Receives new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue support of libraries worldwide


Monday 24th August 2009

World Library and Information Congress in Milan, Italy – The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) today announced the receipt of a USD $1.5 million, three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funding will help IFLA continue its work to make people aware of the important role libraries play in providing public access to information to people around the world.

Libraries are key providers of public access to information and communication technologies. They enable people to take part in the information society, acquire knowledge and improve their economic and social well-being.

IFLA stands for freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, and works at all levels of the information society to promote these values. Current IFLA President Claudia Lux and incoming President Ellen Tise expressed their gratitude for the foundation’s support, which will assist IFLA to continue its advocacy work on behalf of libraries and reinforce co-operation between IFLA and the foundation’s Global Libraries initiative.

"IFLA plays an invaluable role in the library community and its continued success will strengthen libraries throughout the world," said Deborah Jacobs, director of Global Libraries at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "IFLA’s efforts to promote vibrant libraries with information services and public access to the Internet help open the world of knowledge, information and opportunity to many more people."

Each year at IFLA’s annual meeting of active librarians, the World Library and Information Congress, the foundation presents its annual Access to Learning Award. The award, now in its 10th year, recognizes the innovative efforts of public libraries and similar organizations outside the United States in providing free access to computers and the Internet.

About IFLA

Notes for editors:
IFLA is the global voice of the library and information profession. Established in 1927, IFLA currently has some 1600 members in 150 countries. Together, IFLA’s association and institutional members represent over 700.000 librarians and library workers serving almost two billion registered library users worldwide. IFLA is an accredited non-governmental organisation enjoying consultative status to the United Nations.

Jennefer Nicholson
Secretary General of IFLA
P.O. Box 95312
2509 CH The Hague
For more on IFLA, see: