Evergreen Education Foundation is an NGO founded by oversea Chinese friends in 2001 in the United States. Its mission is to bring educational opportunities to rural China through efforts in the following areas: providing scholarships for the financially disadvantaged, expanding capabilities of schools and libraries to add value to local communities and advancing knowledge and understanding by exchanges through conferences and workshops. China Evergreen Rural Library Service (CERLS) was established in 2002. It is responsible for project execution coordination, and monitoring for Evergreen libraries in China.
Since the first school library - Qinghai DaTong No. 6 High School, Evergreen has helped 40+ libraries in Qinghai, GanSu, ShaanXi, JiangSu, GuiZhou, YunNan, ShanXi. Among them 18 are central libraries. These libraries in turn helped 20+ satellite libraries nearby. Evergreen's model of library development in rural China focusing on capability build has been widely recognized. CERLS was awarded the 2004 Access to Learning Award, shared with the Aarhus library of Demark, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The annual training and exchange based on workshop or conference is a special service that Evergreen provides for building capacity of the rural libraries. The Information Technology in Education (ITIE) International Conference, held bi-annually since 2004, aims at communication of ideas, methodologies, and practical experiences of library development, including promoting information literacy, cultural programs and educational innovations. Up to now, Evergreen has held 6 successful international conferences:
Each past conference witnessed 200-300 delegates，among whom about 100 were rural teachers and librarians sponsored by Evergreen. It was a gathering of educators, library practitioners and researchers, and NGO members from around the world, and exposed rural educators to a broader view and bigger platform.