France

In France, Libraries Without Borders (LWB) supports the creation and implementation of innovative educational and cultural policies for underserved populations. To this end, LWB develops tools and programs that aim to stimulate and reinforce the networks of public reading and socio-cultural organizations.

Background

France is marked by increasing inequalities, and entire sections of the population have little access to cultural goods.  First among them are people in precarious  situations: studies show how the close linkage of instability, exclusion, and illiteracy. In addition to these precarious populations, there are also those living in areas that are “off the grid,” not part of the cultural fabric: rural areas as well as working-class neighborhoods often identified as “urban policy” priorities. . 

With more than 16,000 public reading spaces, France has an exceptionally dense network of libraries and access points to books. However, with an average registration rate of just 17%, the social utility of libraries is still too often a potential left undeveloped. Their remoteness, limiting opening hours, but also the prejudices about libraries limit their impact.

Our Approach

With the Ideas Box, the Digital Travelers, Khan Academy, and  LWB Campus, LWB supports  change within libraries and offers innovative educational tools that librarians, teachers, and socio-cultural facilitators can adopt and use with their audiences. 

The strategy for the dissemination of these projects focuses in particular on priority urban policy districts and rural areas. LWB also develops tools and programs that support and welcome  asylum seekers and refugees in France.

The tools and programs supported by the association are designed principally for the most disadvantaged groups, in a dynamic of co-construction with local actors.

Saint-Martin : "Culture for all" in schools

The purpose of the “Culture for all” project is to improve the quality of access to education and information for the inhabitants of Saint-Martin, whose lives were greatly affected when Hurricane Irma hit the island two years ago. 15,000 books in French, English, and Spanish were specially chosen and donated to the reference centers of the island’s 14 kindergartens and elementary schools to provide additional resources. Ideas Cube kits were set up in each of Saint-Martin’s 19 schools to give educators the ability to hold workshops with their classes. Two Ideas Box kits were also set up with the help of local associations, giving children and adults a space where they can learn, play, and meet.

Sarcelles: Reducing social inequalities linked to health

In 2019, in response to a call for projects, the town of Sarcelles welcomed our second Health Awareness Ideas Box. Developed in 2017 thanks to the support of the Fondation CNP Assurances, and first installed in the Boulonnais community, this thematic Ideas Box supports activities of health awareness and prevention among children, adolescents, and young adults. By proposing content adapted to their needs, the Ideas Box allows them to learn more about health in this formative period of their lives. Workshops also turn them into artists and content creators (video, theater) who showcase their skills to their friends and family.

Our teams selected six topics to discuss: emotional and sexual relations; well-being; prevention against drug consumption; food; physical activity and sleep; and access to healthcare for the disabled. In 2020, a third call for projects for districts and associations will bring a third Health Awareness Ideas Box to the community for the youth of the city’s Municipal Priority Districts. A Health Awareness Kit was also created in 2020 to be used by facilitators, teachers, school nurses, librarians, and partner organizations, everywhere in France, to support a first encounter with health issues. Users will be able to find content organized by theme, activity sheets, and training tools. Within the Ideas Box and the Ideas Cube, the kit will allow us to make use of some of the activities developed in the Health Awareness Ideas Box.

Ample content on prevention and awareness of Covid-19 will also be available in the kit. Finally, we will launch this year an appeal to a scientific commission that will, as its principal mission, define the broader strategic and technical stakes of the project and approve the pedagogic resources in the Health Prevention Ideas Box and the kit. This commission is composed of experts in the fields of unequal access to medical care and in the topics outlined above.

Making use of the collections of the Directorate of Public Reading of the Departmental Council of Loir-et-Cher

In June 2018, in the context of the CTL in Blaisois – Pays de Chambord, the department of Loir-et-Cher acquired an Ideas Box. At first used by the libraries on the perimeter of the CTL that wished to develop activities and different partnerships with local audiences and actors, the Ideas Box helped to gain access to the resources of the DLP, especially the easy-to-read and digital tools sections. Thus, as it is accessible across the department and supported by volunteers, communities borrow the Ideas Box to present performances and workshops beyond the walls for audiences estranged from books and reading. The project affirms the relevance of collaborations among departmental councils and our association. Our participation in the annual conference of departmental libraries, “For a network of public reading that is equitable and durable,” organized in September 2020, will allow us to further develop our connections.

Grand Paris Sud: Two Ideas Box kits to guarantee public services

In summer 2019, LWB deployed two Ideas Box kits to Grand Paris Sud, in Évry-Courcouronnes and Combs-la-Ville. In 2020, they will help assure a continuity of public services during the rebuilding of the media library of La Coupole, at Combs-la-Ville, that is scheduled to start in Spring 2020. The media library of l’Agora d’Évry-Courcouronnes operates on the same logic, though it is likely to close down soon because of the renovation of the Arènes. Other local actors, like schools, nursing homes, municipalities, and others, have shown interest and could benefit in the future from other Ideas Box kits. This project is at the heart of a set of measures and plants to develop access to culture for everyone. It’s a response to the will of local actors who wish to make Grand Paris Sud an attractive and inclusive region.

Sophia Antipolis: An Ideas Box to reinforce public reading

In the framework of an 18 month contract, the networks of media libraries of the Communauté d’Agglomération of Sophia Antipolis acquired an Ideas Box at the end of 2019 to reinforce and extend services of public readership over the whole of the territory, especially in the less well equipped zones. Trained in the spring of 2020 to use the Ideas Box, and accompanied during the launch of activities by our team, volunteers from the network will facilitate the media library in the communes of the agglomeration of Moyen et Haut Pays, which have no public facilities for reading, as well as the district of Coeur de Ville – Hauts de Vallauris, with priority given to the commune of Vallauris. Four strategic axes were defined for this project: to reinforce the attractiveness of the mediatheques; develop and use the collections on all platforms; guide the public in the mastery of digital tools; and develop access to knowledge for younger audiences.

Caen la Mer: Two Ideas Box kits for programs without walls

In a public contract, three communal libraries of the network of libraries of the Caen la Mer Urban Community – Caen, Hérouville-Saint-Clair, and Ifs – together acquired an Ideas Box in 2019. The Ideas Box allows all library personnel, trained by our teams to use the tool, to develop performances and workshops outside the walls for audiences distant from the world of books and reading. It also helps in the development and sharing of the best professional practices of each institution with others and to shed light on the many resources and new media services in the district. At the end of 2020, a second Ideas Box will be welcomed, to develop and consolidate the activities of different partners, audiences, and regional actors.

An Ideas Box in working-class neighborhoods in Calais

Acquired by the city of Calais (in Northern France) in 2015, this Ideas Box aims to facilitate access to socio-cultural and educational activities in working-class neighborhoods. The municipal library manages the project, and its team works alongside non-profits and institutions in the Beau-Marais and Fort Nieulay neighborhoods. 50 people were trained in how to use the Ideas Box, which has implemented programs relating to themes like health and digital literacy. Furthermore, the Ideas Box led to the creation of a Digital Travelers club that is determined to introduce young students to the digital world. With this goal in mind, the club started “coding tastings,” where kids eat cake and candy while learning to code through fun games. It also participated in Game Jam, an international coding fest where kids create their own video games, which was organized by Libraries Without Borders in June 2017.

An Ideas Box to reach new audiences in Roubaix

Last summer, the Grand Plage media library acquired an Ideas Box to meet new audiences, including adults who are not using the media library, or also individuals whose first language is not French, to identify and respond to their needs. The media library already has a library bus, the Zebra, which circulates in different parts of the city, but this resource is mostly intended for a young audience. By developing a network of partners that can host and co-facilitate the Ideas Box, the La Grande Plage team wants to make its services more visible to residents in target neighborhoods. The team also wants to meet the needs of new audiences, particularly regarding the fight against illiteracy.

An Ideas Box at the service of the Clermont Auvergne Métropole library network

Last October, Clermont Auvergne Métropole received an Ideas Box that will serve the entire network of its libraries; a first team has already been trained to use it. Libraries can not only reach all audiences with this tool, but can also reinforce their visibility through cultural events and through increased public recognition of development and construction projects, such as the early 2019 reopening (after a period of expansion) of the Alphonse Daudet library, or the upcoming Grande Bibliotheque project. With this fun and digital tool, the goal is to present an innovative and vibrant image of libraries, the content they offer, their services, and their cultural actions.

Developing partnerships with actors in the Yvelines territory

Financed by the Yvelines Department, an Ideas Box was made available to the city of Rambouillet and its cultural center, La Lanterne, in 2018. Aimed at the inhabitants of rural areas, with its theme, the world of science, this Ideas Box enabled local actors to establish and develop partnerships with other associations and libraries.

Strengthen cultural engagement programs in the rural territories of Ille-et-Vilaine

Ille-et-Vilaine, in the West, is the first French county (département) to have acquired an Ideas Box, which aims to strengthen cultural action projects conducted by the departmental library. Very well equipped with audio-visual, electronic, and digital resources, the Ideas Box is a powerful tool to encourage public reading and cultural projects in the landlocked region. The key to its success is found in our strong connection with department services and local partners, including municipal libraries, non-profits, and cultural centers.

The ideas Box and Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole’s media library network

Hosted by the Directorate of Médiathèques and Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole in 2017, an Ideas Box facilitates daily access to socio-cultural and educational activities in the twelve priority neighborhoods of the city. A team from the city’s various media libraries was trained and accompanied by Libraries Without Borders to use the tool, allowing the implementation of events on subjects such as digital access.

Hauts-de-France: Fighting low literacy rates in rural areas

In the Hauts-de-France region, poor literacy affects one out of ten people. In order to combat this issue, the organization Mots et Merveilles (“Words and Wonders”) has had an Ideas Box on site since 2018 in order to reach the people in rural areas who are affected by poor literacy. Their activity includes detection and prevention from an early age, as well as raising awareness among local professionals, such as teachers, doctors, and agents of the Pôle Emploi (Employment Center). By implementing artistic, educational, and digital workshops, we can support adults and children individually in increasing their autonomy.

Reinforcing digital skills with Digital Travelers

How to use a computer, create an email address, keep one’s personal information safe, and detect fake news? Since 2014, the Digital Travelers programs has helped the general public acquire basic digital skills and master everyday digital tools. In order to achieve this, they have built a large online resource library that is based around three pillars—digital access for everyone; digital citizenship; and technological programming, workarounds, and innovations—to support digital aids in helping the public.

Since July 2018, with the support of the FDJ Foundation, the Digital Travelers were able to open their large library during their Tour de France, neighborhood festivals in town squares, and cafés in city media libraries. They also offered educational workshops to librarians and activity leaders adapted to the needs and issues of their audiences. After more than a year on the road, 57 stops, and training 30,000 people, Digital Travelers ended their Tour de France in September of 2019 in Le PréSaint-Gervais in the Parisian suburbs.

In 2019, the Digital Travelers were also recognized as one of the 12 winners of the Digital Civic Engagement awards, launched by Facebook, which supports projects against harassment, hate speech, and promotes critical thinking. Thanks to this award, four hackathons were organized in France in order to create tools and fight cyberbullying. E-learning curricula and content on digital identity, cyberbullying, fake news, and media education were also created. In 2020, with funding from the Ministry of Culture, we will also co-create new content on the subjects of inclusion and digital creativity.

Throughout France, our team regularly leads training sessions with local communities as well as in non-standard locations—such as cafés, grocery stores, and malls—and for specific audiences, including young volunteers for the organization Unis-Cité. Alongside the organization Familles Rurales (“Rural Families”), which won 3rd place in the Jury Prize for the Google Impact Challenge in 2019, the Digital Travelers will also train digital aids and support the development of 100 digital mediation locations to connect 200,000 rural inhabitants to the internet throughout France and support them in their online activity so that they can become autonomous users of digital technology.

Finally, the Digital Travelers will also travel around France with an Ideas Box dedicated to digital technology in order to develop educational workshops for organizations and participants, with the intention of adapting their work to the new uses and questions of the general public.

Paris: Encouraging the autonomy and integration of highly vulnerable populations

In 2016, the city of Paris acquired two Ideas Box kits for the Pacte Contre la Grande Exclusion (Pledge Against LargeScale Exclusion). Since then, librarians in the French capital have offered regular activities in housing centers the Parisian suburbs run by the Centre d’Action Social de la Ville de Paris (City of Paris Social Action Center, or CASVP) and by partner organizations including Emmaüs Solidarité and the Aurore Association. This project aims to strengthen interactions between librarians and highly vulnerable populations in order to raise awareness about the services offered by the public library network.

Every winter during the Winter Emergency Plan, the city of Paris also requisitions gymnasiums to house people experiencing homelessness. They are given a cot, a warm meal, and a shower. For the past four years, at the invitation of the CASVP, we have also offered cultural entertainment and activities at Ideas Boxes: each night, people from shelters, volunteers, and locals play board games, read, watch movies, and use computers from the media library kit — a cultural interlude to take their mind off of their daily stresses.

Promoting access to information and education for children in Sarcelles

In Sarcelles, located just north of Paris, facilitators and librarians took the Ideas Box on a grand tour, bringing it to neighborhood community centers and public places (in a school courtyard, in a stadium, and in other meeting spots). The objective is to promote social cohesion, intergenerational connections, and increase use of the Anna Langfus InterCommunity Library. Close to 15,000 children participated in artistic, cultural, and educational activities, and were introduced to computer coding.

Actions outside the walls in Marseille

Since February 2017, two Ideas Boxes have criss-crossed the neighborhoods of Marseilles, in southeast France, offering children, adolescents, families, and seniors diverse activities geared towards citizenship and urban culture. These include painting, writing, and storytelling workshops that have had numerous participants. The first Ideas Box placed in Marseilles is facilitated by the Marseilles Municipal Libraries in a community outreach program; the second is run by the Cultural Organization of Mediterranean Reading and Writing Spaces (ACELEM). Each partner has a dedicated team to supervise and run the Ideas Boxes and organize community events that encourage sharing and friendliness.

An Ideas Box in the priority neighborhoods of North Amiens

With the support of the General Commissariat for Territorial Equality, Amiens Métropole and the Hauts-de-France region, the Youth Directorate welcomed in 2018 an Ideas Box in the northern districts of Amiens. With the Toy Library, outside artistic and cultural activities, as well as digital workshops, are regularly organized for a young audience. Thanks to the facilitators and associations formed by Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, the objective is to promote social cohesion and exchange between the district’s residents.

Marseille: A documentary series to promote an intergenerational dialogue

Produced in partnership with the association ACELEM and sponsored by Interdepartmental Committee for the Prevention of Crime and Radicalization, the group Entre Générations (“Between Generations”) is a documentary project that aims to promote intergenerational dialogue, sharing different points of view, and dismantling stereotypes and prejudices about Marseille’s disadvantaged neighborhoods.

In order to give new prestige to their city, their cultures, and their religions, approximately fifty young residents of Marseille filmed and interviewed elderly residents in their neighborhoods in order to imagine the France of tomorrow. Under the creative direction of photographer Jean-Pierre Vallorani, these videos examine identity, the feeling of belonging to our shared history, our place in society, and the way we relate to one another. In 2020, the Between Generations program will continue to produce videos.

French Guiana: Improving access to education in Quartiers de la Politique de la Ville (Municipal Priority Districts)

The organization Réseau Canopé has been a Libraries Without Borders partner since 2018, and has acquired an Ideas Box for its workshops in French Guiana. Réseau Canopé, an educational content publisher for teachers, promotes its digital books, games, and apps in the Ideas Box during its off-site events.

The media library kit also allows Canopé to strengthen its educational activity by training teachers and students on the fundamentals of French and how to teach it, since a large section of the population does not speak French. The facilitators travel to some of the most remote towns, such as Maripasoela and Camopi, to lead workshops about books and reading or digital technology with students from academic institutions. In French Guiana, more than 53% of the educated population is still illiterate. The problem is particularly critical in the Municipal Priority Districts, where the unemployment rate is approximately 34%.

To respond to the urgency of this situation, the French Ministry of the Overseas, the Prefecture of French Guiana, and local authorities hope to carry out an ambitious operation with Libraries Without Borders by collaborating with new local representatives in 2020. In order to do this, two Ideas Boxes will be set up in the Municipal Priority Districts of the city of Cayenne and Remire-Montjoly in order to reinforce the academic support and educational activities provided by AMAPO and Cultimathèque.

Libraries in Samusocial Accommodation Structures

Since 2016, thanks to the support of La Poste Foundation, Libraries Without Borders and Samusocial of Paris have been creating library spaces in social hotels in Paris and in several Ile-de-France towns: Bibli’Hotels. Every day, more than 35,000 people – 11,000 families, 50% of them children – are accommodated in these places. Based on the demands and needs of residents, more than 12,000 books were selected and installed in thirty-eight social hotels and three shelters. Since 2018, the Samusocial of Paris has chosen to strengthen its cultural activities by encouraging volunteers to conduct reading workshops in about fifteen sites. Libraries Without Borders supports the training and the follow-up of these volunteers by providing them workshop facilitation guides and online training modules.

Promoting the dynamism of associations in Bordeaux

In 2017, through a call-for-projects, the Cultura Corporate Foundation wanted to make an Ideas Box available to Bordeaux associations. Four of them were nominated laureates: the Halle des Douves, the Diaconate of Bordeaux, the Académie YouNUs and CREAI Aquitaine. Through their complementary actions onsite, these four structures co-construct and regularly offer Bordeaux diversified activities as well as participatory digital workshops, allowing different audiences to meet.

Every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, in the associative coffee shop of the market of the Douves, several activities are put in place: introduction to coding for children, workshops with a group of people with disabilities, or even Makey-makey. Outside events also mobilized the Ideas Box during European Days of Heritage or Autism Day. One Friday morning a month, one of the Ideas Box modules is also installed on the front courtyard of the Capucins market to offer residents an opportunity to listen to testimonials about the Saint-Michel district.

Mon Sac de livres: Books to welcome migrants

As a pilot project imagined by Libraries Without Borders, with the support of the Alsatian School and in partnership with the SamuSocial de Paris and Emmaüs Solidarité, Mon Sac de Livres offers to migrant children backpacks containing a personalized selection of books to welcome the child in France and give them a taste of reading.

At the Third Night of Reading organized by the Minister of Culture in January 2019, 130 backpacks were distributed to the children housed by the Samusocial of Paris and Emmaüs Solidarité at the media library Françoise Sagan, in Paris. The backpacks contained books given by the students at the Alsation School, new books as well as travel games. This welcome kit helped to anchor and support learning French and the discovery of the host country all the while valuing the experiences and cultures of each person. Still in a pilot stage, this project could scale to the greater Paris region and to French territory, in collaboration with public partnerships and public libraries.

Île-de-France: An Ideas Box to support the resettlement of migrant populations

In Île-de-France, Libraries Without Borders has been collaborating over the last four years with several associations – Aurore, Emmaüs Solidarité, Samusocial de Paris, etc. – to facilitate the resettlement and integration of asylum seekers and refugees. In the emergency housing centers  in Ivry-sur-Seine and Nanterre, for example, two Ideas Box kits were installed over the period of two years, facilitated by our teams. Every day, they proposed to residents pedagogic and artistic workshops so that they might better learn the cultural codes of their host country and facilitate their learning of French. 

Since 2016, thanks to the support of the Fondation d’Entreprise La Poste, Libraries Without Borders and Samusocial de Paris also created library spaces in the residences in Paris and in several communes of’Île-de-France: the Bibli’Hôtels. In line with these actions, thanks to the support of the FNAC and of Un rien c’est tout, an Ideas Box will make a tour of l’Île de-France in 2020, in the welcoming institutions for people in migratory situations – centers of urgent housing, foyers, “social hotels,” etc. Events and activities surrounding the book and reading will be organized with the goal of reinforcing the public’s knowledge about access to rights, to lodging, and to healthcare.

An Ideas Box with Immigrant Residents of Louvroil

Since the summer of 2018, Mots et Merveilles (“Words and Wonders”) runs an Ideas Box for asylum-seekers housed in a reception and orientation center in Louvroil, managed by Adoma. Installed in the municipal library, the team of employees and volunteers use it to offer French as a foreign language (FLE) courses and socio-linguistic and cultural activities. This Ideas Box aims to support the residents’ integration and to promote their autonomy. From citizenship to access to rights, its use interrupts their everyday isolation and allows them to connect to the services of the library that hosts them.

Ideas Boxes in Red Cross shelters for asylum seekers in Salon-de-Provence and Sablé-sur-Sarthe

In Salon-de-Provence (in the South) and Sablé-sur-Sarthe (in the West), an Ideas Box has been used in two shelters for asylum seekers to help residents through the reinsertion process and increase their autonomy. This digital library offers different resources to help volunteers and professionals lead workshops for families. These workshops primarily focus on citizenship and cohabitation, access to rights and institutions, and, beginning in the last quarter of 2017, the French language. Using technology also helps residents increase their autonomy and decrease their isolation.

To better respond to migrant audiences in the libraries

In France, libraries today welcome more and more people in migratory situations. Different challenges arise: the welcoming of migrants, access to quality content in their maternal language, and French lessons. Responding to many queries of librarians, LWB proposes to support them in a dedicated training, “Welcoming Migrants in Libraries.” Thanks to the support of the Valentin Ribet Foundation and the Minister of Culture, this training package – composed of 10 videos, a dozen exercises, and many complementary resources, is the fruit of a collaboration among libraries, associations, and researchers.

In the service of 16,000 libraries in France, the training package is part of the LWB Campus platform, which today offers eight packages of free, certified training for actors in the Francophone library world. The renewed support of our financial partners has allowed us to extend the training with a welcome kit designed for library professionals and volunteers. It includes many activity resources : digital contents, activity sheets, and new modules of online and in person training, The kit is being used in several media libraries and on site, and specific training has been given on this theme to those involved in the public support for reading.

Mayotte: Fighting against the social exclusion youth

In 2020, the French Red Cross and Libraries Without Borders will install an Ideas Box in the overseas territory of Mayotte in the fight against the social exclusion and idleness of young people aged 13 to 12, especially the most isolated among them. In creating a space for exchanges and trust with the Ideas Box, these youths can be oriented towards a social and sociocultural support system. To encourage the self-expression and creativity, specialized teams of the French Red Cross organized activities on different themes, including the prevention of risky practices and computer initiation.

Ideas Cube kits to access information and to protect the rights of asylum-seekers.

The Association Coallia, in the framework of its missions of support and lodging asylum seekers or those benefiting from an international protection in France, will initiate in 2020 an ambitious partnership with Libraries Without Borders. Forty institutions, lodging centers (CADA et HUDA) and welcoming centers for asylum seekers (SPADA), spread across the territory, will be equipped with our offline server, the Ideas Cube. These will allow the users of the spaces to freely consult, without the need for an internet connection, diverse numerical content that corresponds to their needs, in terms of languages and themes, following two principal axes: 

  • Information about the administrative, juridical and social condition of asylum seekers and those benefiting from an international protection in France; 
  • Culture and play (social ties, integration, relaxation).

Our Work in France


Ideas Box: Creating a library for immigrants

Objective

Emergency & Post-Conflict


Start date

2015


Status

Ongoing


Photos de migrants utilisant l'Ideas Box au centre Jean-Carré à Paris

ACTIONS

In 2015, an Ideas Box was welcomed by the Reception and Orientation Center for unaccompanied foreign minors of the French Red-Cross in Paris. This organization hosted children placed in temporary housing by the French justice system. LWB, in partnership with the local libraries, provided books, access to up-to-date technology, educational media, as well as organizing workshops for the youth of the center.

In Paris, LWB brought its support to the 145 migrants housed in an abandoned high school converted, since mid-February, into an emergency shelter. In partnership with Emmaus Solidarity and the City of Paris, an Ideas Box was deployed to form a socio-cultural space in the center, not only to provide a film club to the residents, but also creating an educational and informational sphere for literacy.

This project was supported by the Libraries of the City of Paris and the non-profit organization Emmaus amongst other local organizations.

Since June, 2016, the Grande-Synthe refugee camp in Northern France has welcomed an Ideas Box in their psychosocial center. The French Red-Cross and the Doctors of the World share in the hosting of this space that aims to support the refugees during the course of their migration or accompany them in their process of integration and settling in France.

BENEFICIARIES

Migrants and refugees

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Financial Partners

Executive Partners

Ideas Box: Creating a Library in Rural Areas

Objective

Education & Cultural Diversity


Start date

2017


Status

Upcoming


Photo de jeunes filles utilisant les tablettes de l'Ideas Box à Rennes

ACTIONS

The Ideas Box that will be deployed in 2017 in Ille-et-Vilaine region of Brittany aims to accompany the local authorities in building projects that foster a cultural, technological, and innovative environment for individual and communal development.  

The authorities will especially benefit from and contribute to creating:

  • A new way to encourage reading amongst the population
  • An updated Technological Literacy Plan

BENEFICIARIES

This project combines many rural and urban components that will allow for a flexible approach in assisting a variety of groups:

The elderly, disabled, isolated, immigrant children, to give a few examples.

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Financial Partners

Ideas Box: Bringing a Library to Underserved Neighborhoods

Objective

Education & Cultural Diversity


Start date

2015


Status

Ongoing


Photo du déploiement d'une Ideas Box à Sarcelles

ACTIONS

In and around Paris, the Ideas Box are operated by the local non-profits both indoors, in schools and shelters, as well as outdoors, in stadiums or public squares. In 2015, an Ideas Box was set up for two months during a Summer Camp event near an intercommunal library, where more than 1000 youths have participated in creative, cultural, educational, and journalistic activities along with coding workshops.

Calais (Northern France) is the first French village to have acquired an Ideas Box. With the support of local media libraries, the Ideas Box was deployed in field houses, commercial centers and social hubs. LWB has focused on creating workshops for children to develop their technological and creative abilities through graphic and game design using the Ideas Box in coordination with MIT’s Scratch software.

In the northern suburbs of Paris, an Ideas Box was deployed every Saturday afternoon in a disadvantaged neighborhood near a public housing complex to conduct outdoors cultural programs and activities while assisting the development of a new media library in 2017.

BENEFICIARIES

Vulnerable populations and/or residents in zones not-covered by the cultural influence in urban areas.

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Financial Partners

Executive Partners

My Online Backpack: Allowing Hospitalized Children to Stay on Track

Objective

Education & Cultural Diversity


Start date

2015


Status

Ongoing


Photo du cartable

BACKGROUND

In France, about 2 million children younger than 18 years old are hospitalized each year. Regardless of the duration of their stay, their illness separates the children from their school, class, and classmates. This results in a double discrimination for the child.

ACTIONS

My Online Backpack is a revolutionary backpack that recreates a link between the hospitalized child and his school. It’s an all-in-one kit that can be installed in few minutes and automatically connects itself to the Internet. From his hospital room, the pupil can attend courses and interact with his class.

Prototyped by the LWB team and tested in Parisian hospitals and schools to optimize its design, functions, and efficiency, the device is now in its second version. This new version of the backpack will be tested in the upcoming months in two schools located in Paris and Nice.

Cette nouvelle version du cartable sera testée dans les prochains mois, en partenariat avec l’IGR, dans deux établissements scolaires de la région parisienne et à Nice (avec la Fondation Lenval).

BENEFICIARIES

Hospitalized children

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Financial Partners

Executive Partners

BSF Education: Questions that everyone wonders about but never asks

Objective

Education & Cultural Diversity


Start date

2016


Status

Ongoing


CONTEXT

Following the January 2015 attacks in Paris, LWB received numerous requests from French  teachers and professors to address serious questions raised by their students.  Many of them were dismayed by their lack of crucial pedagogical tools to help their students better understand the situation.

ACTIONS

Strengthened by our experience in the creation of digital pedagogical contents, we were able to develop content to better conceptualize the serious topics of secularism (laicité), freedom of speech, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and blasphemy among many others.
With the help of historians, legal experts, professors, students, writers, and artists, LWB created short videos that were uploaded to its Youtube channel, BSF Education.

BENEFICIARIES

Middle and high school students.

BSF Campus: Training Program for French-speaking Librarians

Objective

Social Entrepreneurship


Start date

2015


Status

Ongoing


Photo atelier de formation BSF Campus

ACTIONS

Launched in 2015 with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BSF Campus is a free online learning platform (www.bsfcampus.org) for  librarians and cultural entrepreneurs.

BSF Campus regrouped more than 10 hours of video lessons conceived by skilled professionals. Librarianship, cultural outreach, ICT and drive for innovation, management of cultural projects, and advocacy are amongst the available topics.

The lessons are organized in 6 different paths, each with a certificate at the end and exercises along the way for better self-training. The platform is only available in French presently, but plans are ongoing for the creation of an English version.

BENEFICIARIES

French-speaking librarians and cultural entrepreneurs.

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Financial Partners

Logo de la Fondation Bill et Melinda Gates
The Digital Travelers: A Program for Digital Introduction and Literacy

Objective

Education & Cultural Diversity


Start date

2015


Status

Ongoing


Photo d'un garçon faisant de la programmation lors d'un atelier VDC

ACTIONS

The Code Travelers is a program for introducing underserved populations to computer programing and coding. Through this program, BSF has also been training and raising awareness among students on the importance of computer programming, especially as a professional skill.

To accomplish this, the Code Travelers draws on a network of clubs created by IT volunteers that organize workshops for ad hoc initiation and long cycles of training in relay structures such as libraries, community centers, schools, and social centers.

The Code Travelers co-construct their program through a web platform run by LWB (voyageursducode.fr), relying on tools like codecademy.com, a learning platform completely free and open to all, adapted into French by the LWB team.

BENEFICIARIES

In the past 2 years, more than 3000 children, adolescents, and their families have been using the program and visiting the 80 clubs that exist in 25 cities of France.

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Financial Partners

Executive Partners

Khan Academy: Learning in Sciences for Everyone, for Free

Objective

Education & Cultural Diversity


Start date

2013


Status

Ongoing


Photo d'enfants avec des ordinateurs travaillant sur la Khan Academy

ACTIONS

The Khan Academy is the first interactive online learning platform of its kind with more than 15 million users worldwide. Known for its short video lessons on a blackboard, it offers personalized educational courses, customized according to the level of its users.

Adapted into French by the Libraries Without Borders under the supervision of a scientific committee composed of scholars and specialists in education, the platform is entirely free and already scores more than 2 million users in France.

In France, LWB provides support to other educational organizations (scholarly establishments, tutoring centers, etc.) in getting acquainted with the platform. Since 2016, the main challenge for LWB in France was to introduce and expand the use use of the platform in underserved neighborhoods.

BENEFICIARIES

  • Users in France
  • The users in all the sectors of education: formal (elementary, middle, and high schools, along with institutions of higher learning) and non-formal (tutoring centers, libraries, local educational support centers, etc.)

WITH SUPPORT FROM

Financial Partners

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