Librarian consults two recent immigrants to Ukraine.
Librarian consults two recent immigrants to Ukraine.
USAID Bibliomist

Ukraine’s libraries are underutilized and often do not adequately provide library users access to the information they seek through the most current technologies and services.


  • Equip competitively selected public libraries with computers and other peripheral equipment to provide Ukrainians with better access to information through the Internet
  • Train librarians in providing better services to patrons
  • Build the capacity of the Ukrainian Librarian Association (ULA) to advocate on behalf of libraries and librarians
  • Foster the Government of Ukraine’s support for recognition of the essential role of libraries in modern society.

Bibliomist’s overarching goal is to improve access to information for Ukrainians and modernize the library system by equipping libraries with computers to facilitate Internet access to patrons and by training librarians in new services, thereby increasing the value of libraries and librarians to the public.

USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) initiated the Ukraine Global Libraries Program  in November 2008 with a grant to the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) as part of BMGF’s Global Libraries Initiative. Further support for Bibliomist comes from the Microsoft Corp., a BMGF Global Libraries Initiative partner, which is donating about $9 million in software to Ukraine’s public libraries. 

In 2014, the Bibliomist program completed delivery of equipment to the last group of public libraries and the training of librarians who work there.  The total number of public libraries equipped by Bibliomist with computers, printers, scanners and other essential peripherals reached 1,970, or about one of every nine public libraries in Ukraine.


  • In 2008-2014, Bibliomist helped the ULA expand its membership, improve membership fee collection, strengthen management, and effectively advocate for increased governmental support for public libraries.
  • In 2009-2010, Bibliomist equipped the National Training Center at the National Academy for Leaders in Culture & Arts and 24 oblast-level training centers housed at Oblast universal science libraries with new computer technology.
  • In 2010-2014, Bibliomist equipped 1,970 public libraries in 830 villages and 480 cities/towns across Ukraine and trained over 5,000 librarians there.  It attracted about $2 million of local public and private funding to renovate/equip partner libraries and inform the public about new learning opportunities.
  • Bibliomist provided small grants to a number of competitively selected public libraries to introduce additional services intended to strengthen the community and address the needs of current or potential patrons. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation objective is to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and fighting hunger and poverty.The Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries initiative is focused on bringing public access to information through technology in public libraries, with the belief that access to information and knowledge through new technologies changes lives and strengthens communities. 

Microsoft Corp. is donating an estimated $9 million in software to Ukraine’s public libraries through the Bibliomist program as part of its global initiative to endow communities with accessible and useful technology.

The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine is responsible for implementing government policy on culture and arts, intercultural relations, religion and the rights of minorities. One of the Ministry’s areas of work is analyzing and supervising the work of Ukrainian libraries and initiatives aimed at uniting institutions in the national library information system. The Ministry coordinates local stakeholder activities to help Bibliomist attain its objective.

The International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) is an international nonprofit organization providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media, and foster pluralistic civil society development. Founded in 1968, IREX works in more than 100 countries with a global staff of over 500 professionals. IREX was selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to implement Bibliomist in Ukraine.

The National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine is the key Ukrainian institution serving as the methodological and coordination center for library science, bibliography, and records management. It also participates in developing and implementing state policy-making in the area of library science.

The Ukrainian Library Association has members in nearly all of Ukraine’s regions. The ULA has taken the lead in representing the interests of all individuals and organizations committed to development of libraries on the national level and in uniting their efforts; initiating innovation in the library sector; conducting conferences and training in new areas; advocating for changes in the national library law, and implementing programs aimed at expanding citizens’ access to information at the libraries.

Last updated: August 13, 2015

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