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Libraries Without Borders US (LWB US) is the American branch of the international nonprofit, Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (BSF). Since 2007, BSF has delivered access to information and learning opportunities to 1.5+ million people in 50+ countries. Utilizing innovative tools, training programs, and educational resources, BSF builds new learning spaces to strengthen the capacity of people in vulnerable situations.
LWB US believes that everyone deserves access to a library: a safe place to learn, create, and connect to critical resources. Since 2014, we have partnered with anchor institutions and community-based organizations to bring library resources and services to those that need them most.
The 17,000+ public library branches in the U.S. are critical hubs of learning and civic connection that play a unique role in our democracy as the backbone for educational, civic, and digital engagement. But too many communities, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), people with limited resources and educational attainment, and rural communities report lower levels of engagement with libraries than white, urban, college-educated, and higher-income Americans (Pew, 2015).
For underserved communities, fundamental barriers stemming from historic and systemic racism – including lack of trust, lack of awareness, a sense of not feeling welcome, lack of transportation, or lack of time – keep too many people from engaging with public institutions like the library.
LWB US revolutionizes library outreach by reaching into communities where library services are currently inaccessible or underutilized. We reimagine what–and where–a library can be and how its services and resources can most effectively reach the community.
Specializing in effective and data-driven community engagement, we partner with libraries and community organizations around the country to establish sustainable outreach models. This empowers libraries to reach the communities that need them the most.
We create tools that facilitate access to reliable information, learning opportunities, and cultural resources.
We ensure that the educational resources we deploy are culturally relevant, compelling, and accessible.
We partner with community organizations and leaders to create connected learning places.