Who We Are
ASSABIL is a non-governmental organization established in 1997 to promote reading, in particular through the establishment, promotion and support of public libraries in Lebanon that are free and open to all.
Our Mission Statement
Public libraries play an important role in the development of individuals and societies. Free and unlimited access to information is an essential prerequisite for the development of a well-informed citizenry and democratic society. Public libraries are also important public spaces: places where everyone is welcome and where people from different socioeconomic, religious, and political backgrounds can meet one another and exchange ideas.
What We do
We do what we do to encourage you and people of all ages, religions, socio-economic and educational backgrounds to come visit the libraries!
- We established and manage the three municipal public libraries of Beirut
- We operate a mobile library that visits public schools and NGOs that serve under-privileged children
- We organize regular cultural and educational activities in the Beirut municipal public libraries
- We produce resource material and activity toolkits that would be useful for librarians
- We manage a Resource and Training Center – for your more professional purposes
- We provide consultancy services for individuals and NGOs interested in establishing public libraries
- We support a network of public libraries all around Lebanon – for those of you living outside Beirut
We are guided in our work by the 1994 UNESCO Public Library Manifesto
“Freedom, prosperity, and the development of society and individuals are fundamental human values. They will only be attained through the ability of well-informed citizens to exercise their democratic rights and to play an active role in society. Constructive participation and the development of democracy depend on satisfactory education as well as on free and unlimited access to knowledge, thought, culture, and information. The public library, the local gateway to knowledge, provides a basic condition for lifelong learning, independent decision-making and cultural development of the individual and social groups. This Manifesto proclaims UNESCO’s belief in the public library as a living force for education, culture and information, and as an essential agent for the fostering of peace and spiritual welfare through the minds of men and women.”
View the manifesto online.