GUEST POST BY AIMEE JEFFREY, Adult Literacy Librarian
For over 40 years UNESCO has promoted International Literacy Day on September 8 to focus attention on literacy issues and needs. It’s estimated that more than 970 million of the world’s population don’t know how to read or write, and many children lack access to education.
From a local perspective, did you know that low literacy affects 24% of the population (adults 16 years +) in Waterloo- Wellington? These adults lack the skills to deal with everyday printed materials. Does that number surprise you?
Literacy in 21st century Canada means more than knowing how to read, write or calculate. Many people with low literacy skills have some reading, writing and math skills, but they may lack the skills needed to cope with the demands of our rapidly changing society and job market.
Literacy involves understanding and being able to use the information required in today’s society which change over time. Lifelong learning is essential to maintaining one’s literacy skills. The way we live and work has changed profoundly. Literacy now refers to reading, writing, numeracy, communication and problem solving in technologically rich environments.
September 20 – 26 is Lifelong Learning Week. Whether for interest, education, employment, health or any other motive, learning keeps our skills relevant and our minds active.
Participate in Lifelong Learning Week by learning something new! We offer a range of computer literacy programs to learn the basics or to build a website. We are offering a series of financial literacy programs to update your financial knowledge, and a series of Health and Wellness programs to improve your health literacy. Or check out our full calendar. There’s always something new to learn at the library!
All of our programs are free and you don’t need a library card to attend. However, if you don’t already have one, be sure to get a library card during your visit.
If you or someone you know is interested in upgrading their basic literacy skills, please contact one of the following local agencies:
Waterloo Catholic District School Board: St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centre
Waterloo Region District School Board: Essential Skills Upgrading (an Employment Ontario LBS Program)