Magazine article American Libraries

Gates Foundation Expands Grants

Magazine article American Libraries

Gates Foundation Expands Grants

Article excerpt

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has expanded its Global Libraries initiative and plans to invest $328 million over the next seven years to support computer and internet access in as many as 15 developing countries. The first round of grants, announced November 30, will provide $17.5 million to the governments of Latvia, Lithuania, and Botswana to support internet connections in public libraries with little or no access and equipment.

According to Global Libraries Initiative Director Martha Choe, this is the first time the Gates Foundation has offered grants to Eastern European countries. Previously the foundation has worked with the governments of Chile (AL, Jan. 2001, p. 36) and Mexico to bring no-cost internet access to public libraries in rural areas.

In Latvia, $16.2 million will go to the ministry of culture to provide public libraries with broadband connections, a wireless network, three computers per library, and training for librarians and users. …

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