African Library Project

Books for Malawi -- Mkundi Community Library -- Mkundi Full Primary School – Dedza,Malawi

03/05/2014 to 05/11/2014
Hermantown MN

We are working with the African Library Project to provide books to eager readers in Africa who have very few books. Please help us by collecting and delivering gently used books or by raising money to help pay for shipping to Africa. It takes only 1000 books and $500 (plus a little elbow grease!) to start a single library and make a huge difference in children’s lives.

This book drive is organized by ...

Diane Kauppi of Hermantown, MN
I've worked in higher education for 25+ years -- the past 13 years at the Ruth A Myers Library/Ojibwe Archives. In 2011, I finished my graduate degree in Library Science with the goal of becoming an Academic Librarian.

We want to start a library in Africa because...

My late mother, Alice, loved to read and she always instilled the love of books and reading in us. Working in higher education all these years I've witnessed how important reading can be for people -- giving them access to information that helps them in their everyday lives.

I am doing this book drive to help give young people in Malawi, Africa access to books in order to give them a chance to love reading and expand their knowledge.

“For everyone everywhere, literacy is...a basic human right.”
Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

About our African Partners...

Mkundi Community Library located in the Mkundi Full Primary School at Dedza, Malawi

From their application:
The Community of Mkundi Full Primary School is in the central region of Malawi and in Dedza District.

Most adults around this school are mostly literate (they can read and write) but the
younger ones who are still at primary and secondary school need a lot of help because they are still struggling with Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

Mkundi is a school with 2500 learners, from Standard 1 to 8, and has permanent buildings.
There is a room which has already been identified to be used as Library once books are made available.

Schooling hours is from 7:30AM to 13:00PM. After these school hours, children are left without anything to do until the following morning when they will have to enter into classroom for formal learning again.

Children have limited hours of learning how to read because the few books, they can read from, are only at school. For example in a class of 250 learners you would only find 10 English reading books, thus a ratio of 10 children to 1 reading book (10:1), and this is what is on the ground in almost all the subjects at the moment at I his school.

As such, children are not even motivated to learn, and when they are at home sometimes they are just left to be doing whatever they want because parents have no books to use to teach children basic reading skills. At this particular lime, they may be vulnerable to risky behaviours.
Considering the above challenge. USAID initiated a programme in Malawi Called 'READ MALAWI'. This programme's objective was to boost literacy levels in primary school learners of Malawi. It therefore also encouraged parents/ guardians to be supporting children/learners at home as they go on learning how to read, even during their free time.

This community at Mkundi school was motivated a lot by the READ MALAWI programme. They have established literacy committees at community level. However, in this community and the school itself, like many communities in Malawi have literally no reading materials, it is therefore only appropriate to help them with the provision of reading materials through the African library Project, which they will have to manage with library logistics. This will enhance their motivation to helping young ones to learn to read even at their free time by using the library books.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

Preschool-8th Grade level books
*Gently used or new soft-cover books (hardcover books are more costly to ship)

Some ideas include:
-Children’s picture books
-Children’s fiction and non-fiction
-Early readers
-Children’s dictionaries/picture dictionaries
-Children’s encyclopedias/picture encyclopedias
-Children’s thesauruses
-Books with universal themes (friendships, animals, love)
-Children’s health books
-Accurate up-to-date atlases
-Books about Africa or African-Americans
-Chapter books
*Special request for: Math, Science, and English books

Optional: selections could come from this 2013 Children's Africana Book Awards list:

Here's how you can contribute your books...

Book donations can be dropped of at:
HOM Furniture
4726 Mall Dr, Hermantown, MN 55811
During their regular business hours:
Mon-Fri: 10 am - 9 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am - 8 pm
Sunday: 11 am - 6 pm

contact me via e-mail at to make arrangements for drop-off or pickup.

We need to raise funds for shipping the books...

Shipping the books from Hermantown, MN to the central warehouse in New Orleans costs about $200.00. An additional $300.00 must be provided to the African Library Project to cover shipping from New Orleans to Malawi, Africa.

Here are some ways that you can help...

Each book and monetary donation is important and added all together helps complete this project!

With the help of family, friends, and our community this book drive can be a success -- please help as you are able and share with others.
Thank you!

Contact us to find out more

Name: Diane Kauppi

Progress Report

Our Goal 1,000 books $500 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 5/28/14)
1,440 books $620.92 fundraising

Our response was awesome! Thank you to everyone who helped to make this book drive a huge success!
Now it's time for packing up the books for shipping to New Orleans!

Here's a local TV news article/interview on this project:


I want to thank HOM Furniture, Hermantown, for their willingness to be a drop-off location for this book drive.

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