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How Libraries Support National Literacy Efforts: Workshop Report

On 5 and 6 April 2016, twenty-eight participants, including representatives of public and community libraries and literacy stakeholders from the government and civil society sectors, convened at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Hamburg, Germany, to discuss how public and community libraries can better support local and national literacy policies. The main goal of the meeting was to produce a set of recommendations for local, regional and national governments that will be incorporated into an upcoming UIL policy brief.

To provide participants with sufficient background knowledge, the workshop addressed the following topics:

  •  How libraries in different countries are currently addressing literacy challenges
  •  How government policies can be adapted to promote the inclusion and use of libraries
  •  How libraries can effectively mobilize communities around reading
  •  How countries can maximize existing literacy activities in libraries in order to reach their literacy goals

To devise draft recommendations, participants broke into the following groups:

  •  Policy and financing
  •  Training
  •  Engaging families and communities
  •  Evaluation and measurement
  •  Marginalized groups and multilingual issues

Each of these groups produced two to four statements which were consolidated into five general recommendations after the meeting.

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