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Lindall Elaine Adams, University of South
Africa
Workshop presenter: 11th International ETMU
Days Conference In/Equalities...
We should be equal
We are all born equal and have the right
to:
• live a long and happy life
• education
• access to resou...
but we are not….
As an infant nobody is telling you that the
colour of your skin is wrong, that families
prefer that the f...
We are labelled by the society
 Society boxed us into colour, gender, social
class and family
 The society determine tha...
Social inequality: the cause of three major
social problems in developing countries
1. Illiteracy
2. Poverty
3. Unemployme...
 773.5 million adults in the world illiterate
(UNESCO 2013)
 64% of adult illiterates are women
(UNESCO Institute for St...
To be literate, provides you with
opportunities to…
 Contribute towards the economic growth
of the country (Yeoh & Chu 20...
Aim and objectives of the paper
Aim:
To highlight the important role public
libraries are playing through the library
prog...
Public libraries – services to the poor
Family literacy programmes assist with:
 Creating literate societies
 Educating ...
PUBLIC LIBRARIES – INFORMATION ACCESS
Libraries and Access to Information
 The library plays a role in bridging the
digit...
POVERTY REDUCTION
INITIATIVES
 Emfuleni Local Municipality Library and Information
Service – vegetables gardens
 Free St...
Conclusion
Remember the early story about the
woman and her daughters?
This is the story of my mother, about
wellbeing, se...
References
 Aabǿ, S. 2005. The role and value of public libraries in the age of digital
technologies. Journal of Libraria...
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Fighting poverty, fighting illiteracy, the library solution

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Objective of this presentation is to demonstrate and create an awareness of public libraries’ potential as mechanism to fight poverty.

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Fighting poverty, fighting illiteracy, the library solution

  1. 1. Lindall Elaine Adams, University of South Africa Workshop presenter: 11th International ETMU Days Conference In/Equalities in Diverse Societies. Identifying problems, remedies, alternatives 23−24 October, 2014, University of Helsinki, Finland. http://etmudays.etmu.fi/.
  2. 2. We should be equal We are all born equal and have the right to: • live a long and happy life • education • access to resources for a better way of live • be part of community (UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP) 2006).
  3. 3. but we are not…. As an infant nobody is telling you that the colour of your skin is wrong, that families prefer that the firstborn should be a boy, or that your family’s background, the neighbourhood, the size of your house and having access to tap water and electricity with a flick of a button would determine your future success
  4. 4. We are labelled by the society  Society boxed us into colour, gender, social class and family  The society determine that we are not good enough to have access to running water/electricity  The society determine that our parents cannot enrol us in a good school  The society determine that we should remain poor
  5. 5. Social inequality: the cause of three major social problems in developing countries 1. Illiteracy 2. Poverty 3. Unemployment
  6. 6.  773.5 million adults in the world illiterate (UNESCO 2013)  64% of adult illiterates are women (UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) 2013).  123.2 million of our youth illiterate
  7. 7. To be literate, provides you with opportunities to…  Contribute towards the economic growth of the country (Yeoh & Chu 2012: 12)  Means survival and an opportunity to change your socio-economic status (Nassimbeni & Tandwa 2008: 83).
  8. 8. Aim and objectives of the paper Aim: To highlight the important role public libraries are playing through the library programmes they offer to reduce poverty Objectives:  Create awareness of public libraries’ potential as mechanism to fight poverty  To evaluate the success of the library programmes in improving the lives of the people they are serving
  9. 9. Public libraries – services to the poor Family literacy programmes assist with:  Creating literate societies  Educating parents to help understand their child’s literacy skills  Assistance with finding suitable reading material appropriate for their child’s age group or level of reading Adult literacy benefits assist with:  Developing and improving an adult learner’s basic reading and writing skills  Boost their confidence  Create a culture for lifelong learning  Value the importance of reading and writing  Investing in their children’s education Early Childhood Development assists with:  Create an environment for early information literacy to babies and toddlers  Exposing children to books by introducing story times, puppet shows, crafts, rhymes, songs and poetry  work hand-in-hand with the health professionals to give to new moms, moms to be, caregivers and nannies expert information on baby and mom health/nutrition and wellbeing issues
  10. 10. PUBLIC LIBRARIES – INFORMATION ACCESS Libraries and Access to Information  The library plays a role in bridging the digital divide (Hart 2010:83; Aabø 2005: 208).  The library gives to the poor and opportunity to have access to the Internet (Kinney 2010: 114). WHY?  The digital age require that people become information literate  The library equip the poor with skills that is required in the digital age such as computer and information literacy skills, needed when searching for a job (Book Aid International 2006).
  11. 11. POVERTY REDUCTION INITIATIVES  Emfuleni Local Municipality Library and Information Service – vegetables gardens  Free State Provincial Libraries – assist with job seeking skills  The Glenwood Branch Library of the Greensboro Central Library Information and Reference Division provide employment assistance through workshops (Young 2012: 30).  The Minneapolis Public Library teaches prisoners out on parole computer and job readiness skills (Berry III 2012: 23).  The Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) Public Library Innovation Programme (PLIP) (2011), an international non-profit organisation based in Europe with global network partnerships with its mission to enhance the quality of life through innovative public library services, identified several initiatives where libraries had made a difference by empowering their communities. These initiatives focus particularly on the vulnerable groups.  Zagreb City Libraries in Croatia reached out to the homeless people in Zaghreb and assisted with employment of 22 homeless people living in one of the largest shelters in Kosnica by teaching the homeless people how to study ICT skills.  The Lyuben Karavelov Regional Library in Bulgaria assisted 44 people over the age of 40 who had also been unemployed for a long period of time. The library helped them to acquire employment by equipping them with ICT and interview skills.
  12. 12. Conclusion Remember the early story about the woman and her daughters? This is the story of my mother, about wellbeing, self-confidence and opportunities made possible by the Public Library. I am one of the daughters.
  13. 13. References  Aabǿ, S. 2005. The role and value of public libraries in the age of digital technologies. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 37: 205- 211.  Akparobore, D.O. 2011. The role of public libraries in promoting adult education in Nigeria. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1471&context=libphilpr ac. Date accessed 1 May 2014.  Book Aid International. 2011. Libraries, literacy and poverty reduction: a key to African development. London: Book Aid International. http://eprints.rclis.org/10167/1/2006.MchombuK%26CadburyN.LibrariesP overty.pdf. Date accessed 3 May 2014.  Gambari, S. 1986. Nigeria: a nation in dilemma. Nigerian Tribune, 27 January 1986.  Hart, G. 2010. New vision, new goals, new markets? Reflections on a South African case study of community library services. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, 76(2): 81-90.  Kinney,B. 2010. The Internet, public libraries, and the digital divide. Public Library Quarterly, 29: 104-161.  Nassimbeni, M. & Tandwa, N. 2008. Adult education in two public libraries in Cape Town: a case study. South African Journal of Libraries & Information Science, 74(1): 83-92.  Stilwell, C. 2011. Poverty, social exclusion, and the potential of South African public libraries and community centres. Libri, 61(1): 50-66.  UNESCO INSTITUTE FOR STATISTICS. 2013. Adult and youth literacy. September. http://www.uis.unesco.org/literacy/Documents/fs26-2013- literacy-en.pdf. Date accessed 1 May 2014.  United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 2006. Human development report. Beyond scarcity: power, poverty and the global water crisis. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdr_2006_summary_en.pdf. Date accessed 18 October 2014.  Yeoh, E. K-K. & Chu, K-M. 2012. Literacy, education and economic development in contemporary China. China ASEN Perspective Forum, 2(1&2): 11-83.

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