About the Global Libraries Legacy Partnership

For 20 years, the Global Libraries (GL) Initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation collaborated with libraries and organizations like PLA, investing more than $1 billion globally to enhance the power of libraries to improve lives. In May 2016, the Gates Foundation made a $10 million investment in PLA. Over the next 10 years, these funds will allow us to:

  • create and scale new models of public library research, training, and practice,
  • strengthen collaboration across organizations that support public libraries,
  • support global connections between public libraries and library organizations, and
  • sustain the success of existing GL programs.

The Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington’s Information School (TASCHA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) are PLA’s partners. Together, we will ensure that libraries continue to serve as engines of development and are funded as essential community assets around the world.

Current Activities

PLA’s work builds on our existing activity and focuses on five interconnected results:

Performance and outcome measurement become standard practice. For more information on PLA’s work in this area, visit Performance Measurement initiatives.

Community-aligned service development and advocacy become essential leadership attributes. With many partners, PLA has developed a leadership model and offers Leadership Academies for library staff to increase their capacity to lead, not only in the library, but also in the community. Visit Leadership Initiatives to learn more.

Innovation accelerates, and impactful practices are iterated and scaled more quickly. PLA will work with TASCHA and others to encourage research, and to help public library services evolve to meet emerging community needs through innovative programs that are evidence-informed.

Working collaboratively through networks becomes standard practice. Library organizations across the globe will align their goals and coordinate programming to help library staff grow their abilities to measure, lead and innovate. Practitioners will be supported to develop networks at the local and regional level to increase their ability to drive communities forward.

PLA’s evolution creates a progressive organization that models outcome-based leadership, critical self-assessment, and deep member engagement. PLA to build its own capacity in tandem with these opportunities for practitioners, through board and staff training, collecting and analyzing PLA’s own outcomes, and securing resources to sustain our efforts.

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