Kwithu's New Library

Analog and Digital Resources for Orphans in Mzuzu, Malawi.

Professors and volunteers from the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill installed an analog and a digital library in Mzuzu, Malawi during the summer of 2018.

(Note: click on photos for larger versions...)

It's not every day one is welcomed to work
by an energetic women's choir and drummers! >>

<< Sturdy new shelves
prepared by
Kwithu CBO >>

Two shipments of books from North Carolina get unpacked and sorted.

Books for both children and adults were included in the collection.  >>


(Check out this list of book titles...)

<< Dr. Mary Grace Flaherty and graduate student Julie Fieldsteel set up the book processing.

Kwithu director Anna Msowoya-Keys
encouraging the young librarian trainees as they prepare the new books. >>

The librarian trainees organize, sort, label, and add pockets to the books while figuring out shelving schemes. >>


They also entered information about the books into
PrimaSoft's HandyLib, a library management software.


Kwithu Library's first patrons!


Meanwhile, on the digital side of things...


<< The trainees installed the 12-volt eGranary Server.

This kit includes additional Power-Over-Ethernet devices so that the Wi-Fi network can be extended to serve the whole compound as well as the neighbors.


The addition of a 100ah deep cycle battery means that the lab can continue to run for hours when the grid power goes off. >>


We set up the 12-volt projector and six laptops to give us a full computer lab.


On the technical side, the trainees learned how to create
Ethernet cables as well as extend the Wi-Fi network. >>

The tools and supplies were left behind for more
training and network expansion in the future.


Then we launched into the use of the eGranary Digital Library and the development of new Web sites and digital content.

  • Introduction to WiderNet and the eGranary Digital Library
  • Intranets, Off-line Caches, and Bandwidth Conservation
  • The power of the intranet
  • Using the eGranary Digital Library
  • Working with Digital Resources
  • Community Information Platform (CIP)
  • Graphics and Audio for the Web
  • Editing Bitmap graphics with GIMP
  • Editing Vector Graphics with Inkscape
  • Editing Audio with Audacity

See the full syllabus.



Six days of setup and training left behind fuller bookshelves, improved skills, and happy participants.

The trainee evaluations averaged 9.5 on a 10 point scale.  (See full evaluations.)

All of our goals were met and we facilitated many new friendships.


Watch the video of the Kwithu women saying thank you in a very special way...



As an added bonus, the faculty of the Library Science program from Mzuzu University visited the Kwithu Library to see the new facility as well as greet the trainers and trainees. 


This site created entirely with the eGranary Digital Library's Community Information Platform.  All the media was prepared using open source software readily available in the eGranary. 

This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.