The Library Foundation raises funds to expand and enhance the adult literacy program at the Los Angeles Public Library, one of the most comprehensive adult literacy programs of any public library in the state, possibly even the nation. Contributions to the adult literacy program provide much-needed support for new centers, literacy coordinators, tutor training, books and other print materials, and self-teaching computer software programs.

Since November 2009, the Los Angeles Public Library has 21 adult literacy centers. Each of the literacy centers operated by the Library offers all of the literacy programs described below and a collection of literacy resources.

In fiscal year 2009-10, approximately 900 literacy volunteer tutors worked with 2,000 adults citywide for 70,000 hours. Over 7,500 books were given to literacy students to build their libraries. These numbers do not include the thousands who are using literacy print collections, which can circulate citywide, or those who are using self-paced teaching programs available through the Library's Web site.

The Library's 21 centers are staffed with a professional adult literacy coordinator who trains tutors and matches them with students, helps adult learners access and use print and electronic information sources, and promotes adult literacy services to the community. The principal program components offered at the 21 centers are:

  • Adult Literacy Program: trained volunteer tutors work one-on-one with students twice a week at the library for at least six months, with the goal for the student to be able to read and write at the sixth grade level.
  • Limited English Proficiency: students work with a literacy coordinator, using self-teaching videos or programs available on the Library's adult literacy Web site. The aim of this program is to transition students into the adult literacy program to work one-on-one with a tutor.
  • Families for Literacy: adults who are in either of the above programs and who have children five years of age or younger are taught how to read to their children and given free books to share with them at home.

In addition, every branch library has a collection of literacy materials that support various stages of learning. The Los Angeles Public Library's adult literacy Web site provides an array of valuable instructional programs, including "Plato," for math, reading and writing skill development; "Learning Express," to improve job skill test results, and "Reading Upgrade."

Thanks to the generosity of Caroline Singleton Adult Literacy Endowment, B. K. Simon Family Charitable Foundation, Union Bank Foundation, Anonymous, Left Coast Crime 2010, State Street Foundation, and Mr. Luvh Rakhe for their support of Adult Literacy.

To learn more about funding opportunities for Adult Literacy, please contact Dawn Coppin, Director of Foundation & Corporate Relations, at (213) 228-7502.

Support for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles is support for the Los Angeles Public Library. Every dollar counts. Your gift to the Library Foundation helps the Los Angeles Public Library grow stronger.