About Books For Africa

The mission of Books For Africa is to end the book famine in Africa. With your help, we will help create a culture of literacy and provide the tools of empowerment to the next generation of parents, teachers, and leaders in Africa.

Books donated by publishers, schools, libraries, individuals, and organizations are sorted and packed by volunteers who carefully choose books that are age and subject appropriate. We send good books, enough books for a whole class to use.

They are shipped in sea containers paid for by contributions from people like you. It costs about 50 cents to send a book from the United States to Africa. Books For Africa has shipped more than 28 million books to 49 different countries since 1988.  Over the past 12 months we have shipped 2.2 million books valued at $28.3 million to 22 African countries, with an additional 616 computers and 15 brand new law libraries.

They are on once-empty library shelves, in classrooms in rural schools, and in the hands of children who have never before held a book. Each book will be read over and over again. When the books arrive, they go to those who need them most: children who are hungry to read, hungry to learn, hungry to explore the world in ways that only books make possible. 

BFA Board & Staff

2014 Books For Africa Board of Directors

Rosemond “Rosie” Owens, President, Health Literacy/Cultural Competency Specialist, Centracare Health System
Norm Linnell, Past-President, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Donaldson Company, Inc.
Tammie Follett, J.D., M.B.A., Treasurer, Senior Account Manager & Business Development Specialist, Thomson Reuters
Luanne Nyberg, Secretary
Thomas Warth, Founder (Ex Officio), T.E. Warth Esq. Automotive Books
Patrick J. Plonski, Executive Director (Ex Officio)
Tom Gitaa, Board Member Emeritus (Ex Officio), President and Publisher, Mshale
Atare Agbamu, ThinkReverse LLC
Colleen Davenport-Adiyia, Corporate Counsel, Insignia Systems, Inc.
Seth Eggessa, Rotary Club of Roseville
Sabrina Lynn Jackson, Consumer Affairs Manager, The Coca-Cola Company
Vuvu Manseka, Quality Assurance – Worldwide Licensing, The Coca-Cola Company
Bob Marx, President, Amara Wines
Dan Melin, Account Executive, Follett Educational Services
Paul “Paco” Miller, Manager, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, Better World Books
Dave Schafer, Technology Account Manager, The Hartford, Past-President, Woodbury Rotary Club
Pam Pappas Stanoch, Owner, Athena Group International
Jote Taddese, Manager, Enterprise Information Management, Target Corporation
Gary Zelko, Director and Publisher, Merck Publishing Group, Merck and Company, Inc.

2014 Books For Africa Ambassadors Circle

Frank Babka, World Population Balance
Susan Barton, Association of University Women
Todd Bol, Little Free Library
Henry Bromelkamp, Bromelkamp Company
Adam Ciresi, Interactive World-wide
Richard Curtis, World Vision
Carol Engebretson, Minnesota International Center
Larry Eyinla, Ernst & Young, Atlanta
Vince Farley, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Mali, Atlanta
Donna Ford, Sodexo
Joe Lee Frank, Battlespace, Inc.
Steve Frantzich, Books for International Goodwill Warehouse
Christian Goergen, College of Dupage
Natalie Hahn, Malaika Foundation
Alemayehu Haile, District of Columbia
Kim Harms, River's Edge Dental
Pat Harris, RBC Financial
Don Hawkinson, Uptown Rotary Club
Michael Henley, Hansen Henley Yoder and Lamb
Todd Lawton, Out of Print
Richard Leider, Inventure
Harry Lerner, Lerner Foundation
Catherine Martignacco, BFA Kilimanjaro Society
Catherine Mayer, BFA Kilimanjaro Society
Fiona McCrae, Graywolf Press
Joe Miller, Follett Educational Services
The Honorable Anna Mkapa, Equal Opportunities For All Trust Fund (EOTF)
Charles Nichols, The Nichols Foundation
Doris Pagelkopf, United Way of Minnesota
Dianne Patrick, Snowbound Books
Tom Pfeifer, Thomson Reuters Legal
Mark Ritchie, Office of Minnesota Secretary of State
Barbara Rose, Aid For Africa
Catherine Ryan, Office of Senator Sandy Pappas
Margaret Sents, Friend of BFA
Dick Simpson, University of Illinois at Chicago
Valerie Staats, Friend of BFA
John Stacey, Course Hero, Inc.
Val Stokes, Stokes Trucking
Jeffrey Sturchio, Rabin Martin
Chris Tolbert, City Council of St. Paul, MN
John Ujda, Better World Books
Allison Walker, GE Capital
Andrea Wall, Poverty Eradication Network (PEN Trust)

Staff

Office

Patrick Plonski, Executive Director
Alfreda Asbury, Development Assistant
Rachel Brady, Project Manager
Travis Ferguson, Gifts Officer
Maggie Meyer, Communications Specialist
Carole Patrikakos, Manager of Corporate Relations and Grants

Project Directors

Lane Ayres, J.D., Director of the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative
Mike Essien, Country Director - Nigeria
Asratie Teferra, Director of Books for Africa, Washington D.C.

Warehouse

Brad Mattson, Development and Operations Officer – Atlanta
April Gilbert, Minnesota Warehouse Manager
Jeremy Bostwick, Atlanta Warehouse
Norma Crumble, Minnesota Warehouse
Jen Hale, Development Assistant
James Hall, Atlanta Warehouse

In Kenya, we were in a small village and the students had a wonderful school. They were eager to learn. They had motivated teachers, but they didn’t have any books in the school. They had no library. And so, imagine how proud I was to open up this box of shiny new encyclopedias and dictionaries from Books For Africa. They want more of your books. They can’t wait. They can’t get enough of these books.

U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison (MN)