Our organization

LWB works so that each man, woman and child throughout the world can enjoy a decent life and thrive through easy, open and free access to libraries, information and education. LWB consistently promotes cultural diversity across its work.

Our Mission

Libraries Without Borders aims to invent the library of the 21st century. More than a simple collection of books, a library is a tool that can be leveraged to fight instability and social inequality, allowing people to develop creative energies and build new livelihood skills.

LWB focuses on building libraries and developing innovative tools, curating and creating content, and devising trainings that enable facilitators to share their expertise and bring libraries to life for people across the globe. 


LWB’s three main areas of intervention are: 

  • Humanitarian and post-conflict 
  • Education and culture for all
  • Social entrepreneurship

Our story

Under the leadership of historian Patrick Weil, Libraries without Borders was established in January 2007. LWB emerged from a sense of urgency to give each person around the world — especially the poorest — the tools to access information and education, and fulfill their maximum potential.

Since its founding, LWB has advocated for a modern approach to cultural cooperation with countries in need, especially when it comes to rethinking book donations and building sustainable economical models for public and community libraries.

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, LWB broadened its activities. It developed a strong expertise in humanitarian emergency programs. In partnership with designer Philippe Starck, LWB launched the Ideas Box,  a mobile “pop up” multimedia center that can be unpacked in twenty minutes, and is fully autonomous, portable, and durable.

During that same period, LWB began to shift its efforts towards the digital, working extensively on innovative pedagogies and technologies to reach remote and underserved populations, such as Khan Academy, Code Travelers and LWB’s KoomBook.

LWB is now active in 25 countries throughout the world, and has branches in the US and in Europe (including Belgium, Switzerland and the UK). Since 2007, over 2 million people have benefited from LWB’s programs.

Our values

Libraries are places where the poorest and most underserved people can broaden their horizons, transform their lives and build social capital. They are places of creativity and living laboratories of democracy that offer incomparable access to information, education and culture. In that sense, they are key spaces for the future, nd the development of the human race and of our societies.

Through its action for libraries, LWB advocates that:

LWB envisions this right as the freedom and ability for everyone to access open and quality information as well as the ability to contribute to the creation of information.

Education should lift people, foster critical thinking, creativity and the capacity to undertake action, cultivate justice and help build free and democratic societies.

LWB believes that a respectful mindset towards local cultures, practices and beliefs is a prerequisite to establishing  sustainable and locally anchored actions.

LWB respects and promotes linguistic diversity, local publishing and creatives industries in countries where the organization works. LWB never forces contents (may they be books or digital contents) on a partner.

L’innovation, l’expérimentation, l’évaluation et la recherche d’un impact durable de ses projets pour les populations locales sont inscrites dans l’ADN de BSF. Pour autant, BSF reconnaît l’importance du support papier pour l’apprentissage de la lecture et plaide en faveur d’une articulation intelligente entre papier et numérique.

LWB network

Libraries Without Borders is a network of non-governemental organisations.

Libraries Without Borders is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3), based in Washington, D.C. 

1342 Florida Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

The Board of Directors | The team

Legal documents
Articles of association

Bibliothèques Sans Frontières is a non profit-making charity under the French law of 1901, recognised as such beneficial to the general interest. It is the founding organisation, which initiated the BSF movement. BSF France consists of its headquarters, located in Montreuil, its logistics base in Epône (78) and regional branches (Toulouse, Lille, Marseille). 

France and international headquarters : 8-10 rue de Valmy, 93100 Montreuil
Logistics base : 66 Avenue de Pâtis, 78680 Epône

The Board of Directors | The team

Legal documents
Articles of association (in French) | Internal regulations (in French) | Code of ethics (in French)

BSF Suisse is non-profit organisation, based on the articles 60 and following of the Swiss Civil Code. It is based in Geneva. 

Bibliothèques Sans Frontières Suisse c/o : Françoise et Jérôme Delorme
60 quai Gustave Ador, 1207 Genève, Suisse

Legal documents
Articles of association

In the process of being established.

In the process of being established.

BSF Services, the commercial branch

In 2015, LWB founded a commercial entity: BSF Services.

BSF Services is a one-person simplified joint-stock company (Actions Simplifiée Unipersonnelle (SASU)). It is presided by LWB’s Board and has its headquarters at LWB’s logistics base, in Epone.

BSF Services manages all sales of second-hand books, as well as services outside of LWB’s missions (such as training, expertise, logistics, etc.).

The company’s benefits are donated every year to LWB as dividends. The founding of the company is part of LWB’s commitment to diversify its sources of funding, in order to strengthen its autonomy in its activities.

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