Literacy, social exclusion and the public library

Vincent, John . Literacy, social exclusion and the public library., 2000 In: Open to All? : the Public Library and Social Exclusion. London: Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, pp. 43-60. [Book chapter]


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English abstract

The paper reviews recent research to show the impact of illiteracy on people’s lives and its contribution to social exclusion. It considers the background to low basic skills attainment, referring to factors such as class and race. The relationship between literacy and political power is discussed. The paper then considers the situation in the UK, covering the extent of poor basic skills, and their relationship with social class. It describes Government and other initiatives on basic skills issues, such as the National Literacy Strategy. It is argued that lifelong learning and basic skills initiatives could, and should, have an impact on the role of public libraries. However, changes relating to both staff and stock may affect their ability to carry out this role. Children and young people’s literacy is considered, and public library initiatives are detailed. The literature review carried out suggests that public libraries are paying less attention to adult literacy. IT literacy is discussed. It is concluded that, although progress has been made in some localities, more work needs to be done. Public libraries are urged to form partnerships with organisations involved in basic skills work, and recommendations for further development are made (April 1999).

Item type: Book chapter
Keywords: literacy, public libraries, social exclusion, United Kingdom
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BC. Information in society.
D. Libraries as physical collections. > DC. Public libraries.
C. Users, literacy and reading. > CE. Literacy.
Depositing user: Zapopan Martín Muela-Meza
Date deposited: 23 Jan 2006
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:02


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