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.