18 June 2009
Call for Applications: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2010 Access to Learning Award
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently accepting applications to its annual Access to Learning Award, which recognizes the innovative efforts of public libraries and similar institutions outside the United States to connect people to information and opportunities through free access to computers and the Internet. The award is given by Global Libraries, a special initiative of the foundation’s Global Development Program. The recipient of the Access to Learning Award will receive US$1 million.
Computers and the Internet are powerful tools that provide opportunities for people to improve their social and economic well-being. Worldwide, just one person in six has access to the Internet. This means that more than five billion people miss out on chances to pursue education and employment, access government services, learn about valuable health information, conduct business online, and exchange information and ideas. The Access to Learning Award encourages new, innovative ways to provide computer and Internet services to people without access, and promotes greater development of public access technology programs around the world.
The Access to Learning Award honors innovative organizations that are opening a world of online information to people in need. The foundation’s Global Libraries initiative invites applications from libraries and similar organizations outside the United States that have created new ways to offer these key services:
- Free public access to computers and the Internet.
- Public training to assist users in accessing online information that can help improve their lives.
- Technology training for library staff.
- Outreach to underserved communities.
- Applications are open to institutions outside the United States that are working with disadvantaged communities.
- To be eligible, the applying institution must allow all members of the public to use computers and the Internet free of charge in a community space.
Applications for the 2010 Access to Learning Award must be submitted via an online submission process by October 31, 2009. Please visit the Access to Learning Award website to submit your application online and for additional information about the program. The application form is available only in English and must be completed in English to be eligible for consideration. However, while applications must be submitted in English, the foundation does offer informational brochures in: العربية, 中文, English, Français, Русский , and Español.