“Thanks very much for your willingness to support the seven mini libraries. Such a gesture will indeed promote the culture of reading in those centres and ultimately improve the performance of our students.”- Athumani S. Samzugi, Librarian, Open University of Tanzania
Higher-level or tertiary education is essential for developing countries to gain skills to improve economic prospects, improve the health and well-being of their citizens and develop democratically.
However the numbers of students studying at tertiary level in Tanzania is small. The Open University of Tanzania (OUT) enables those who cannot study in conventional universities to study for a degree. These include working people, women with families, people with disabilities, people in rural areas and school leavers with limited qualifications.
The OUT has 25 regional centres, each with a mini-library, and 69 study centres serving 11,000 students. A well-stocked library is essential but book budgets are very limited, and the libraries suffer from outdated and inadequate stock. In 2010 Book Aid International sent almost 3,000 to support seven OUT mini-libraries. Books from the UK are appropriate as the OUT curriculum has been adapted from British universities.