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Press Release: The Europe Challenge announces 57 libraries and communities for its 2024 edition Back

Press Release: The Europe Challenge announces 57 libraries and communities for its 2024 edition

14 Dec 2023

The Europe Challenge, initiated by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and supported by Fondazione Cariplo, the Scottish Library and Information Council and by public funding through Arts Council England, is proud to announce that 57 libraries and communities from 24 countries have been selected for its 2024 edition: Libraries, Communities and Democracy. This new edition of the programme addresses various challenges facing Europe, such as social isolation, inequality, disinformation, and the climate crisis, through community-led local change facilitated by libraries all over Europe. The programme will run from January to September 2024.

The initiatives chosen for the 2024 cohort of the Europe Challenge span a diverse spectrum of issues, reshaping the conventional roles of libraries as crucial pillars of European democracy. Among the selected projects are those dedicated to dismantling the stigma associated with accessing mental health services, aiding women victims of violence, offering resources for marginalized communities dealing with debt, transforming libraries into climate gardens for heatwave resilience, addressing the challenge of low voter turnout among young people, providing support to Ukrainian families coping with trauma from the war, promoting the inclusion of refugees, and numerous other impactful endeavours.

“Libraries are more than just houses for books; they are the lifeblood of European communities. They provide safe spaces, foster education, combat social inequalities, and build resilient societies. Recently, libraries across Europe are facing closure, attacks from extremists, and censorship. The Europe Challenge is on the frontline of breathing new life into European libraries. I am excited to see so many communities and libraries across Europe taking creative action to solve challenges and improve social and environmental well-being,” said André Wilkens, Director of the European Cultural Foundation.

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