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Literacy: Libraries Without Borders

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(The following is a guest post by Guy Lamolinara, communications officer in the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.)

The Ideas Box, Libraries Without Borders’ portable media center, provides young Congolese refugees with information and education resources in a camp in Burundi. Photo courtesy Libraries Without Borders

You have probably heard about the aid organization Doctors Without Borders. But do you know about Libraries Without Borders?

Libraries Without Borders provides a different type of aid: Since 2007, the organization has been supporting community development in 20 countries around the world through literacy promotion. In 2016, LWB was recognized for its innovative work with a Library of Congress Literacy Awards International Prize.

Pam Jackson, chair of the awards program, acknowledged LWB: “Its civic-minded, community-based promotion of equality through library access has made a difference in many countries around the world.”

One of LWB’s signature programs is the Ideas Box, a portable classroom, media center and library that fits on two standard pallets and can be installed in 20 minutes.

According to Allister Chang, general director of Libraries Without Borders, “Anywhere resources are needed, we want to bring it.”

You can see a short film about LWB’s work and how the amazing Ideas Box is set up, ready to work in 20 minutes. Each unit contains a satellite internet connection and a server, a generator, 25 tablets and laptops, six HD cameras, a large HD screen, board games, arts and crafts, and a stage for music and theater.

Want to tell the world about the great work you, or an organization you know, are doing in literacy (and perhaps win a Literacy Award in the process)? Then visit our site today and fill out an application.

Comments (2)

  1. Amazed! I am glad to know about Libraries Without Borders Blog of Library of Congress. Thank you.

  2. What a neat idea. I have found, because of technological advances that more and more schools prefer media/computer centers instead of libraries. This is a great way to install libraries at schools and encourage young ones to read and explore books.

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