Founded in 2007 in France at the initiative of Patrick Weil, Libraries Without Borders is today one of the leading NGOs working in knowledge and culture-based development in the world and supporting libraries in developing countries. They believe that access to information and the dissemination of culture are two key—yet under-invested components—of human and economic development, and the spread of democratic practices and human rights.
Present in over 20 countries and in France, LWB supports local initiatives through the creation of libraries to promote education, access to information and culture and the conservation of cultural heritage. Through creating and reinforcing libraries, training librarians, distributing books, supporting local publishing and designing library networks, Libraries Without Borders actively promotes access to knowledge throughout the world.
Libraries Without Borders (USA) was created in 2008 and is a 501 (c)(3) registered non profit organization with the goal to solidify the organization’s position among the leading NGOs in international cooperation and development.
Headquartered in New Orleans, LA, LWB will begin engaging itself in projects based in the United States, especially in the New Orleans area and Latin America. LWB will look to develop innovative initiatives in partnership with public school libraries and detention centers while strengthening ties with Haiti.
Today, the development of LWB continues with branches in Belgium, Canada (where LWB has associated itself with Fondation pour une bibliothèque globale, a Quebec-based NGO), and Switzerland. These structures are helping LWB put the question of access to information and knowledge in international development at the center of the political agenda.