What We Do

Everything we do focuses on one goal: advancing individual and community development. Modern public libraries have a key role to play in achieving this goal.

Beyond Access ensures that governments and international aid organizations harness this powerful asset. At the same time, we work with libraries to ensure that they have the support and resources they need to form partnerships, manage projects, and effect social and economic change in their communities.

To do this, Beyond Access encourages dialogue, assembles a community, and facilitates partnerships. We also support libraries and non-government organizations, and provide services to development practitioners, donors, and all levels of government.

Finally, we create and curate resources, with a particular focus on expanding the vision of the modern library, advancing ideas around key issues and opportunities, and documenting innovative approaches and models — so that others can replicate and extend our work.

Encourage Dialogue

By hosting conferences, discussions, and participating in international events, Beyond Access ensures that libraries have a seat at the table during development discussions. We also collect and share examples of how libraries contribute to development goals, advance new ideas, and curate and share updates from the intersection of information and development.

Assemble Community

Beyond Access reaches out to innovative librarians, community organizers, and government officials — bringing them together to launch projects and share ideas, experiences, and knowledge. We do this by gathering member teams and providing a range of services: facilitating an online community of practice, and providing funding, travel, and training opportunities.

Member teams are also supported by Friends of Beyond Access — international development practitioners who understand the role of the modern library and who can provide practical guidance. Beyond Access also helps Friends and other development practitioners connect with local partners and integrate libraries into their strategies and projects.

Facilitate Partnerships

Working with governments and aid organizations, Beyond Access helps identify ways that public library systems can contribute to achieving local development goals, advance national digital inclusion, and meet Open Government Partnership commitments. Then we provide matching funds for investments in technology, technical assistance, and training to help achieve these goals through libraries and librarians.