Transforming lives through innovative services in public libraries

The challenge: access to knowledge fundamental for development

Access to knowledge is fundamental to education and research, the improvement of lives, and the creation of human capital upon which the development of societies depends. Libraries play a key role through the provision of high quality information resources and services. However, factors such as the high cost of commercial e-resources, legal barriers and poor technology infrastructure risk leaving many people around the world behind.


Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL): a solution

Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) is an international not-for-profit organisation based in Europe with a global network of partners. Working in collaboration with libraries in more than 45 developing and transition countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, EIFL enables access to knowledge for education, learning, research and sustainable community development. EIFL was founded in 1999.

Well-resourced libraries and innovative services

EIFL’s core activities are:

  • Access to Knowledge for Education, Learning and Research 
    Ensuring well-resourced libraries, modern ICT infrastructure and skilled staff to provide essential support to students and scholars.
    Take a look at the various programmes EIFL is involved in.
  • Access to knowledge for sustainable community development
    The use of technology offers new opportunities to increase access to knowledge, helping to improve individual livelihoods.
    Programme: The Public Library Innovation Programme (PLIP)

The Public Library Innovation Programme in action

In its first phase (2010) PLIP gave small grants to 12 librariesin 12 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America to use technology in innovative ways to serve hard-to-reach communities.  Many hundreds of people are now benefiting from these services, and all the new services have attracted financial and other support to sustain them.

In its second phase, PLIP invited public libraries to apply for grants to replicate ideas and best practices from Phase 1. The new call focused on four crucial development areas: health, agriculture, youth at risk and employment. PLIP received over 100 applications for evaluation. Grants will be awarded in October 2011.

Any questions?

Contact the EIFL-PLIP Programme Manager: Breda Karun, breda.karun [at]

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