NPL - Page 27



SPOTLIGHT
Adult Literacy
NPL exemplifies true
partnership. They allow
collective need to drive
programming, which is
why they are the best in
the nation. The library
provides what the
community values.
Kim Karesh, CEO of the
Nashville Adult Literacy Council
At Nashville Public Library, we are committed to connecting adults and seniors
in our community with the resources they
need to succeed. Nashville adults come
to the Library with a variety of educational
needs. Our city is richly diverse and constantly growing, which means many of our
neighbors need English language and citizenship support. This August alone, more
than 900 Nashville residents participated in
our English language learning programs,
and close to 800 more were on the waitlist.
In addition, many residents are looking for
opportunities to close the gap between
their current skill sets and the personal visions they have for themselves. In Davidson
County, 12% of adults lack basic reading
comprehension skills; even more do not
have a high school diploma or equivalent,
and many are unemployed. Overall, an estimated 250,000 residents need adult education support.
Our Adult Literacy program staff partner
with more than 35 local organizations to
offer scheduled classes, drop-in sessions,
and one-on-one teaching throughout our
community. We support residents’ lifelong growth in digital literacy, job skills,
high school equivalency, English language
learning, and more. This year, more than
4,500 adults benefitted from 1,000 classes
and workshops.
While we provide space and resources for
classes, we know an educational program
is only as strong as its teachers. That’s why
we are dedicated to fostering literacy
partnerships, leading a citywide conversation among adult educators about best
practices and collaboration techniques,
and provide educators with opportunities
for professional development. This year,
at our annual Middle Tennessee Adult Education Symposium focused on issues of
collective impact and systems change. Our
Adult Literacy program provides vital
support for our city, and the library
continues to be a hub for Nashville’s adult
education community.
2017— 2018 ANNUAL REPORT
25





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