The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently accepting applications to its 2011 Access to Learning Award (ATLA), 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, an initiative of the foundation’s Global Development Program. The recipient of the Access to Learning Award will receive $1 million (U.S.).
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 2011 Access to Learning Award must be submitted via an online submission process by September 30, 2010. The application form is available only in English and must be completed in English to be eligible for consideration. You may find additional information on eligibility requirements and the process of selection at: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/ATLA
Specific inquiries may be emailed to the ATLA Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org