Family Literacy Research and Resources
Public Libraries and Family Literacy Programs
Compiled by Abbie Anderson
My questions as I have explored these issues have included:
One would think that public libraries would be natural partners in these endeavors, since the library can fuel a family's lifelong learning and pleasure in reading (and so many other media) like no other resource. Libraries have a vested interest in literacy and in the family audience, and librarians have expertise in designing and performing meaningful and enjoyable family programs. These arguments, of course, have been used in the library literature to encourage literacy efforts. So: what is really happening in the field?
- Why do so many family literacy programs and initiatives not involve public libraries?
- Why don't more public libraries pursue involvement in family literacy efforts?
- What models exist for effective library engagement in family literacy work?
Family Literacy Presentation
Team project for Indiana University School of Library and Information Science course L550 (Issues in Public Librarianship): December, 2005.
- NIFL-Family Listserv responses to a query I sent asking about public libraries and family literacy programs. I remain extremely grateful to everyone who answered me. Names and contact information have been removed from this compilation.
- Bibliography for our project in APA format, prepared impeccably by my team-mate Lauren Bianchi.
- PowerPoint Presentation, given to our class on December 6, 2005. I revised the design template to be more legible on computer screens online (avoiding the glaring white background that looked so clean and pretty in the original design).
Articles and reports:
- Belzer, A. (2002). "I don't crave to read": School learning and adulthood. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 46(2), 104-113. Retrieved May 23, 2003, from Academic Search Premier EBSCO database.
- DeCandido, G. A., (Ed.). (2001). Literacy and libraries: Learning from case studies. Chicago: ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.
- Hendrix, S. (1999/2000). Family literacy education - Panacea or false promise? Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 43(4), 338-346. Retrieved October 21, 2005, from Academic Search Premier EBSCO database.
- McCook, K. P., & Barber, P. (2002). Public policy as a factor influencing adult lifeling learning, adult literacy, and public libraries. Reference and User Services Quarterly 42(1), 66-75. Retrieved October 10, 2005 from H. W. Wilson Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database (accessed through Indiana University Libraries).
- Sumerford, S. (1997). Creating a community of readers to fight functional illiteracy. American Libraries 28(5), 44-48. Retrieved October 10, 2005, from EBSCO Host Academic Search Premier (accessed through Indiana University Libraries).
- Tice, M. (2001). Queens Borough Public Library and the Connecting Libraries and Schools Project. Journal of Youth Services 14(3), 11-13. Retrieved October 10, 2005, from H. W. Wilson Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database (accessed through Indiana University Libraries). There is another relevant article in JOYS 13(2).
- Goodling Institute Annotated Bibliography of family literacy research, updated monthly. An invaluable resource.
- "One Day I Will Make It": Final report of the Wallace Foundation Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA) initiative, 1996-2002, examining implementation and effects of strategies for encouraging adult literacy student persistence. Retrieved October 9, 2005 from http://www.wallacefoundation.org/WF/KnowledgeCenter/KnowledgeTopics/Literacy/, which includes additional reports from the same project.
- NIFL Adult and Family Literacy Fact Sheet (Word). Retrieved September 25, 2005, from http://www.nifl.gov/lincs/facts_statistics/facts_statistics.html.
- National Center on Adult Literacy. (1996). Families and literacy: Making sense of the issues. Participant packet for national videoconference, December 14, 1995. NCAL Practice Report PR96-01. Philadelphia: National Center on Adult Literacy. Retrieved October 10, 2005 from http://www.literacy.org/products/ncal/pdf/PR9601.pdf.
- Gadsden, V.L. (1994). Understanding family literacy: Conceptual issues facing the field. NCAL Technical Report TR94-02. Philadelphia: National Center on Adult Literacy. Retrieved October 10, 2005, from http://www.literacy.org/products/ncal/pdf/TR9402.pdf.
- Puchner, L.D. (1997). Family literacy in cultural context: Lessons from two case studies. NCAL Technical Report TR97-01. Philadelphia: National Center on Adult Literacy. Retrieved October 10, 2005, from http://www.literacy.org/products/ncal/pdf/TR9701.pdf.
Websites to Know and Love
Family Literacy Programs
- National Even Start Association --the equivalent of Head Start, for family literacy. A model program.
- Motheread/Fatheread --another successful family literacy program, well-organized and with excellent documentation of results.
- Prime Time Family Reading Time home page at the Lousiana Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH and the American Library Association have partnered to expand the program nation-wide. This library-based program emphasizes storytelling, humanities, and family interaction; it is a lot of fun for participants, but lacks some educational rigor. Sadly, it may be threatened both by Hurricane Katrina and budget cuts in Louisiana. See Prime Time Family Reading Time for description in PDF format. ALA hosts a grants page for the program, through its Public Programs Office. I attended a PrimeTime session at the ALA national conference in June, 2005, and they are dynamite people.
Materials I produced for a fictional family literacy program
Designed for Verna Pungitore's 1.5 credit workshop on Libraries and Adult Literacy. I took the course in summer 2003, was granted an Incomplete, and completed the project in June, 2004.
Created 10/10/05. Oh, so very basic. I'll get around to a style sheet eventually...
Last updated: 01/09/06