Libraries Are Helping Countries Reach Millennium Development Goals
Libraries Powering Development: How Public Libraries contribute to the Millennium Development Goals highlights public library systems, government initiatives, and community library networks around the world that already serve as partners in the development process.
Here is a snapshot of a few such activities:
• The Chiche Community Library in Guatemala offers an early childhood literacy and nutrition class to teach new parents child care and nutrition.
• Medellin, Colombia was once a fractured city, scarred by overwhelming drug and gang-related violence. But a government-led initiative to build a new future for its city has been transformational. The Network of Public Libraries (NPL) has 34 libraries, five of which are known as library parks, located in some of Medellin’s most marginalized communities.
• Lubuto public libraries in Lusaka, Zambia reach large numbers of the country’s street children, orphans and other vulnerable children who are largely not enrolled in school.
•The Kenya National Library Service is helping to prevent deaths during pregnancy, birth or unsafe abortions by providing healthcare providers with knowledge on how to correctly apply simple, inexpensive interventions.
• The Ramotswa public library in southeastern Botswana is playing an active role in reducing the impact HIV/AIDS has in the community by partnering with the District HIV/AIDS committee on a “Lifeline Project” to help educate young people, ages 14-30, about important health issues.
About Beyond Access
Development in the 21st century demands access to information. At a time of tight budgets, libraries offer a more efficient, smarter way of doing development. Most countries around the world, regardless of their size or level of development have public libraries. Beyond Access is starting a movement to make them all hubs for economic and social change. We believe that libraries power development. Beyond Access is an initiative of IREX, EIFL, IFLA, Makaia, Civic Regeneration, TASCHA, the Riecken Foundation, and READ Global, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.