show us! Gather up your boots and cultural couture. We’ve got a party to crash this December!

Looking for outfit inspiration, check out this Pinterest curated by this year’s Gala Manager, Wairimu Mwaura

What to expect

Come experience a night of glitz, glam and fun as you experience Nairobi’s oldest library!

Gala Dinner:

Guests will be treated to a delightful four course dinner paired with delectable wine.


Come through for an evening of dance and music as we raise funds to support our library restoration efforts! Catch live performance by MacKinlay and Friends featuring Chemutai Sage and Noel Nderitu.
DJ Adrian on the decks!
Advance tickets only: Ksh. 4000


We’re working with leading visual artists across the city and country to curate an art auction that has something for every art-lover. All ticket buyers will receive an auction catalogue ahead of time which will offer an overview of what will be available on the night.

Win Raffle Prizes:

Purchase yourself a raffle ticket and win some cool prizes and unbelievable bargains.

A Showcase:

Take a look at what we’ve been up to at #NBOLibraries, from crowd-sourcing archival material from the public to hosting LEGO play days at the library! An exhibition on the past, present and future of the McMillan Memorial Library will also premier on the night.

Our fundraising goal for 2023!

We’re excited to host this event in person, after a year hiatus. Having completed the full restoration of the Kaloleni and Eastlands libraries in 2020 and 2021 respectively, we’re shifting all our restoration focus to McMillan Memorial Library. Over the past two years, we’ve been working with a team of specialists to put together a shared vision for the library. These plans will be premiered at the 2022 Gala and will later be shared with the wider public for their feedback on the proposed improvements and additions to the library. We are excited to share our plans for this historical building and invite you to join us and support this vision. These plans will be premiered at the gala and shared with the wider public for public participation on proposed changes and additions shortly after. We are excited to share plans and our ambitions for this restoration work so stay tuned for more on this in a few weeks.

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Support Book Bunk’s ongoing vision for public libraries in Nairobi. We appreciate your generosity and support.

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