Literacy is one of ALA's Key Action Areas. As noted in the Strategic Plan (2017 Update) ALA assists and promotes libraries in helping children and adults develop the skills they need, including the ability to read and use technology, understanding that the ability to seek and effectively utilize information resources is essential in a global information society. The Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services supports lifelong literacy through a variety of resources and initiatives supporting family literacy, adult literacy, English language learners, and more.
- ALA Literacy Clearinghouse, a website bringing together literacy efforts from across ALA
- Adult Literacy through Libraries, an initiative by ProLiteracy and the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
- The American Dream Literacy Initiative, a grant program for public libraries to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
- Engaging Multilingual Communities and English Language Learners in U.S. Libraries, a toolkit for public and academic libraries on how to best address the needs of multilingual communities and those who wish to improve their English language skills
- Literacy for All: Adult Literacy through Libraries, a toolkit to help libraries add, expand, and advocate for adult literacy services
- ALA Family Literacy Focus, an initiative of 2010-11 ALA President Camila Alire
- DigitalLearn.org, an initiative from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Public Library Association