The Survey of Adult Skills estimates that one in six adults (or about 36 million Americans) have low literacy skills. Public libraries have long served as community learning centers for adults who are no longer part of the K-12 educational system and who face economic and other challenges. They provide opportunities to improve digital literacy; basic reading, writing, math, problem solving skills; and English language skills that people need to become productive workers and citizens. For new American citizens and English language learners, they offer connections to social services and other vital sources of information.

IMLS and the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education are working together to encourage effective collaborations between libraries and federally funded adult education programs. The goal of this joint effort is to enhance the skills, employability, and quality of life of youths and adults with low skills.

Read the Dear Colleague Letter (PDF, 54KB) describing the partnership.