What we do?
Strengths and potential of libraries
Polish libraries already have experience and an offer aimed at people from Ukraine
From 2022 to 2023, in partnership with Save the Children International, we implemented the socio-educational project ‘Library for All. Different. Equal. Important.’ The aim of the project was to provide support to children and young people and caregivers, arriving in Poland from Ukraine, to continue their education in a Ukrainian school, as well as to adapt to a Polish school, enjoy various developmental activities in libraries, and learn the Polish language and integrate with young Poles.
We are currently continuing our cooperation with Save the Children International by implementing the project ‘Library for All. My Place’. In this project, we support Ukrainian and Polish young people in establishing relationships, learning at school and choosing a career path – by participating in integration and development activities organised in libraries. Ukrainian parents and carers are also supported.
For more information on both projects, please visit https://bibliotekidlaukrainy.org.pl/.
Main areas of work
Our goal is to develop a model of the library offering the above-mentioned services to people from Ukraine and other refugees and migrants as well as to create a training course for librarians on how to implement this model in their communities. We understand ‘a model’ as a set of complex solutions covering: needs assessment, collections, readership, educational services, communication with target groups and advocacy. As a result, we expect that refugees will as much as possible be able to use their potential as citizens and employees as well and become respected members of a host community.
As a result of internal discussions, three areas of our potential activities have emerged, aimed primarily at libraries. Activities addressed to the community organisations and schools are yet to be developed. These include information and educational activities that will support integration of refugees into Polish communities and help the Polish society welcome people from Ukraine.
- development of a compendium of knowledge on the use of ICT tools for learning, dealing with practical issues in everyday life, educational opportunities in Poland, integration of refugees and refugee women into the community – to be used by organisations and institutions directly supporting people who arrive from Ukraine; especially to support libraries engaged in ongoing assistance to people who arrive from Ukraine;
- supporting public libraries to help them design an offer of local activities dedicated to the reception of refugees, including a great range of cultural and educational activities for migrants;
- other educational activities including counteracting misinformation and manifestations of racist behaviour. Part of this will be any activities carried out by libraries that promote knowledge about countries of origin (focus on Ukraine) and their culture.
The activities described above will be one of ISDF’s priorities in the coming years. The scale of the activities described above – and new ones that will emerge – depends on the resources at our disposal.
- A team of 20+ professionals (areas of expertise: online and blended learning, informal education/out-of-school education of children and youth and adults using ICT tools, supporting local activities through public libraries and other local actors, English proficiency and Russian in several team members),
- community of librarians www.biblioteki.org and library friends on https://www.labib.pl/, network of ICT educators across Poland https://sektor3-0.pl/
- information and education platforms adapted to the needs of libraries, schools and NGOs (
- (https://biblioteki.org, https://elearning.sektor3-0.pl, https://mydigitallife.pl/kursy, https://kursy.frsi.org.pl)
- an office in the centre of Warsaw
- yearly budget app. 2 mln EUR