Establishing Data Centre at Mzuzu University

11 01 2021

The Mzuni Library Initiative

The presentation below was recorded for the International Association of Social Sciences Information Service and Technology (IASSIST), 1st African Regional Workshop, from January 11-13, 2021. In the presentation, Felix Majawa (Mzuzu University, Malawi) and Ralph Hall (Virginia Tech, USA) discuss the findings from a stakeholder survey that was sent to faculty and staff at Mzuzu University and Virginia Tech about a proposed data centre that could be located in Mzuzu University’s new library. The abstract form a report on the survey responses is provided below.

REPORT ABSTRACT

Mzuzu University lost its Library as a result of a fire that took place on 18th December 2015. In response, the university decided to establish two processes. The first was to restore information services within six months by creating an interim Library. The second was to design a new library in collaboration with Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture and Design in the…

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2 responses

11 01 2021
Penelope Muelenaer

Dear Ralph, Thank you for sending me your presentation along Felix Muzawa,Mzuzu University librarian to the International Association of Social Sciences Information Service and Technology (IASSIST) for the 1st African Regional Workshop, from January 11-13, 2021. This is good news and although I am not well versed in requisites for a data center . Now I can see the many ways in which the data from such a center would be beneficial to the communities throughout Malawi. I am so amazed at what has been accomplished to move toward a new library that is bigger and better than what was in place before the fire. Not just a beautiful building, or the books, but a modern version of a library, which is so much more. Providence must have put you there at the time of the fire. The possibilities for storing such important data and using the center are endless and could benefit so many. I am thinking even of private sector individuals working in agriculture and those in medicine in Malawi, and in financial management of businesses and health centers and farms, those planning water use and sanitation and tracking wells use, capacity and accessibility. All those could move forward and prosper. I am thankful for your vision and expertise in proposing this idea of a data center in this setting, as the new library was conceived. I would appreciate the opportunity to provide some input, even if I do it through Andy or others working on the development of the data center.

Good presentation and thatnks again. Penny

[image: http://www.vtc.vt.edu/local_assets/www.vtc.vt.edu/images/vtcsomri_logo.png%5D Penelope A. Muelenaer, M.D., MPH, FAAP Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Roanoke, VA 24016 Phone: (540) 798-6527 (Mobile) Email: pmuel@vt.edu, Pamuelenaer@carilionclinic.org

12 01 2021
Penelope Muelenaer

Dear Ralph, I have just learned that the veteran librarian Rita McCandless at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine for the past decade iss retiring in March 20201 . She is very experienced and would be a great asset to assist with the library at Mzuzu University. She has been of great assistance to me in preparing my MPH research project and researching the literature, showing me how to store my references, and making my references/bibliography for my MPH Capstone Malawi WASH research project digitally. Of course, as the sole librarian for VTCSOM for a period, since its inception a decade ago, she has worked as a resource for the faculty and the medical students at VTCSOM in their research endeavors and course work etc. In retirement, she wants to have time for her interests, such as gardening, but wants to be involved in continuing her work on a volunteer basis. She is familiar with TEAM Malawi and the work to replace at Mzuzu university library. I think she would be a great resource to be involved in the Mzuzu University library. I forwarded your blog post to her about efforts to include a data center in the rebuild of a new library at Mzuzu. She referred me to Anna Cora, a new Virginia Tech librarian focused on bilingual and cross-cultural library initiatives. Ana Coral sett up the Spanish/English bilingual health website at Va Tech for Covid 19 information. .She is from Mexico, but her career is just beginning and will be expanding. In addition, Rita McCandless mentioned Scott Huffman at VT and Jenny Pannabecker librarians at Newman Library involved in IT and cross-cultural engagement. I forwarded your blog post with video to them as well. Best, Penny

[image: http://www.vtc.vt.edu/local_assets/www.vtc.vt.edu/images/vtcsomri_logo.png%5D Penelope A. Muelenaer, M.D., MPH, FAAP Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Roanoke, VA 24016 Phone: (540) 798-6527 (Mobile) Email: pmuel@vt.edu, Pamuelenaer@carilionclinic.org

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