Digital supplement highlights libraries’ successes in serving adult English language learners

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/31/2012


John Amundsen

Communications Specialist

Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS)

1-800-545-2433 ext. 2140

CHICAGO — A new digital supplement to American Libraries magazine out today tells the story of how libraries make a difference in the lives of adult English language learners and their families. 

The supplement  features libraries that received grant funding through the American Dream Starts @ your library project, and is released on the heels of an announcement that 50 new libraries will be eligible for American Dream grants in 2012.

Funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and administered by ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), the American Dream Starts @ your library program gave 74 libraries in 24 states $5,000 grants in 2010.   

American Dream libraries expanded their print and digital ESL collections, added new technologies to the library, increased outreach and bookmobile services, built community partnerships and engaged the media to promote library resources.

Highlights include stories from libraries that hosted U.S. Naturalization programs for the first time, the positive impact of new classes and technology on library users and the ways in which American Dream libraries achieved making the library known as a welcoming place to everyone in their communities.

All American Dream libraries were required to be within 20 miles of a Dollar General store or distribution center, but the libraries varied in size and type of community.  Some were small, rural libraries that used grant funds to reach out to English language learners for the first time; others were located in urban centers or suburban areas and used grant funds to augment established programs.

Since 2007, 100 public libraries in 28 states have received American Dream grants.  To learn more about American Dream grant opportunities for 2012, visit