ATLA 2014

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently soliciting applications for its 2014 Access to Learning Award (ATLA), which recognizes the innovative efforts of public libraries and similar institutions outside the United States to connect people to information and opportunities through free access to computers and the Internet. The award is given by Global Libraries, an initiative of the foundation’s Global Development Program. The recipient of the Access to Learning Award will receive $1 million (U.S.).

Applications for the 2014 Access to Learning Award must be submitted via an online submission process no later than September 30, 2013.

The application form is available only in English and must be completed in English to be eligible for consideration. However, while applications must be submitted in English, the foundation does offer informational brochures in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. You may find the brochures and additional information, including the online submission system, on the ATLA webpage.

Background about the Access to Learning Award

Computers and the Internet are powerful tools that provide opportunities for people to improve their social and economic well-being. Worldwide, just one person in six has access to the Internet. This means that more than five billion people miss out on chances to pursue education and employment, access government services, learn about valuable health information, conduct business online, and exchange information and ideas. The Access to Learning Award encourages new, innovative ways to provide computer and Internet services to people without access, and promotes greater development of public access technology programs around the world.

The Access to Learning Award honors innovative organizations that are opening a world of online information to people in need. The foundation’s Global Libraries initiative invites applications from libraries and similar organizations outside the United States that have created new ways to offer these key services:

  • Free public access to computers and the Internet.
  • Public training to assist users in accessing online information that can help improve their lives.
  • Technology training for library staff.
  • Outreach to underserved communities.

Please note:

  • No U.S. organizations are eligible to apply. That includes U.S. organizations that operate in locations outside of the U.S. If a U.S. organization works through a local organization outside of the U.S., the local organization would be encouraged to apply.
  • To be eligible, the applying institution must allow all members of the public to use computers and the Internet free of charge in a community space.
  • The ATLA is not intended as a grant to fund proposed activities – it is a one-time recognition, or prize, for organizations that have created programs currently providing free access to computers and the Internet for the public.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Administrator at [email protected].