ALA introduces 21st Century literacy toolkit

Larra Clark
ALA Media Relations
For Immediate Release
June 27, 2005

ALA introduces 21st Century Literacy toolkit

at Annual Conference, June 27

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) announced today it will launch a new toolkit for literacy advocates entitled: “Libraries, Learning and Literacy in the 21st Century” at its Annual Conference in Chicago, June 23-29.

“In the last century, librarians harnessed technology and transformed library services,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “In the 21st century, we’ll need to go beyond our traditional role as resource providers. We must expand and embrace our essential role as teachers and facilitators of learning.”

ALA will introduce the new toolkit at a program entitled “Rethinking, Retooling, Reinventing: Our Changing Roles in the 21st Century,” on Monday, June 27, at 1:30 p.m. at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 700 S. Michigan Ave. The program will discuss what it means to be literate in the 21st century and what this means for the mission of libraries.
Michael B. Eisenberg, dean of the University of Washington Information School, and Robert Wedgeworth, president and CEO of ProLiteracy Worldwide, will keynote the session.
A reactor panel of librarians will then respond, followed by small group discussions focusing on developing tools and strategies.

The toolkit will be distributed to all ALA members in the August issue of American Libraries.
It also will be available as a downloadable PDF from the ALA Web site, The document includes strategies for, and examples from, all types of libraries – school, academic and public.

Thanks also to the toolkit special committee: Patricia Inannuzzi, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Patrick Scott Jones, Hennepin County Library; Allison G. Kaplan, University of Delaware; Dinah L. Smith O’Brien, Plymouth Public Library; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University; Thomas C. Phelps, National Endowment for Humanities; Mark Pumphrey, Polk County Public Library; and Willette F. Stinson, Prairie View A&M University.

The toolkit development and distribution is funded by Logitech, which donated 50 cents from each retail sale of a Logitech cordless mouse to ALA for library advocacy and promoting 21st Century Literacy – two key components of the ALA Action 2005 strategic plan.

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