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Dale Lipschultz (staff)'s picture

Literacy for ALL: Libraries, Literacy, and Advocacy

Sunday, July 12, 2009
10:30 am to 10:30 am, US/Central

In April 2009, ALA’s Committee on Literacy and the National Institute for Literacy webcast the first national library literacy summit. The Summit examined the role that libraries of all kinds have in delivering literacy services across the lifespan and issued a call to action. View the archived webcast at:  http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/webcasts/literacyforall09/webcast0407.html


During this follow-up session, speakers will respond to questions raised during the webcast and address literacy services to adult English language learners and juvenile offenders and collection development across the lifespan. 

McCormick Place South, 105 a-d

Sandra Newell's picture

Key Findings from the 2003 National Adult Literacy Survey just became available.  Here are some of the findings and the link to the full report.  Many of these adults, if they are lucky, are enrolled in our library literacy programs.

* Seven million adults, or about 3% of the adult population, could not complete even the most basic literacy tasks in the main assessment and were given the supplemental assessment.

* Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the nonliterate in English group had a high school diploma or GED. Among them, more than half (representing roughly 600,000 adults) had earned their high school degree in the US.

* For those for whom Spanish is a first language, a delay in learning English is associated with low basic reading skills. Those who learned English before age 11 had basic reading scores similar to average native English speakers (97 words read correctly per minute); however, for those who learned English after age 21, average scores were 35 points (or about one-third) lower. Due to the correlational nature of these data, it is impossible to make causal attributions, i.e., to say that a delay in learning English causes low basic reading skills.

* Adults who took the main literary assessment were able to read, on average, 98 words correctly per minute (wpm), in comparison to 34 wpm by those in the supplemental assessment.

To view, download and print the report as a PDF file, please visit:


Sandra (Sandy) O. Newell