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Library Service to Underserved Populations

Services to Adult New and Non-Readers

Use this page to access resources, materials, and information related to literacy at ALA, literacy in libraries, and literacy in communities, both real and virtual.

Building/Finding Literacy Programs

How to Build a Literacy Program (Developing Literacy Services @ Your Library)

The Literacy Readiness Inventory will help you assess how your library approaches adult literacy services so that you can build or improve literacy programs and services.

Library Literacy FAQ

LINCS Assessment Special Collection

Find a Literacy Program in Your Community

America's Literacy Directory Links you to literacy programs in your area.

Collaborating with Community Partners

BuildLiteracy is ALA’s partnership building web site. The website features information, materials, and resources about how libraries, literacy programs, and corporate partners work together to build stronger literacy partnerships and more literate communities. is generously funded by Verizon.

BuildLiteracy FAQs

A Perfect Partnership -- Libraries and Literacy Providers

By Dale Lipschultz, Excerpted from Connecting, the quarterly magazine for members of the Family Literacy Alliance

Verizon Reads is the umbrella organization for Verizon's national literacy platform. Established in 1999, Verizon Reads is dedicated to the fight for a more literate America through meaningful programs that create awareness, raise funds, and encourage collaboration among literacy providers.


National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions

Reference Desk

Tip Sheets

Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA) Fact Sheets


BuildLiteracy’s Authoritative Sources

BuildLiteracy’s collective wisdom stories

National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) Data

National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) Survey

PLA Top Titles for New Adult Readers

PLA's Adult Lifelong Learning Section compilation of outstanding books, fiction and nonfiction, that serve the needs of newly literate adults.

Virtual Literacy Community

A collection of websites that provide basic information about a wide range of topics--like a library.  All websites are reviewed by librarians, and are accurate, up-to-date, and easy to use. is a collaborative project of OLOS, Westchester Library System, Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library and Queens Borough Public Library. To learn more about the goals and implementation of this unique online resource, read the  firstfind booklet.

Virtual Literacy Community

Libraries, Literacy, and Advocacy

Washington Office

National Coalition for Literacy

ALA Public Information Office (PIO) Library Advocates Handbook

Get a Tool Kit to help with ideas for celebrating International Literacy Day (September 8).

Public Library Association (PLA)

Adult Lifelong Learning Section (ALLS) Basic Education and Literacy Services Committee Resources for the Adult New Reader Literacy Discussion Group

Collection Development

Content Areas

Adult Basic Education (ABE) Email Project:

Lifelong Learning Online (LLLO):

MultipleIntelligences for Adult Literacy and Adult Education:

Easy Reading for Adult Learners

Apartment Hunting:

California Distance Learning Project:

Nutrition Inquiry Map:

English as a Second Language (ESL)

LINCS ESL Special Collection:

Self-Study Quizzes:

Computer Resources for ESL :

Adult Education ESL Teachers Guide:

Center for Applied Linguistics:

Glossary of Second and Primary Language Acquisition Terms:

Dave's ESL Café:

The ESL Quiz Center:

ESL Slang Page:

English as a Second Language:

ESL Home Page:

ESL Lesson Plans and Resources:

Grammar Safari:

Monthly Idiom:

Virtual English Language Center:


Family Literacy

Community collection for family literacy handbook (in LINCS)


Family Literacy Annotated Bibliography of Resources:

LINCS Family literacy Special Collection:

Family programming at the public library: Story kits (GSLIS - U IL - Champaign-Urbana)

National Center for Family Literacy:

Parents and Children Together Online:

Multicultural/Civic Participation

Civic Participation and Community Action Sourcebook:

National Immigration Forum:

U.S. Citizenship Study Pages:

Outreach and Technical Assistance:

Curriculum and Development

Curriculum guides and suggestions, approaches and methodologies can be incorporated to design , in ongoing fashion, programming that meets particular needs of particular people . No one curriculum can, or should, be able to fit all settings all the time. We use curricula/guides, I hope, to give us ideas about what's possible, to see what others have done that we might learn from, but they're all useless without careful attention to the strengths and needs of the people with whom the program interacts.

Resources for adult educators in response to the World Trade Center crisis and its aftermath --

Teaching & learning with Internet-based resources --

You Work Hard for Your Money:

EFF Content Framework --

Massachusetts State curriculum frameworks --

Teachers' Internet Use Guide --

NOTE: Visit the  LINCS Special Collections and select the audience button from the left within the collection that matches your interest area.

Genre/Material Types

Children's books

The Coretta Scott King Book Award Committee Discussion Guide:

Every Child Ready to Read Project:

The Childrens' Literature Web Guide:

Using Multicultural Children's Literature in Adult ESL Classes:

Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site:

Educational activities

250+ activities . . . (in LINCS)

Adult Educator Lesson Plans from Northeast Literacy Tech:

Virtual Frog Dissection Kit:


GED pre-testing resources:

Gateway to Educational Materials:

Learning Resources:


One World, One People ESL Lessons:

On line Lesson Plans:

Online Publications of the Louisiana State Literacy Resource Center:

Science and Technology Special Collection:

Web-Based Lesson Plans:

World Wide Web Institute Lesson Plans Gallery:



Fluency Through Fables:

Tradebooks & Newspapers

Recommended Trade Books for Adult Literacy Programs:

Impact! Online home page:

Key New Readers Newspaper:

Selection Tools

Print resources

Great Reads: Literacy Connections: Resource for Literacy Programs and Reading Teachers

PLA Top Titles for New Adult Readers

Pura Belpre award winners

Internet Site Reviews

Literacy Webliography:

How Adult Learners are Using the Internet:

Software review resources:

Adult Education Software List:

Project Software Evaluations:

CALL @ Chorus (a database of Computer-assisted language learning software reviews):


Today's Librarian magazine:

Program Management: Learning from public library literacy programs-

So I Made up My Mind ---

Libraries and Literacy -

Curriculum and Instruction

ALA: Retention Through Content-Based Instruction

LILAA Fact Sheet Produced by: Centers For Reading and Writing, New York Public Library

ALA: Small Group Instruction in a Library Literacy Program

LILAA Fact Sheet Produced by: Project READ, Redwood City Public Library

Software Reviews from Redwood City Project READ

Redwood City Project READ

Teaching and Learning with Internet-based Resources

Susan Cowles, Linn-Benton Community College, Albany, Oregon

Instructional Materials for Teachers and Tutors

Lake County Adult Learning Connection


Adult Literacy and Technology Network (ALT)

The National Institute for Literacy Technology Electronic Discussion List


For more information on adult literacy, please contact: Dale Lipschultz Literacy Officer, Office of Literacy and Outreach Services American Library Association 50 East Huron Street Chicago Illinois 60611-2795 Fax: 312-280-3256 Phone: 800-545-2433 ext 3275 or 3211

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family literacy, adult literacy, adult new readers, adult non-readers, outreach