Engaging Adults with Low Literacy Levels
This webinar explores the characteristics of adults with low literacy levels and provides strategies for library staff to support reading literacy in adults.
This event has passed.
In the U.S., there are 43 million adults–nearly one in five–who read below a third-grade level, and over half of all adults read below a sixth-grade level (National Action Plan for Adult Literacy, 2021). Low levels in literacy can impact many aspects of daily life including the ability to find and maintain employment, navigate health care needs, and complete government forms. This webinar will explore the characteristics of adults with low literacy levels and how they differ from those of adults with learning disabilities, including how and why each of these groups approaches reading. Learn about the importance and value of developing literacy skills, as well as strategies for library staff on how to identify when someone may need literacy support, how to broach the subject with a patron, and ways to suggest materials and resources to reluctant adults who may be struggling with literacy.
Presented by: Katharine Ware, Writing and Education Consultant
- View Webinar Recording (You will be prompted to log in to our free Course Catalog.)
- View slides (pdf)
- View chat (xls)
- View captions (txt)
- Learner Guide (doc) Use alone or with others to extend your learning.
- Discussion Activity with Patron Profiles (pdf)
- National Action Plan for Adult Literacy (pdf), Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
- Adult Low Literacy: Opening the Book on America’s Silent Crisis, Dalberg
- How Serious Is America’s Literacy Problem?, Library Journal
- Literacy and Health Outcomes Report: A Policy Roadmap for Library Leaders, EveryLibrary Institute
- ALA Literacy Clearinghouse
- Literacy for All: Adult Literacy through Libraries, toolkit created by ALA's Committee on Literacy and Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
- Adult Literacy in the United States, National Center for Education Statistics
- Assessing the Economic Gains of Eradicating Illiteracy Nationally and Regionally in the United States (pdf), Dr. Jonathan Rothwell, Gallup Principal Economist
- Adult Literacy and New Technologies: Tools for a Lifetime, United States Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1993
- Stigma-Free Reading for Adults: How Nashville Public Library rebooted its hi-lo offerings into the Fresh Reads collection, Library Journal, 2017
- Reading and literacy for all: Adult Literacy - Victorian Public Libraries in Action (pdf), 2015, State Library Victoria (Australia) in partnership with Public Libraries Victoria Network
- Shared in Chat
- World Education Services, resources for evaluating work credentials from another country
- Literacy Connects
- California Library Literacy Services, resources include a learner-centered framework of Roles and Goals to help adult learners achieve success
- National Literacy Directory can help you find programs in your area
- Literacy Connects in Tucson provides free ESL classes in libraries, but their approach to Adult literacy is different. They individually interview clients about their interests and needs and pair them with a tutor that works with them individually.
- Family Literacy: Case for Collaboration between Public and School Libraries
07 July 2022
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]
Webinar presenter Katharine Ware