ERIC Number: ED300538
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jan
Libraries & Literacy.
BCEL Newsletter for the Business Community, v1 n6 p1,4-5 Jan 1986
Paradoxically, for reasons both philosophical and practical, public libraries are uniquely positioned to assist the 72 million Americans who, by virtue of being illiterate or marginally literate, are not ordinarily library users. A formal link between libraries and literacy can be traced back to the 1920s when the American Library Association (ALA) established its Commission on Library and Adult Education. This action was based on the proposition that education is a lifelong process--and that libraries constitute an alternative education system. In the 1960s and 1970s, libraries began to focus on groups in need of special services and established outreach services. Public libraries moved into their present position of leadership in the national literacy movement. Service delivery in an individual library depends on size, staff, location, budget, and sensitivity to the problem of illiteracy in its community. California has one of the most highly developed models of service delivery. Roughly a dozen other states have mounted significant statewide library-based literacy activities and coalitions. Examples of emerging patterns in libraries include collaboration and cooperation between libraries and literacy organizations, prevention by breaking the cycle of illiteracy, and development of reading collections with appropriate reading materials. ALA's priorities are public awareness, federal support, and the role of librarians as advocates. (YLB)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Business Council for Effective Literacy, New York, NY.