Public Libraries and Adult Literacy

Adult literacy levels correlate to employment and wages. The National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) done in 1992 by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that literacy proficiency is strongly related to levels of formal schooling. In general, literacy proficiency is lowest for individuals who have not graduated from high school rising to highest for individuals with postsecondary schooling. Individuals with higher literacy levels are more likely to be employed, work more weeks in a year, and earn higher wages than those with lower literacy levels.

The United States 2000 Census found that 13 percent of the Colorado population 25 years of age and older had not graduated from high school. This is an improvement over 1990 when the census found that 15.6 percent of people age 25 and over living in Colorado had not finished high school, but still represents a large number of adults (see Table 1 in full report).

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POPULAR RESOURCES

  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.

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LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs. We partner with the Library and Information Science program at University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education to provide research fellowships to current MLIS students.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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