Propagating Promising Practices for Literacy and Workforce Development at Libraries

students working in library

Adults with low skills need access to flexible, high-quality, technology-enabled learning opportunities to help them achieve their learning and employment goals. Yet the need for these services far outpaces the capacity of available adult education and workforce development programs.

World Education, in partnership with the Providence, Chicago, and Los Angeles Public Libraries, will expand access to learning by testing, documenting, and disseminating innovative practices currently in place at those partner libraries. The aim of the 3-year project is to expand the three practices (Learning Lounges; Mobile Learning; and Learning Circles) in public libraries across the U.S., and to position public libraries as effective and welcoming community hubs for lifelong learning, digital inclusion, and economic empowerment. World Education will conduct a developmental evaluation to guide and study how the practices can be implemented and combined in different library settings. We will co-develop an interactive toolkit to make these innovative practices accessible first to 6 additional libraries and then nationwide. This project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under its competitive National Leadership Grants.

Target outcomes are that:

  • Each library effectively implements at least one new innovative practice.
  • Libraries nationwide have support to implement flexible, technology-enabled learning activities for adults with low skills.
  • Adults with low skills gain expanded access to learning opportunities that help them meet education and workforce goals.
  • Public libraries strengthen their capacity as a critical part of the adult education and workforce development system.
  • Local communities have residents with increased skills that enable stronger community engagement, productivity, and self-sufficiency.