ERIC Number: ED477276
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
"As Long As It Takes": Responding to the Challenges of Adult Student Persistence in Library Literacy Programs.
Comings, John; Cuban, Sondra; Bos, Johannes M.; Porter, Kristin E.
Since the Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA) initiative began in 1996, participation in the program's services had fallen short of the amount that research indicates is needed to improve literacy levels substantially. Efforts to improve student persistence and implement service enhancements were therefore initiated in 2000. A study of students' persistence in 5 of LILAA's 15 participating library literacy programs was undertaken around the same time. Key findings and conclusions of the persistence study were as follows: (1) support services (child care, transportation) proved the most difficult for the library literacy programs to implement; (2) students expressed two types of learning goals--specific "instrumental" goals that must be reached to realize longer-term aspirations and broader "transformational" goals that entail major life changes and libraries must acknowledge both types of student goals and build on them to motivate long-term participation; (3) students benefit from having several different type of sponsors/mentors (personal, intermediate, official); and (4) library literacy programs must preserve their caring, respectful, and personalized atmosphere while simultaneously emphasizing more intensive participation. (Twenty-two tables/figures are included. The following items are appended: descriptions of five libraries studied and the study samples; a discussion of issues related to capturing student persistence using attendance record data; and an overview of the persistence study's achievement study component. The bibliography lists 14 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Persistence, Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Adult Students, Libraries, Library Services, Linking Agents, Literacy Education, Mathematics Skills, Program Implementation, Reading Skills, Science Education, Science Process Skills, Secondary Education, Student Attrition, Student Motivation, Technical Assistance, Vocational Education
Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, 16 East 34 Street, New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-532-3200; Web site: http://www.mdrc.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Open Society Inst., New York, NY.; Grable Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.; Fannie Mae Foundation, Washington, DC.; Ambrose Monell Foundation, New York, NY.; Surdna Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.; Alcoa Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, Boston, MA.; Manpower Demonstration Research Corp., New York, NY.