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From 1997 to 2018, the Gates Library Foundation (a program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) invested $1 billion over 21 years in public libraries both domestically and globally. Its investments have ensured that millions of people around the world have better access to digital tools that can help improve their lives. The program has left a powerful legacy, nothing less than bringing digital inclusion to many thousands of public libraries and their patrons around the world. TechSoup is deeply proud to have had the chance to work with the Gates Foundation to empower public libraries everywhere.
In 1997, Bill and Melinda Gates created the Gates Library Foundation to bring computers and digital information to public libraries in the United States and Canada. When the foundation began this work, less than a quarter of U.S. libraries were connected to the Internet, and fewer provided Internet access to patrons. Today, nearly all U.S. libraries are not just connected, they've been transformed into critical community resources for today's digital world by supplying public-access computers, software, and training to their communities.