In the early morning hours of Friday, December 18, 2015, the Mzuzu University library in Northern Malawi was completely destroyed by fire. This was a terrible loss to the University, the principal institution of higher education in the least developed region of one of Africa’s poorest countries.
The library was the main place on campus for students to study, read, and use computers. Few students can afford to purchase books, so the library was their only access to these resources. Faculty members also have few books by rich country standards, but reading and reference materials were available to them in the library. The university’s information technology department and network servers were also housed in the library. All of these resources were destroyed.
Many books will be required to support the students and faculty in the University’s various departments. The specific titles that are urgently needed have been identified by faculty and librarians at Mzuzu University and can be purchased on MyRegistry (search for “Mzuni” under the organization/NGO category).
Books can also be donated by following the guidance provided on the Mzuni Library Initiative’s website. In addition to books, Mzuzu University requires new computers and tablets to support the reading/viewing of digital media.
Please consider supporting this important initiative in any way you can. If you have any questions, please contact Hayden Boyd (President of the Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation, (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is leading the US response with support from Virginia Tech. His report on the fire can be read here.