Contact: Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

October 3, 1995

Library Literacy Project Launched

With assistance from the American Library Association (ALA), the National Institute for Literacy, and private sector donors, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress is sponsoring a project to explore some of the important issues that library- based adult literacy programs currently are facing. During the next few months, the project will strive to help define issues needing new or renewed attention and to point the way to useful action. Its broad purpose is to refocus attention on the important instructional and service roles of libraries in literacy, a role that advances adult literacy in the United States and adds to the richness and relevance of libraries in communities throughout America.

"Libraries play a far more important role than is recognized in encouraging and promoting literacy," notes ALA executive director Elizabeth Martinez. "This Center for the Book initiative comes at an excellent time and should be helpful to all of us who care about preserving and strengthening library literacy programs."

The project is being carried out by Spangenberg Learning Resources of New York City. Gail Spangenberg, the principal investigator, helped establish the Business Council for Effective Literacy (BCEL) and was its Vice President and Operating Head from 1983 to 1993. Before that she was a program officer and senior consultant to the Ford, Carnegie and Russell Sage Foundations. Harold W. McGraw Jr. and the McGraw-Hill Foundation, both principal BCEL supporters, also are sponsors of this Center for the Book undertaking. A preliminary report from the Library literacy project will be available in early 1996.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in the roles of books, reading, and libraries in society. Its projects are supported primarily by funding from individuals, corporations, and other organizations. For further information, write the Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-8200.

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PR 95-133
ISSN 0731-3527

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