EIFL Public Library Innovation Award 12

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Public libraries improving people’s lives

This invitation is open to public libraries that are improving people’s lives by addressing development issues included in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Tell us your story and enter a competition to win US$1,500!

  • All public and community libraries in developing and transition economy countries that use information and communication technology (ICT) to improve people’s lives may apply for this award.
  • The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 5 December 2018.
  • We are accepting applications in English, French, Russian and Spanish (application form download link is below).

The award is offered by the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP). The EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Award categories

We wish to recognize public libraries that are improving people’s by offering innovative services that contribute to any of the following development issues:

  • Economic wellbeing and employment
  • Farming and sustainable agriculture
  • Health and hygiene
  • Digital inclusion
  • Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls
  • Education for all
  • Climate change and other issues affecting the environment

Examples and ideas

Note - the list below includes just a few ideas and examples of libraries using ICT to address development issues. Please do not be limited by this list.

Economic wellbeing and employment

  • Use ICT to help people create income-earning opportunities; provide employment-seeking and digital skills to enable people to apply for jobs online; build entrepreneurship capacity and connect people to sources of financial support; build financial literacy understandings and skills.

Farming and sustainable agriculture

  • Combining information services with ICT and e-literacy training to improve farmers’ access to agricultural subsidies, and helping farmers to apply for subsidies online; develop farmers’ e-literacy skills so that they can research the internet for information about market prices, the weather, agricultural equipment; farming methods, etc; help farmers find and connect to agricultural experts.

Health and hygiene

  • Increase health workers’ access to information and knowledge that will improve their ability to treat their patients; use online communications technology to help connect patients with doctors and other health experts; build partnerships with government or non-governmental agencies to extend and improve health services; compile health information and disseminate it to hard-to-reach people.

Digital inclusion

  • Services that improve the lives of people excluded from the benefits of being online, for example, poor or long-term unemployed people, the homeless, people living with disability or stigmatized health problems like HIV/AIDS; the elderly; empower citizens to know their rights; take part in civic affairs and use e-government services.

Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls

  • Using ICT in information, empowerment and skills programmes focused on issues affecting women and girls for example, for example, employment, education, sexual and reproductive health, finance for small businesses, support for survivors of rape, domestic violence and other kinds of sexual abuse, vocational training and women’s rights, etc.

Education for all

  • Library services that use ICT to create or promote educational opportunities for children, youth and adults and that reduce school drop-out rates; increasing people’s literacy and numeracy skills.

Climate change and other issues affecting the environment

  • Using ICT to raise awareness about environmental issues and how they affect our lives; mobilizing positive action to protect the environment and reduce and reverse degradation.

Who may enter?

To enter the competition, you must meet all of the following criteria:


1.    We will not consider innovative library services that (1) only offer free public access to computers and the internet; 2) only offer ICT skills training; 3) only provide access to digital information resources and collections.

2.    We expect applicants to demonstrate results (impact) of the services in their communities, showing how the service improves lives / contributes to overcoming the development need addressed.

3.    This is an award for existing services. We will not accept applications seeking funding to start new services.

When can you enter?

This call is now open. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 5 December 2018.

What will you win?

  • Each winner will receive US$1,500; and
  • International publicity – EIFL will share your innovative service story widely through its publicity channels.

Number of awards

There will be more than one award – the number of award-winners will depend on the quality and diversity of applications received.

Further details about this award and how to apply

Rules and guidelines for submission, and application form

Selection and eligibility criteria

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Submitting your application (submission system)