March 3, 2016, by Sarah

We’ve raised over £1,100 to support literacy projects in Tanzania!

Today is World Book Day,  a global celebration of books and reading marked in over 100 countries all over the world. We’ve chosen today to announce (trumpet fanfare!) that in just 6 months, we’ve raised £1,144.64 to help fund educational resources in Tanzanian secondary schools.

Here’s how….

Last September, we started sending withdrawn library stock to Better World Books (BWB), a for-profit socially minded business that collects and sells books online, with each sale generating funds for literacy initiatives around the world. These initiatives then use the money to build schools, start libraries, provide scholarships and support learning. To date, Better World Books has raised over £13m for literacy and libraries and they recycle any books which they can’t sell.

We withdraw library books for a number of reasons:  to make space for new resources, because we’ve bought a new edition of a title, or have worked with academics to identify items which are no longer required to support teaching and research. It was important to us that we found a way to re-use or recycle the books, rather than sending them to landfill. BWB raises funds on our behalf for our chosen Literacy Partner, Read International.

Packing for Better World books

Matthew preparing the books which we send to Better World Books


Packing for Better World books

Paddy stacking the boxes ready for collection

We had a special reason for choosing Read International as our Literacy Partner:

READ International was founded in 2004 when a group of students travelled to Tanzania and saw for themselves the lack of resources in the country. Rob Wilson, a University of Nottingham student, was part of the group. READ International receives the full 10.5% commission on the net sale of Nottingham’s books.




Raquel Araya, Programmes and Volunteer Manager in Tanzania tells us more about the work that we’re supporting:

A volunteer at Msafiri Secondary School

A volunteer at Msafiri Secondary School


“The profit from the book sales helps to finance our office and keeps us open and running so we can implement our programmes. Without our many and loved book donors it would be impossible to carry out our work.

Because of the financial support in 2015 we received for the READ office from the book donations/sales we were able to bring 13 libraries to 7,794 Tanzanian students. It allowed our staff to create and start a new literacy and reading programme that was implemented at two schools and ran with 76 students. We were able to pilot teacher trainings at 5 of our schools and coach them on library management and reading promotion.”


Take a look at our Twitter account to see what else library staff have been up to to celebrate #worldbookday this week!



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