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Facts | Fact Sheets

Libraries & Literacy
—An adult education and family literacy perspective

Help legislators understand the role of libraries in addressing adult education and family literacy issues.

Facts

In General:
—From A Perfect Storm Brewing: Budget cuts threaten public library services at time of increased demand

  • 25 million Americans reported using their public library more than 20 times in the last year.
  • More people are relying on public libraries for technology use, particularly to find employment and connect to online government services.
  • Two-thirds of libraries report they provide the only free access to computers and the Internet in their communities.
  • The vast majority of public libraries support job seeking with specialized electronic resources, software and personal assistance from library staff.
  • A majority of states report cuts in state funding to public libraries and to the state library agencies that support libraries and statewide library programs.
  • The top challenge affecting public libraries’ ability to help job seekers is a lack of adequate staff to effectively help patrons with their job-seeking needs.
  • Almost 15 percent of public libraries report operating hours decreased over the past fiscal year.

Libraries, Jobs, and the Economy:
—From ALA Recommendations for Reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act

  • 3.7 million Americans have found work with support from their public libraries.
  • 88% of public libraries provide access to job databases and other job opportunity resources.
  • 2/3 of libraries report staff helped patrons complete online job applications in 2009.
  • Nearly 90% of public libraries offer formal or informal technology training to library patrons.
  • 30 million people used library computers to help address career and employment needs in 2009.
  • Among those users, 76% reported they searched for jobs online.
  • Among job seekers, 68% went on to apply for a job or submit a resume.
  • 23% used library computers to receive job-related training.

Fact Sheets

A Perfect Storm Brewing: Budget cuts threaten public library services at time of increased demand
A Perfect Storm Brewing is a fact sheet that explores the use of libraries to support our country in literacy and learning, with respect to the growing demand for libraries and budget cuts closing library doors. In these 11 pages, you will find many useful library facts with respect to library users, libraries and technology, job seekers, e-government, library funding, and fewer library hours and staff to meet the increased demand.

 
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