Mzuzu University Library Fire

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Photograph of Mzuzu University Library after the fire.In the early hours of Friday 18th December the library at Mzuzu University was gutted by fire. Despite the intervention of the fire brigade, the building, along with the library's collection of 45,000 library books, was destroyed. The structure is no longer viable and will have to be demolished and rebuilt. The only parts to survive were the Children's library and the American Corner.

In the long term a replacement library and stock will be required, however Mzuzu University is now faced with the challenge of providing a library service for the next intake of students due on March 21st. The plan is to use the Mzuzu University Hall as the location to temporarily house this service. Some furniture and shelving is being purchased but there is an immediate need for funding to buy books to stock a short loan collection of the most important books for the teaching year.

We have volunteered to coordinate the shipping of donations of books and equipment from Strathclyde and other external donors. The container will be funded by the University of Strathclyde's Malawi Millennium Project.

Donating of Library Books - General Guidance

The Librarian at Mzuzu University has identified:

  1. A list of priority titles required in order to offer services to students as soon as possible - Excel spreadsheet format, see Book List in the Related Information column on the right of this page. This will be the main focus of activity.
  2. A targeted list of subject areas with an indication of additional study level for which stock will be required in the longer term - see Areas of Study in the Related Information column on the right of this page.

Any stock donated should preferably be the edition identified in the list. If a pre-current edition is offered, please ensure it is less than 10 years old and in good condition.

All offers of donated book stock are being coordinated by the staff at the University of Strathclyde. If you think you may be able to donate library books, contact Elaine Blaxter – Head of Information Management ( to discuss what to do next. The following points should be noted:

  • We hope to have all offers of donated books identified and collated by the end of February - after this date a confirmation email will be distributed, giving the titles and number of copies we would like you to supply. Please do not send any book donations prior to receiving the confirmation email
  • Unfortunately Strathclyde cannot reimburse donors for stock delivery costs. Donors based within the City of Glasgow are welcome to drop off small batches of items at the Strathclyde Andersonian Library - please identify items with a label containing E.Blaxter: Malawi (Mzuzu).
  • If offering stock which is not listed on the priority list of titles, please send a separate excel spreadsheet and include the following fields: ISBN, title, author/editor, date of publication, quantity (number of copies)

Donation of other items

The Librarian has also provided a list of items that would be of use - see Short Term Needs in the Related Information column on the right of this page. Strathclyde University will be able to supply any furniture that Mzuzu requires. Should you wish to donate other items from this list please discuss with Norman Wagstaffe ( so that we can ensure that the donation is useful. As space in the container is limited we will take requests for space over the next few weeks then, working with Mzuzu, select the equipment that is a priority. As a container can take up to three months in transit it is important that we ship as soon as possible.