Beyond Access is a movement of people and organizations committed to the idea that modern public libraries help drive development. We have member teams around the world — check it out:

The spark behind this initiative is a coalition of  11 organizations — Facilitating Change being one of them… #YAY — supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries program.

Together, we have decades of experience designing, implementing, documenting, and assessing both community development and technology projects. Through this work we learned that we were overlooking a powerful resource: the existing infrastructure that is libraries, the vast body of knowledge that is information science, and the practice of librarianship — which dates back about 2,800 years (!).

We came to understand that connecting the development and library communities can lead to better outcomes in all domains: from social inclusion to health to economic growth.

This is going to be the first of a series of posts digging into why it’s a good thing for the library and development communities to buddy up, and how these types of collaborations are contributing to social and economic impacts.

One of the very cool things about Beyond Access is that they offer consulting services to development practitioners, aid agencies, and governments. So get in touch with them if you’re curious about libraries.

Now time to read the first post in this series: Communities need both spaces and services »