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International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development

Former Working Groups and Projects

Former IOCD Project: Books for International Development


Access to good quality, contemporary textbooks is critical for education and professional development in all areas, including the chemical sciences, but university libraries in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) often lack a stock of suitable materials due to the high costs of purchasing and shipping. Aided by student volunteers, IOCD established a programme at the University of Millersville, USA led from 2003 until 2017 by Prof. M. James Cosentino, to collect good quality textbooks (across all disciplines) donated by libraries and private sector companies.

The goal of this project was to provide university-level books to LMICs around the world, where wars, natural disasters and continued poverty created a need for new university libraries and holdings. Donated books were shipped to the recipient country by large shipping container. The project is sponsored by UNESCO, the International Organization of Chemical Sciences in Development (IOCD) and the State of Pennsylvania with cooperation and donations in kind from the World Bank and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Millersville University.

From 2003, at least 20 shipments of c. 7,000 kg each were sorted, packaged, shipped and delivered to libraries in LMICs, including countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific (Angola, Bangladesh, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Pakistan, Philippines, Swaziland and Vietnam). The Millersville group also successfully arranged deliveries of functioning, used computers (24 per shipment) to 13 LMICs and of essential medical supplies to Haiti following the 2009 earthquake. In 2010 Prof. Cosentino won an award as an International Leader at Millersville.



Volunteers working with project head Dr James Cosentino (centre) to package container loads of books for shipment to libraries in LMICs.

Books for International Development was a non-profit project designed to help LMICs establishing an institution of higher learning through donations of university level books and other beneficial donations such as computers. The project received donations on a regular basis and had many operations that were necessary for the successful continuation of this project, including:

The project welcomed volunteer efforts that were directed to achieving the project's goal.


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