TADL Awarded Grant to Increase Resources for Low Literacy Teens & Adults

(Traverse City, MI) — In July 2017, the Traverse Area District Library received a $1,500 Public Library Services LSTA Grant through the Library of Michigan to improve the resources available for low literacy Teens and Adults in need of life and workplace skills information.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provides funds through the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) to the states. In Michigan, the Library of Michigan receives the funds to improve library services to state residents.

According to Jill Porter, Assistant Director for Public Services, “Our work and life skill collections needed to be updated and expanded to meet the increasing and changing demands of our lower literacy patrons.  This grant provided us with the perfect opportunity to acquire those easier to comprehend books titles and meet those needs.”

The resources purchased with this grant money include multiple sets of low literacy life skills books from the LifeSkills in Action series. Titles include: Cooking Your Own Meals/ Dinner is Served; Doing Household Chores/ Keep It Clean; Employee Rights/ Not So Sweet; Finding a Job/ Dream Jobs; Finding a Place to Live/ A Place of Our Own; How to Act Right on the Job/ Choices; Job Interview Basics/ Job Ready; Living on a Budget/ Road; Managing Credit/ High Cost; Moving In/ Pack Up; Opening a Bank Account/ The Guitar; Planning to Save/ Something Big; Preparing a Resume/ Not Her Job; Smart Grocery Shopping/ Shop Smart; Using Coupons/ Get the Deal).

In addition, the library also ordered two sets of Cool Careers Without College, a series of eight book titles for teens and young adults to more confidently consider their future options: Young Adult’s Survival Guide to Interviews; The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens; The Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens; Think Confident, Be Confident Workbook for Teens; Overcoming Procrastination for Teens; The Worry Workbook for Teens; The Teen’s Ultimate Guide to Making Money When You Can’t Get a Job; Surefire Tips to Improve Your Organization Skills)

In August, TADL staff initiated outreach efforts to reach users who were likely to be highly engaged with the materials and promote their use. This included meeting with the Grand Traverse Area Literacy council advisory board and hosting a “Life Happens” teen life skills quiz program. Due to the success of these efforts, nearly all of the career workbooks and some other titles purchased for teens are checked out, and one literacy council member noted that the financial titles would have been extremely helpful to him when he was getting started.  

To increase access for both target age groups, one set of each series is located in the Adult (non-fiction) and another in the Young Adult/Teen collection. Already, these books have been very well received by both adult and teen patrons alike.  A selection of the new titles is currently on display and available for check out in the Adult Services department at the TADL Main (Woodmere) location.