Our guiding values are local partnership, sustainable development, democracy and human rights, and cultural diversity.
We believe in partnering with local individuals, organizations, and agencies instead of working alone. It is important to forge relationships and trust between international organizations like our own and local ones in order to ensure that projects respond to local contexts and fulfill existing needs instead of creating new ones. Our commitment to local partnerships also helps to guarantee that our projects, such as libraries, will be used by local populations and that they will have a sustainable impact. Finally, local partnerships allow LWB to introduce new practices that combine cutting-edge international development methods with locally-relevant techniques instead of reproducing old, ineffective development practices.
Each year, millions of new books are destroyed even as millions of people around the world will never have access to a library. LWB works closely with publishers, institutions, and organizations to give a second life to these books by putting them on the shelves of understocked libraries in the developing world. LWB’s actions even take a step further. By supporting editors and publishers in the developing world and promoting local culture, we contribute to the local development of cultural economies.
Democracy and human rights
LWB bases its work on the fundamental idea that access to information and knowledge is an essential ingredient in making populations autonomous, as well as for the safeguarding of democracy and human rights. Libraries are places that are open to the world, places for discussion and meeting other people, and places where ideas and opinions come together. Libraries and the knowledge they share represent the building blocks of democracy.
LWB promotes cultural and linguistic diversity. Libraries are magnificent bridges between shared histories and futures yet to be built. Because they offer a space for the conservation of heritage collections and the promotion of local knowledge and languages, they are also venues for the construction of multicultural and tolerant societies. Additionally, by supporting book production channels within the countries in which it is active, LWB promotes diversity in book publishing and local publishing.