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Literacy Resources

The Literacy Resources section of this site includes links to reports and studies about literacy in libraries, bibliographies and resource materials developed by and for library literacy programs, and information on how to build library literacy capacity.

Authoritative Sources

As Long As It Takes: Responding to the Challenges of Adult Student Persistence in Library Literacy Programs

This interim report from the LILAA persistence study, conducted by MDRC and NCSALL, examines the period, starting in 2000, during which the programs developed plans to improve student persistence and began to implement service enhancements.

ALA -- Leading the Way for Literacy

This fact sheet highlights ALA’s literacy milestones throughout their 125 year history.

21st Century Literacy

21st Century Literacy is one of ALA’s five key action areas adopted to fulfill its mission of providing the highest quality library and information services for all people.

Even Anchors Need Lifelines: Adult Literacy in Public Libraries 1996, Gail Spangenberg

The research underlying this seminal work indicates that public libraries are a vital part of the national adult literacy system.

Toward Equality of Access: The Role of Public Libraries in Addressing the Digital Divide, 2004, Gates Foundation

This report finds that public libraries have helped close the digital divide by providing free, public access to computers and the Internet, particularly for people without access at home or work.

The Role of Libraries in an Integrated Network of Adult Basic Education Services, 2003, National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy

This discussion document illustrates how and why libraries are well suited to serve as a source of information and support for students in an integrated network of ABE services.

By and For Library Literacy Programs

Wallace Foundation Library Literacy Initiative2003, Illinois Literacy Resource Development Center

This annotated bibliography cites materials developed by the public library literacy programs that participated in the Wallace Foundation’s library literacy initiative, Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA).

Collection Development Resources American Library Association

These selected resources will help librarians and literacy program staff identify and select materials for collection development, instructional purposes, and literacy resources centers.

Important Resources on Literacy for Libraries, 2004, National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL)

Based on librarians’ survey responses, this list provides information on key resources for collections on adult literacy and learning.

Learner Resources

Links to resources for adult learners including an on-line library, GED information, and sources for improving and practicing literacy skills.

Building Capacity


Links to the nation's leading authority on institutional philanthropy, a database that includes federal grant notices and information from private foundations, and a charitable organization that designs and manages the donation process for top manufacturers and retailers, and a federal technology initiative.

Research Initiatives

Research and best practices in adult literacy and learning.

Special Topics

Resources focusing on literacy programs and services for specific populations, links to special collections, and ways to subscribe to topic-specific discussion lists.

Literacy Contacts @ your state library

A downloadable directory of state library literacy contacts provided by LiteracyPro Systems Inc


2004 American Library Association.