Communities and Collections

Public Library Support of Low Literate Adults

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • A high percentage of adults in western and developed nations live with low levels of print literacy which can negatively impact their physical and mental health, relationships with family and their community, as well as their economic well-being. Despite programming, educational opportunities and concerted government efforts over the last thirty years, adult literacy levels have not significantly improved. This study seeks to understand what barriers exist which prevent this population from engaging positively with a public library, and how the public library could better support and provide help for these adults. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews with four low literate adults who are currently enrolled in literacy programming. Findings indicate that adult literacy learners experience library anxiety in their initial interactions with the library. They rely heavily on library staff and social support systems for mitigation of information and resources. It is imperative that library workers are trained to recognize these patrons and provide service with patience and respect.

  • Date created
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  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Poster
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International