The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced last May that they would be concluding their Global Libraries work over the next three to five years. In exiting the field, the foundation has charged itself with developing a legacy strategy, building on its 20-year, $1 billion global investment, that will “leave the library field strong and resilient.”
The legacy strategy framework, while still a work in progress, identifies three lead legacy partners they expect to carry forward Global Libraries’ goal of improving lives through public libraries around the world. The three likely lead legacy partners will be tasked with working collaboratively to refine the framework over the next year and carry the work of Global Libraries forward.
We are pleased and honored to announce that the Technology & Social Change Group at the University of Washington Information School — including our longstanding research collaborators at the US Impact Studies group — has been identified as one of the three legacy partners expected to do this work. We will work closely with Global Libraries and our fellow legacy partners, the Public Library Association (PLA) of the American Library Association and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), to further determine and refine the strategies, goals, and activities of the legacy work going forward.
While many details are yet to be determined, more information about the Global Libraries legacy work can be found in Deborah Jacobs’s (Director of Global Libraries) email announcement and in the working draft of the framework. As future plans for this work are solidified, we will be sure to post updates here on our website.