A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

January/February 2013Volume 52, No. 1

Innovative Literacy Programs

Focusing on a variety of literacies to meet community needs continues to be a top strategic priority in public libraries across the nation. Nineteen percent of adults living in the District of Columbia today have “below basic” literacy skills, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.1 In a concerted effort to address this community […]

Small Steps, Big Steps: Heeding the Call of Digital Literacy

Before we begin this monthís column, let’s get this out of the way: It has been a year since I took over this space and it has taken all my will power not to put my adorable child into a column. But I’m not made of stone, folks. Given that this monthís issue is all […]

A New Beginning

Welcome to a different approach to Public Libraries‘ fundraising column, which was previously named “Bringing in the Money.” Newly titled “Fundraising beyond Book Sales,” this column will be authored by a variety of individuals, each with expertise in a topic pertaining to library fundraising. While the authors will vary from column to column, we have […]

Teaching Teens About Digital Literacy Through Programming

As technology is becoming more and more a daily part of teen’s lives, digital literacy educator is becoming a part of the teen librarian’s job description. In 2011, the American Library Association’s Digital Literacy Task Force defined digital literacy as, “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, […]

Family Literacy on the Inside

He tried to recall what he had read about the disease. Figures floated across his memory, and he recalled that some thirty or so great plagues known to history had accounted for nearly a hundred million deaths. But what are a hundred million deaths? When one has served in a war, one hardly knows what […]

Plaza Comunitaria Literacy Programming @ the Library

Since the 1860s, public libraries have been providing adult literacy programs to immigrants by teaching English and citizenship classes. After the American Library Association (ALA) created a manual for adult literacy in libraries in the 1980s, adult literacy programs began to grow. Today many types of libraries go beyond ESL and citizenship classes and offer […]

Failing to Read Well The Role of Public Libraries in Adult Literacy, Immigrant Community Building, and Free Access to Learning

There are 104,000 foreigners arriving in the United States every day. Out of those arrivals, the majority of foreigners enter with visas and about 2,000 are unauthorized.1 With the economic downturn resulting in loss of employment and homes, plus an increased pressure on workers to keep or find new jobs, learners’ English proficiency and effective […]

Second Start at Oakland Public Library

In the early 1990s, I was working at an adult literacy program on Chicago’s South Side at a social service agency called the Blue Gargoyle. Our office was located on the attic level of a beautiful old church adorned, as many of the neighborhood’s buildings were, with neo-gothic ornamentation. Funded primarily through the Illinois Secretary […]

New Product News – Jan/Feb 2013

Improving Numerical Literacy with Team Ten Team Ten is a set of plush toys in the shape of numbers zero through nine created by NumbersAlive! to encourage a child’s interaction with numbers. The colorful toys come in multiple colors and sizes, and each number has a back story. The team of ten numbers is lead […]