The Global Library (GL) initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports public libraries as engines for individual and community development. Funding enhances access to information through publically available information technology in libraries. This technology is complemented by the provision of training and content to make it accessible and useful, and by impact assessment and advocacy to make the new services sustainable. GL has supported library modernization programs at scale in fourteen countries around the world. Based on findings on library perceptions, use, and impact from recent GL research across seventeen European Union (EU) member states, this paper focuses on projects in Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania. It offers a sense of how libraries in these countries have changed during the grant periods, presents key results obtained, and sets out prospects for the future. These prospects include greater attention paid by the EU to the increasingly important role that libraries can play in strengthening communities and improving people’s lives.


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pp. 127-143
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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