Hakan Yücel - The Cycling Librarian

The 15th Changemaker of the 10th season of the Sabancı Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers program is Hakan Yücel (The Cycling Librarian), who visits the village schools of Bitlis with a trailer he mounted on the back of his bike and opens the door to new worlds for children with the books he gifts.

Mustafa Güzelgöz, also known as “The Librarian with a Donkey”, ensured that the Public Library service was brought to villages on the backs of horses, donkeys and mules in the Ürgüp region in the 1950s. Hakan Yücel took to the roads after getting inspired by Güzelgöz while continuing his duty as a librarian in Bitlis. On his off days and holidays, independent of his institution, Yücel voluntarily pedals to the village schools of Bitlis with a trailer he mounted on the back of his bike and gifts books to children in the villages he visits. 

The Cycling Librarian, combining the books gifted by volunteers and his professional skills, delivers the books to schools, classifying them according to the age groups and interests of the students, and taking into account the number of students. The Cycling Librarian Hakan Yücel, who in the villages he visits, introduces children to a new profession and instills in them a love and awareness of reading, has gone to 46 different village schools, traversing 1,779 km of road pedaling his bicycle. Yücel, who has gifted close to 8 thousand books in total, aims to reach the villages before the last bell of school.

Hakan Yücel set off with his bike to be a hope for children’s dreams. He crossed hundreds of km of road with his bike. He reached hundreds of children in dozens of different villages. He caused children in village schools to gain the habit of reading. He did not only increase the recognition and dignity of the librarian profession, but also made a huge difference that will not be forgotten for a lifetime by opening new worlds in the children’s lives through books.

Date: 10.05.2019 (Season 10 - Episode 15)

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