2023 Wishing You a Happy New Year!!!


Impact Publishing (How Publishing with Elsevier can Transform Careers)

With only one in four submissions accepted, publishing in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals is no easy feat, but the rewards are worth the toil. Science happens in the lab and the field, but it is only through the publication of findings that breakthroughs in our understanding of the world around us can be disseminated. Peer-review journals are the platform on which scientific evidence builds and while the publishing process is exacting for researchers, the process is worth it: science is strengthened, collaborations are forged and careers can be boosted and transformed.[…]

Misinformation is Dangerous! What we share online can have consequences in the real world

The things we share online can spread like wildfire and a small share can have big consequences. Encourage your followers across your social channels to take care before they share.

Spreading misinformation can can result in people being left uninformed, unprotected & can put lives at risk during a crisis.

Pledge to pause and verify facts before sharing…

The Difference Between YA and NA, a former teen now new adult reader perspective

There has been a lot of discussion recently about what, exactly, makes a YA book a YA book. YA had tremendous growth in the early 2000s and lately there is a lot of concern among teen librarians in particular about how the current YA market often reads as more adult and is being aged up. The average YA main character is often 17, leaving out younger teens. And as BookTok becomes more and more popular, more teens are reading adult fiction 

Books For Africa’s 2022 in Review: High Marks Across the Board

Donate Now! You are invited to get involved in the Books For Africa & Hawassa University International Partnership Project entitled ‘Books For Primary & Secondary Schools Found in Sidama Region (Mulugeta W/Tsadik, Librarian, Hawassa University) Ethiopia = https://www.booksforafrica.org/donate/donate-project/ethiopia/books-for-hawassa-university.html

2022 has been another successful year here at Books For Africa! Your generous support this year has allowed us to make great strides in fighting the African book famine. We are pleased to share with you some of what we achieved in 2022:

We shipped books by the millions (yet again): BFA continues as the world’s largest shipper of donated books to the African continent, shipping over 56 million books and serving every single African country in our 34-year history. In 2022 alone, we shipped over 3.2 million books, and 355 computers and e-readers containing over one million digital books, carrying a total value of over $26.7 million. We served 27 countries this year. Thanks to supporters like you, over $2.3 million in cash donations were raised in 2022 to ship these materials.

We were recognized as one of the best non-profits in the U.S.:  BFA received top recognition from the premier charity recognition organizations in 2022.  We garnered our 11th consecutive top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, putting BFA in the top 3% of all U.S. charities for fiscal responsibility and transparency. We also secured the 2022 Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency.

We shipped through unprecedented supply chain disruptions: The COVID pandemic has caused global dislocation, school closures and social distancing requirements, and dramatically reduced economic activity. This has resulted in continuing severe supply chain disruptions and dramatically increased costs across the world, with sea ports, offices, schools, universities and libraries closed or with reduced operations and/or delays. Despite these challenges, BFA and our partners across Africa pressed on, continuing to sort, pack, and ship books from our warehouse facilities. We all hope for better things to come in 2023, and we will continue to do our best to meet the needs of our partners across Africa regardless of what comes next!

We connected with key partners:  2022 featured a number of high-level collaborations with the African diplomatic corps.  We were honored to host H.E. Ambassador Alima Mahama from Ghana as our keynote speaker for our annual spring luncheon in June.  Approximately 300 people were in attendance at this event, which also featured remarks from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.  We were also honored later in June to be hosted in Washington, D.C. at the private residence of H.E. Frederic Hegbe, Togo’s Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Hegbe served as the BFA Summit Society Honorary Chair for 2022, representing our top donors and supporters.  Ambassador Hegbe also visited our Atlanta warehouse in July in preparation for a shipment of books planned for Togo.  In our warehouses in Atlanta and St. Paul, we were happy to host volunteer groups in 2022 from the Minnesota Vikings, Coca Cola, UPS, Zep, KPMG, Voya, AmeriCorps, Delta Air Lines, Vector Global Logistics, Kennesaw State University, the Metro Deaf School of St. Paul, Home Depot, Salesforce, Merck, Passion City Church, Kuehne & Nagel, and many others!  These volunteers sorted millions of books that we shipped in 2022. We could not have done it without them!

We brought books from far and wide: BFA continues to work to put high-quality, relevant materials in the hands of African learners. To accomplish this, we have cast a wide net for the best materials available. In addition to the millions of books shipped out of our Atlanta warehouse, we also shipped books from London, Paris, Montreal, Annapolis, San Francisco, New York, Houston, and Lexington (KY) in collaboration with our many partner organizations. Large quantities of books were supplied by our strategic partners Better World Books, Thomson Reuters, Elsevier, Capstone Publishing, Follett Education Services, Lerner Publishing, Norton Publishing, Wiley Publishing, and Walker Bookstore.  We are also grateful to the thousands of individuals as well as the schools, universities, and libraries that contributed books on a regular basis!We undertook some unique projects: Books For Africa continues to press ahead, seeking new partners and initiatives. This year, we printed and distributed 25,000 booksin Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in Amharic and Oromo in partnership with Open Hearts Big Dreams.  We are also moving forward with a special project to print 70,000 children’s books in Malagasy for shipment to Madagascar. BFA was also named a Preferred Partner of the U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Program in 2022.  This collaboration will result in the shipment of 30 containers holding a total of 600,000 books in 2022-2023.  In August we hosted H.E. Ambassador Lazarus Amayo of Kenya and Congresswoman Betty McCollum at a special luncheon in St. Paul to celebrate this new partnership and the shipment of five containers of books to Kenya. 
Our unique work has been recognized in the media, including by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer PressKSTP TVKARE 11 TV, the Atlanta Daily World, the Chicago Parent, the Austin Daily Herald, the Marietta Daily Journal, the LaCrosse Tribune, MshaleWCCO Radio, the St. Paul MonitorFinance Strategists, the Northfield News, Insight News, Minnesota LawyerAmerican Bar Association Journal, and Sun Sailor newspapers. 

We listened to our African partners: For the seventh consecutive year, we surveyed our book recipients to assess impacts of our activities. As with previous surveys, we are pleased to know that recipients overwhelmingly rate BFA books as high-quality and agree that the books will be very useful in promoting literacy in local communities. In 2022, we heard from 36 recipients in 13 different African countries. Since we began this systematic survey process in 2016, we have received valuable feedback from 249 recipients in 35 different countries!  We were also pleased to host once again our friends at the Mandela Fellows Program to gain insights into needs in their countries.  Twenty-four Mandela Fellows from 15 African countries volunteered in our BFA warehouse at a special event in July.

In 2022, we engaged our partners on all levels in order to deliver millions of books. This year marked our 34th year of working towards our vision of helping children to read in every African country. This was the dream of the late Kofi Annan, who stated, “Literacy is quite simply the bridge from misery to hope.”  We are honored to have the opportunity to help bridge this gap, and we appreciate your help in making this happen. As we approach our 35th anniversary year next year, allow me to offer my best wishes for a happy and productive 2023.


PatPlonski_Signature_Transparent Small

Patrick Plonski, PhD
Executive Director
Patrick Plosnki
%d bloggers like this: