ERIC Number: ED328270
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Functional Illiteracy: What Public Libraries Can Do To Help People with Reading and Writing Problems. An Ideas Pamphlet.
International Federation of Library Associations, The Hague (Netherlands).
This pamphlet describes literacy programs currently in effect in Scandinavian countries and provides guidelines for the development of similar programs. Reasons for functional illiteracy in the industrialized world are discussed, and current and potential roles for public libraries in improving the situation are considered. Persons who are functionally illiterate with whom libraries can work are identified as unaccustomed readers, weak readers and writers, and the reading and writing handicapped, and it is posited that cooperation between libraries and specialists in the field and professional groups is a necessary prerequisite for achieving results. It is also pointed out that acceptance by the general public that functional illiteracy does not indicate a lack of intelligence will make it easier for weak readers and writers to seek assistance. Problems created by the small number of available easy-to-read materials in some of the Scandinavian languages and the perception that recorded books are only for the handicapped are also discussed. A number of Scandinavian projects and their results are then described, including Norway's local radio project and campaigns in the schools designed to stimulate children and adolescents to read more. Swedish literacy measures and projects are also described, as well as services that libraries can provide for dyslexic patrons and those with reading problems. The potential impact of information technology on public library users is also discussed. A brief review of central international measures and support systems for the functionally illiterate and suggestions for future activities conclude this report. (MAB)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Federation of Library Associations, The Hague (Netherlands).
Note: Prepared by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Standing Committee for Public Libraries. Standing Committee for Public Libraries.