LIBRARIES WILL AVOID OBSOLESCENCE IF THEY BECOME LITERACY BROKERS
Will literacy, in all of its guises, be the key to economic viability for both individuals and their communities in the 21st century? There is growing evidence to indicate that it will. Libraries have always been dedicated to lifelong learning. They are easily accessible, offer free access to information in its many formats, and provide a comfortable atmosphere that encourages learning. Literacy programs abound in libraries across the United States, but they may not be enough to meet the increasing need for a literate population.
One of the problems facing librarians and educators alike is the general public's perception that literacy involves low-level basic skills or English as a second language for newly arrived immigrants. In 1991, Congress adopted the National Literacy Act, Section 3 of which states:
"For the purposes of the Act the term 'literacy' means an individual's ability to read, write and speak in English, and to compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one's goals, and develop one's knowledge and potential."
More than just basic skills
Under this new definition, literacy is no longer just basic skills, English as a second language, …