CT State Library in Partnership with Libraries Without Borders US

The CT State Library is pleased to announce a joint partnership with Libraries Without Borders US (LWB). LWB is the American branch of the global NGO Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, which delivers knowledge and information to communities in crisis. LWB has worked to assist people
experiencing challenges caused by the digital divide, communities living in book deserts, and those who, for various reasons, do not feel comfortable accessing their local libraries.

The CT State Library and LWB US will be working with six public libraries across the state to build trust and grow habits that ultimately help connect new users to permanent resources available through their local public library. This may include creative solutions such as building intentionally temporary library satellites in community spaces; those locations could be anywhere from laundromats to
apartment complexes to grocery store parking lots to community centers.

The CT State Library and LWB team will be working with:

• The David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village, CT
• The East Hartford Public Library in East Hartford, CT
• The Willimantic Public Library in Windham, CT
• The Norwalk Public Library in Norwalk, CT
• The West Haven Public Library in West Haven, CT
• The Otis Library in Norwich, CT

This pilot initiative will span about 12 months focusing on meeting the identified needs of each unique community. The phases of the project include community assessment, distribution of resources, implementation of programming, training, and evaluation.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Libraries Without Borders US on this project,” said State Librarian Deborah Schander. “In the same way we must be intentional in responding to food deserts and other community needs, it’s vital we recognize and respond to the barriers which stand in the way of library usage. This approach is creative and necessary.”

“LWB is all about working with library staff in community outreach, resource sharing, and connected learning, extending beyond the library walls to engage new users in library services,” said Dawn La Valle, Director of the Division of Library Development at the CT State Library. “LWB is a thoughtful and insightful partner to work with this group of rural, suburban, and urban libraries and communities, establishing a sustainable practice with training and connections that will feed all those involved long beyond the duration of the project.”.

“For more than a decade, Libraries Without Borders has been connecting people to the information they need to thrive — from refugee camps in Jordan and Bangladesh to laundromats in Baltimore and San Antonio,” said Aaron Greenberg, Executive Director of LWB. “We are enormously excited about the opportunity to bring the resources and treasures of the public library to communities across Connecticut and expand access to this vital part of our civic and digital infrastructure. We want to replicate the work we’re piloting in Connecticut nationally–state by state, county by county, town by town, branch by branch.”

This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by Connecticut State Library.

For More information contact 

 Dawn La Valle
(860) 757-6665