TASCHA Legacy Grant

For the past 20 years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries initiative worked to improve the lives of one billion information poor people while positioning the world’s 320,000 public libraries as critical community assets and providers of information through relevant programs and services. In light of the announcement to wind-down the initiative, three legacy partners (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions [IFLA], the United States Public Library Association [PLA] and the Technology and Social Change group at the University of Washington Information School [TASCHA]) have been selected to build on the foundation’s successes and continue the transformation of public libraries as critical centers of learning, creativity, and community development in a rapidly changing environment.

TASCHA’s primary value to the legacy initiative is to lead the Research and Innovation lever so that it serves as an incubator for new ideas and solutions that will propel the public library field forward. TASCHA’s efforts will be particularly directed toward elevating the role of libraries in development, aimed at five principal results:
1) Library field is inspired by and acting on collective knowledge and new ideas (Discovery)
2) Library field is generating and adopting innovative programs and services (Innovation)
3) Libraries and partners are actively engaged in demonstration projects (Demonstration)
4) Library field is equipped with impact indicators, supported by the latest science in data gathering, analysis, and visualization (Impact & Data)
5) New approaches to LIS education are embedded in the University of Washington Information School (iSchool) and spread to other library schools and learning channels (Education)
TASCHA’s efforts will be particularly directed toward elevating the role of libraries in development, focusing especially on geographies where impact can be deepened the most. Research and innovation is most useful when it serves to drive change, and not just meet today’s or yesterday’s needs, thereby enabling libraries to continuously apply the latest knowledge to serve their communities. TASCHA expects its impact to be through its engagement with people and networks as key influencers, more so than from formal research outputs. As such, TASCHA aims to be a source and spark for research and innovation, serving as an open platform for thought leaders from within and outside the library sector to engage on the pressing issues facing the field

Grant Info


Christopher Coward


Mike Crandall


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation



Start Date

Jan 1, 2015