Who we are

The challenge | Our mission | Our core initiatives | Our partner and project countries | Our name

Enabling access to knowledge through libraries in developing and transition countries

EIFL 2012 General Assembly 2012 - Yerevan, Armenia (Photo: Vram Hakobyan)EIFL works with libraries to enable access to digital information in developing and transition countries. We are an international not-for-profit organisation based in Europe with a global network of partners.

Founded in 1999, EIFL began by advocating for affordable access to commercial e-journals for academic and research libraries in Central and Eastern Europe. Today, EIFL partners with libraries and library consortia in more than 60 developing and transition countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Our work has also expanded to include other programmes designed to enable access to knowledge for education, learning, research and sustainable community development.

The challenge

Access to knowledge is fundamental to education and research, the improvement of lives, and the creation of human capital upon which the development of societies depends. Libraries play a key role through the provision of high quality information resources and services. However, factors such as the high cost of commercial e-resources, legal barriers and poor technology infrastructure risk leaving many people around the world behind.

Our mission

EIFL enables access to knowledge through libraries in developing and transition countries to contribute to sustainable economic and social development.

Our core initiatives

Access to Knowledge for Education, Learning and Research – ensuring well-resourced libraries, modern Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and skilled staff to provide essential support to students and scholars.

Access to knowledge for sustainable community development – helping to transform lives through innovative services in public libraries.

Our partner and project countries

We currently work with national library consortia in more than 45 developing and transition countries in Africa, Asia and Europe and have projects in over 23 countries in Africa, Europe and Latin America. The network is continuing to grow, we are proud to welcome Namibia in 2012.

Participants of EIFL General Assembly 2012 - Yerevan, Armenia (photo: Carlo Di Nuccio)

Our name

EIFL stands for Electronic Information for Libraries.  

Originally known as eIFL.net, we changed our name to EIFL in 2010.  Our legal name remains Stichting eIFL.net.

We also added a new strapline in 2010, "Knowledge without boundaries".  This conveys both the end result of our mission - enabling access to knowledge - and our work across five programme areas to remove all boundaries to knowledge, whether economic, technical or legal.