Grant helps public libraries serve adult English language learners

Contact: Mark Gould

Director, ALA Public Information Office



For Immediate Release

July 29, 2008

CHICAGO - In a video posted by the American Library Association (ALA), Dale Lipschultz, project manager of the American Dream Starts @ your library, describes how a Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant program has helped public libraries around the country increase their literacy services to adult English language learners.

The video is posted on the ALA Public Information Office (PIO) blog, Visibility@ your library ( It is also featured on
American Libraries Focus

Thirty-four libraries in 18 states received one time, $5000 “American Dream” awards. Libraries received grants in 18 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Lipschultz says the libraries, which are located in all types of settings, including small rural locations and large urban areas, demonstrated a need to provide literacy services and resources to adult English language learners. Lipschultz also noted that public libraries have long been a cornerstone of the American dream, providing equal access to information, and one of the first places that many immigrants turn to for help in learning to read, write and speak English.

According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), nearly 11 million U.S. adults or approximately one in 20, most of whom are immigrants, have such limited English skills that they can't read a newspaper, understand the direction for medication or help their children with school work.

In addition to the blog, the video can be viewed by clicking on or

Visibility @ your library provides news and information for libraries and library supporters from PIO and the Campaign for America’s Libraries.