EIFL Public Library Innovation Award 16: Rules and guidelines for submission

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1. Applications may be submitted either in writing, or in video (film) format. For further details see points 7 and 8, below.

2. Applications may be submitted in English, Russian, French and Spanish (these are the main international languages that EIFL-PLIP staff and expert reviewers can read and understand, and we have chosen these languages for administrative purposes). If you submit your application using video format, you may use your mother-tongue, but the video must have clear subtitles in English.

3. Only applications submitted by public and community libraries  from developing and transition countries are eligible and will be passed for review by experts.

4. Past and present EIFL-PLIP grantee libraries may not apply for an Innovation Award for an EIFL-PLIP-funded programme/activity. However, they may submit an application for a programme/activity not funded by EIFL-PLIP that qualifies for this award. Past EIFL Public Library Innovation Award winners may not apply for a programme/activity that has received an EIFL Innovation Award in the past, but may submit an application for a different programme/activity.

5. The programme/activity should have started during or after 2020. It should have been operational for at least six (6) months and be operational at the time of application.

6. Only one programme/activity related to learning through play can be presented in the application. If you have more programmes/activities in this area and also wish to apply for these, you should submit separate applications for each programme/activity.

7. If you decide to submit your application in writing, make sure that:

  • You fill in the Application form in full.
  • Your application is supported by 2 - 3 photos capturing the innovative programme/activity presented in the application.

8.  If you decide to submit your application in video format, make sure that:

  • The video incorporates all the information required by the Application form, including (1) Information about your library (2) Background to the programme/activity (3) Description of the programme/activity and why it is innovative (4) Results / impact of the programme/activity. You must study the Application form carefully for explanations of the information required.
  • The video is less than five minutes in length.
  • The video has clear English subtitles.
  • The video is uploaded to YouTube.

9. We will only accept applications (written or video) that are submitted through the EIFL online submission system. If you need technical assistance with registration on the system, or uploading your application, please get in touch with us via e-mail plip@eifl.net.

An e-mail help desk will be available during the period the Innovation Award call is open. Please feel free to contact us at plip@eifl.net. The language of communication is English.

10. The deadline for applications is Monday, 14 November 2022.


Applications will be reviewed by international experts. Each application will be reviewed independently by at least two evaluators. 

Experts will focus on the quality of the application, based on the following criteria:

I) Innovativeness of the library programme/activity. Innovation means that the programme/activity has never been done in this place before, has never focused on a specific target group before, was never done with a particular partner, or partners before, was never done properly before or never used tools/technology/approach (or a particular kind of tools/technology/approach) before.

II) Demonstration that learning takes place through play that is:

  • Joyful - there is pleasure, enjoyment, motivation, or thrill in an activity.
  • Meaningful – helps children to make meaning, obtain new knowledge and insights.
  • Actively engaging - activities are hands on, and encourage children to take a lead in the play, think and form new ideas.
  • Iterative – children have opportunities to experiment, to learn through trial and error and to seek alternative solutions to challenges.
  • Socially interactive - there are opportunities to communicate with and understand others, and to build relationships.

III) Results and quality of evidence (such as quantitative and qualitative evidence, including statistics, user surveys and testimonials of beneficiaries) which demonstrate:

  • The impact of the programme/ activity on the children engaged 
  • Increased adult awareness about the importance of play in holistic child development (if relevant to the programme/ activity).



What countries are eligible to apply?

The call is open to applicants from transition and developing countries. See the complete list.

What kind of libraries may apply?

Public and community libraries may apply.

  • A public library is a library that is open to the general public, and which makes all kinds of knowledge and information available. The main source of funding is the local/regional/national government.
  • A community library is a library which is primarily supported by community contributions, and which makes all kinds of knowledge and information available.

What is learning through play?

Evidence gathered by the LEGO Foundation demonstrates that learning through play contributes to the holistic development of children. Learning through play promotes healthy growth, the acquisition of both knowledge and thinking skills, as well as the development of the personal characteristics necessary for children to successfully navigate life’s future challenges. Learning through play also happens best when it is experienced as joyful, meaningful, actively engaging, iterative and involves social interaction. If you’d like to dive deeper into the evidence, read the highlights of the LEGO Foundation’s white paper on learning through play for children’s development.

Are programmes/activities that have been funded by EIFL-PLIP eligible?

No, they are not. EIFL-PLIP grantee libraries may not apply for an Innovation Award for the EIFL-PLIP-funded programme/activity even if the grant contract period is over.

However, libraries that have received funding from EIFL-PLIP may submit an application for any programmes/activities not funded by EIFL-PLIP that are qualified for the award category.

Are programmes/activities that have won an EIFL Public Library Innovation Award in the past eligible?

No, they are not. However, libraries that have received an award (or awards) in the past may submit an application for a different programme/activity.

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