The top ten adult learner recruitment strategies reported by library literacy coordinators in 2017 were:
- Word of mouth
- Community organization referrals
- Information in the library / library staff
- Flyers, postcards, pens, posters, banners, etc.
- Information booths
- Social media
- City/community publications
- Radio advertisements
- Presentations at clubs and events, etc.
- Internet searches
When reaching out to learners, the findings of a Literacy Program Public Awareness and Action Project conducted with consultant Joan Frye Williams in 2006 are still relevant. The Literacy Market Survey Results told us that:
- Learners don’t use the term “literacy.” A better phrase is “get help with reading/writing.”
- Learners don’t need us to tell them how literacy will help them. They know that. They want to know how friendly and supportive the process will be.
- Most learners enroll because someone they trust nudged them.
- The library is an effective avenue for recruitment, particularly the children’s department.
Literacy coordinators discuss learner recruitment strategies in the recording below:
Panelists: Diane Moseley, Huntington Beach Public Library; Trina Camping, Woodland Public Library; Cheryl Weiss, Newport Beach Public Library. Recorded at the 2015 New Coordinators Orientation. (3:10)
The adult learner intake process is a critical part of California Library Literacy Services and it allows program staff to get to know new learners and share program information with them.
The interview usually includes an assessment to determine the learner’s reading and writing levels, including, what they can already do, what they need to learn, and whether the learner’s skill level is an appropriate fit for the library’s literacy program. For example, will the person’s English-speaking skills allow them to be successful, or should they be referred to an English-as-a-Second-Language program before joining California Library Literacy Services?
The Adult Learner Assessment Idea Source Book contains a wealth of information from library literacy programs about the intake process. It was created by the California State Library in 2003 and remains relevant today.
Literacy coordinators discuss learner assessments in the recording below:
Panelists: Diane Moseley, Huntington Beach Public Library; Trina Camping, Woodland Public Library; Cheryl Weiss, Newport Beach Public Library. Recorded at the 2015 New Coordinators Orientation. (4:27)
Critiquing Adult Participation in Education: A three-part series of reports that discuss why adults decide to forego education. Research conducted by VALUEUSA and Allies for Lifelong Learning, 2018.
Critiquing Adult Participation in Education, Report 1: Deterrents and Solutions
Critiquing Adult Participation in Education, Report 2: Motivation around Adult Education
Critiquing Adult Participation in Education, Report 3: Technology Use