New Report: Building Literacy Skills Leads to Economic Growth

Low personal literacy skills and educational attainment levels have dire economic consequences. The new report “Building Literacy Skills Leads to Economic Growth: The Case for Investing in Libraries to Grow the Economy" by Barbara Alvarez for the EveryLibrary Institute, explores the connections between literacy, educational attainment, and economic growth and the unique, powerful role that libraries can play in putting policy into practice. Improved literacy skills can shift this education paradigm to help improve economic outcomes for future generations. Public libraries are uniquely positioned to improve literacy and remove barriers to higher educational attainment levels and thus contribute to economic growth locally and nationally. 

One of the core roles of libraries is to provide literacy services to adults, children, and families. From book clubs to tutoring programs, resources, and instructional classes, libraries provide countless opportunities for adults to increase their literacy skills, pass a General Educational Development (GED) test, improve their English language proficiency, and engage with their communities. While the majority of libraries currently offer these services with current funding levels, increased funding must be supplied by policymakers, and sustainable partnerships between libraries and government must be created to close the literacy and educational attainment gap in the United States. Closing this gap improves the lives of generations of families and promotes local, state, and national economic growth opportunities.

Smart policymakers should invest in library programs to see results. 

Building Literacy Skills Leads to Economic Growth: The Case for Investing in Libraries to Grow the Economy 
By Barbara Alvarez for the EveryLibrary Institute

February 2021