This paper considers the capacity of the public library service to support adult basic skills education. Research and policy documents pertaining to this subject in the fields of librarianship and education are presented, from which issues are identified that can prevent the public library from being effective in its basic skills provision. The Vital Link project (2001-2002) is introduced as an example of a recent initiative that attempted to create a sustainable link between adult literacy and public libraries. Findings of a key aspect of the qualitative evaluation of The Vital Link are presented, with a focus on recommended changes to the public library service. The paper concludes that although barriers preventing effective service delivery are complex, the key to removing them may be more straightforward.
Library Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 2003
Keywords: Literacy; Education; Public libraries; Reading; Development
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