Monday, July 25, 2016

National Literacy Act :: 25th Anniversary

Literacy in Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities
Robert Wedgeworth
University Librarian and Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois
Former President and CEO, ProLiteracy Worldwide

What I would like to do in these remarks is to chronicle what I consider to be some key moments in my relationship to libraries and literacy.  I also plan to assert that despite the efforts of many libraries, volunteer literacy organizations, funding agencies, and important members of Congress like the late Senator Paul Simon, these programs have not achieved the traction we expected.  In addition, I plan to suggest what may be helpful in addressing this issue more successfully and how to initiate a new agenda for literacy.  Since I am an appointee of President Obama to serve on the Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, I must declare that the opinions and judgments expressed here are solely my own.

Although I began my career in a public library, I was a cataloger and had little contact with users.  My subsequent career was in academic libraries before being appointed Executive Director of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1972.  It was at the beginning of my tenure at ALA that I became familiar with library literacy programs. Mostly I asked questions in order to understand what opportunities there were for ALA to be of assistance to literacy programs.  READ MORE @

George H. W. Bush Signs Paul Simon's Sawyer
National Literacy Act :: July 25, 1991
Published on Sep 2, 2015
Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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