Access to Learning Award (ATLA)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
This award recognizes the innovative efforts of libraries or similar organizations outside the United States to connect people to information through free access to computers and the Internet. The ATLA is a one-time recognition, or prize, for organizations that have created programs currently providing free access to computers and the Internet for the public. The award is to recognize services currently being provided. Computers and the Internet are powerful tools that provide opportunities for people to improve their social and economic well being. They can help individuals, regardless of age, race, income or geography, pursue education and employment, access government services, learn about valuable health information, conduct business online, and exchange information and ideas. The foundation’s Global Libraries initiative is dedicated to opening a world of knowledge and opportunity by partnering with public libraries to provide free access to computers and the Internet. Previous ATLA recipients are helping people in some of the world’s most remote and poverty-stricken areas live healthier, more productive lives. ATLA highlights the innovative ways libraries and similar organizations are providing services to people in need and aims to promote development and replication of new ways to increase public access to information technology around the world.
Amount noteThe award recipient will receive $1 million. The award funds must be spent exclusively in furtherance of the charitable, educational, scientific, or literary purposes of the recipient organization. In addition, no portion of the award funds may be used to support efforts to influence legislation or participate in campaign activities in support of or against political candidates. The award recipient must agree to these restrictions on the use of the foundation’s funds in order to accept the award. Upon selection, the ATLA recipient will be asked by the foundation to describe in greater detail how the award funds will be used. Award recipients are required to report to the foundation at regularly scheduled intervals on the use of the funding and to hold the funding in foundation-approved bank accounts.EligibilityThe foundation invites public libraries or similar organizations outside the United States to apply, if they currently provide free public access to information through the use of computers and the Internet. The foundation particularly encourages applications from institutions in developing countries or those working with disadvantaged communities. The foundation will give preference to organizations that reach out to underserved groups, such as poor or disabled patrons, or those from minority communities, as long as the organization still provides services to all members of the community. For the purposes of this award, no U.S. organizations are eligible to apply. That includes U.S. organizations that operate in locations outside of the USA. If a U.S. organization works through a local organization outside the USA, the local organization would be encouraged to apply. Eligible libraries or similar organizations that applied previously are invited to apply again. Previous award recipients may not reapply. Organizations that are existing or past grantees of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation (including Global Health awards) are not eligible to apply.