VT’s Navy ROTC Helps Organize Next Shipment of Books

We would like to thank the Midshipmen in Bravo Company from Virginia Tech’s Navy ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) unit for helping us organize our second shipment of books to Mzuzu University. The video below provides some insight into what it takes to process over 100 boxes of books (weighing over 4,000 lbs) in 1.5 hours. We could not have done this so efficiently without the help of the NROTC. We plan to ship these books later this fall.

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Articles on the Mzuni Delegation Visit

Last week, the visiting delegation from Mzuzu University (Mzuni) had a whirlwind tour of Virginia Tech’s capabilities in the area of architecture, data analytics and visualization, library services, and health and medical device research. The purpose of their visit was twofold. First, they carefully reviewed three of the conceptual library designs that students and faculty in the School of Architecture + Design had developed over the past several months. Second, they interacted with faculty and students to explore the scope of a future data analytics and visualization center that we hope will be incorporated into a future Mzuni library.

The delegation’s visit was covered by our local news media – WDBJ7 and the Roanoke Times.

Virginia Tech also prepared the following story on the Mzuni delegation’s visit.

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The trucks are packed- thank you!

community | com ∙ mu ∙ ni ∙ ty |

definition: a unified body of individuals

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Above, 20+ volunteers gathered at Kentland Farms to pack the books on the trucks. Next stop… Project Hope in Winchester, VA.

What a joyful day of celebration for the Mzuni Library Initiative and the awesome community that has rallied behind these efforts. Perhaps there has never been a more powerful personification of community, and today we were particularly (wonderfully!) overwhelmed by the community that has supported the Mzuni Library Initiative, as over 20 volunteers gathered at Kentland Farms to see the textbooks on their way- the final leg of their journey to Mzuzu University in northern Malawi.

Here’s a quick recap of the Mzuni Library Initiative by the numbers:

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And so, today we offer a humble, sincere thank you to the community members and groups that have been the heart and hands of this initiative, both in Blacksburg, Virginia, and Mzuzu, Malawi. We also are incredibly grateful to the Roanoke Times and WFXR News for sharing the Mzuni Library story and joining us on this special day.

The next stop for the books is the Project Hope warehouse in Winchester, VA. From there, the books will be loaded on a shipping container bound for Mzuzu!

Organizing the First Wave of Books (Part 2)

Last night, Virginia Tech students braved the weather to help organize another basement full of books that we received from a large number of individuals and organizations. We greatly appreciate these donations and all the help we have received in transporting many boxes of books from donors to our storage location.

I created a short video (below) of the book organizing activity to provide some behind the scenes footage of the students who are supporting this effort. We are now working to develop a plan for shipping multiple palettes of books to Malawi this summer.

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Interim Library Open

In May 2016, Mzuzu University opened an interim library.  The former students’ dining hall has been remodeled into a small, but functional, university library. Some book donations have already been received from individuals and organizations in Malawi, the UK, and other countries, and more will soon be sent from the US. However, many of the specific titles needed for student’ course work are missing. Click HERE for more information about how you can help.

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Darien Book Aid Donations

We would like to thank Darien Book Aid for their kind donation of several boxes of books to the Mzuni Library Initiative. We would particularly like to thank the volunteer who took the time to select books that align well with the needs of Mzuzu University.

In one of the images below, Hayden Boyd (President of the Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation) is standing behind a number of the books we have received from Darien Book Aid.