Adult New Readers, adult literacy programs and Public Libraries
Submitted by David J. Rosen on November 23, 2013 - 8:14am
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Di Baycich wrote in a recent discussion here: One searchable database of books on a wide variety of topics and at varying reading levels is available at http://literacy.kent.edu/eureka/tradebooks/index.html These books are available for free in your local public library. (Boldface added by me.)
We don't have a LINCS library CoP, so this CoP might be the most suitable for a discussion of adult new readers and public libraries. I am interested in learning about adult literacy programs and libraries, partnerships adult literacy programs have with libraries, and in our thinking together about how these partnerships could be expanded or strengthened.
First, some good news for those who wonder if libraries will exist, if millenials will use libraries, and who may be interested in adult literacy and libraries:
- According to a Pew Research study published last summer, http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/06/25/younger-americans-library-services "younger Americans’ library usage reflect a blend of traditional and technological services. Americans under age 30 are just as likely as older adults to visit the library, and once there they borrow print books and browse the shelves at similar rates. Large majorities of those under age 30 say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians as well as books for borrowing, and relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services, move most services online, or move print books out of public areas."
- According to a column in the Saturday, November 23rd Boston Globe, by Renee Loth, "Soaring new public libraries have gone up in Seattle, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City" and the Johnson wing of the Boston Public Library's "trunk" (if there are branches, the main library probably should be called the trunk) will soon be getting some needed renovation.
- A national partnership of a public library in Syracuse, New York, the American Library Association and ProLiteracy will in a few weeks publish a library literacy action agenda, designed to help libraries -- and their community literacy stakeholder partners -- to develop and expand library and community adult literacy efforts.
And now some questions which I hope you will answer here, in this CoP:
- Do your students use libraries?
- If so, for what purposes? What services? How often do they use them?
- How do you know? Do you survey them? If so, do you have a survey form you could share with us?
- Do you teach your students about public libraries? If so, how? Does a librarian come to your program? Do you take students to the public library? Do you go to the library web site?
- Does your program have a partnership with a local public library? If so, can you tell us about it?
- What do you/your students like about your public library?
- What literacy-related public library services would you like to see expand, improve, or be added?
I am eager to hear your replies, and I hope we can have a good discussion here about libraries and adult literacy.
David J. Rosen