Libraries Without Borders

Promoting access to equal education for all in Australia – Concluded

Information is power, Australia FreeText Editor

Libraries Without Borders, Australia


(Programme concluded - the Foundation no longer supports this programme)

Libraries Without Borders (LWB) is a remarkable organisation that has developed the ‘Ideas Box’: a mobile multimedia centre for vulnerable populations. It uses satellite technology to connect remote communities – in particular refugees – to the Internet, and the wider world. Ideas Boxes also contain tablets, computers, e-readers, hard copy books, films, games, and servers loaded with educational content. They can be installed anywhere and under rough conditions.

The Ideas Box rollout in Australia is being led by State Library of Queensland in partnership with Libraries Without Borders, Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council, Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council and State Library of Western Australia, and with the support of the Puma Energy Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and Queensland Library Foundation.

In Mapoon, the Ideas Box stayed for 6 months in 2016 and was a success. Its contents remain in the local library. Kowanyama, where more than 1,000 Aboriginal people live, was next to receive the Ideas Box, which was visited by community members. In September, the Australian National Early Literacy Summit took place in Adelaide, where the innovative box generated curiosity and enthusiasm. In the same month, the Ideas Box reached Yungngora, home to 165 indigenous Australians. Children loved playing on iPads and a heart-warming moment came when an elderly woman recognized her old classmates in pictures compiled by the Ideas Box team. Since then, the immersive box has been set up in Irlee Learning Center. Puma Energy Foundation is proud to fund this highly appreciated resource.