For immediate release | June 17, 2014

Time to reskill: An action plan for literacy

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Literacy will sponsor a discussion of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Survey and its ramifications for libraries during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The session will be held from 3 - 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 28 in room N236 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

PIAAC’s results show that the U.S. workforce trails many other developed nations in foundational literacy skills essential for both individuals and the nation as a whole to thrive. These skills include the ability to read, the ability to understand numbers and do math and the ability to solve problems using technology.

This hour-long discussion will provide an overview of the PIAAC survey results as well as a report on the new National Action Plan from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) outlining steps that we need to take as a nation to improve the skills of our adult population. The session will feature a discussion of how this action plan affects libraries and how library staff can contribute to the solutions. The session will be facilitated by Beth Ponder, associate director of the Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Dinah O’Brien, director of community resources for the Town of Plymouth, Mass., who will provide a library literacy perspective to the survey results.

Attendance is free and open to all ALA Annual Conference attendees. For more information, and to register, please visit


John L. Amundsen

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services

(312) 280-2140