Member Profile: Marta Aliberch

In a new series of posts profiling our Network members and the work that they do we have asked each member of our network the same questions and we will post the responses here.

Today’s profile is from Marta Aliberch in Esteve Paluzie Public Library in Barcelona, Spain.

http://www.bdv.cat/biblioteca

Marta Aliberch

Describe what you do in your job from day to day. (Describe how your day to day practices are related to adult literacy)

I work in reference services in my library facilitating the users’ information needs (adults, children and local organizations). In addition, I give support in language services to facilitate formal and informal learning: access to library materials or other libraries in our region, information about languages schools and local linguistic programmes and guided tours adapted to suit particular interests or groups, including foreign visitors to Barberà del Vallès.
About adult literacy I collaborate with the Catalan Language Service to coordinate and conduct Easy-to-Read Clubs in the town with language students. Currently we have 3 groups who read specific material of an Easy- to-Read nature and this year one group has started reading Catalan Original text.

Choose and describe one programme that you did, or would like to do, regarding Adult Literacy in your library or institution.

The Easy-To-Read Club in Barberà del Vallès began in 2013 as part of Catalan Language Services,  to improve the speaking and reading skills of its students. For this reason the books that are read in the library, except some fragments, are in the most basic level, because we want to use book’s contents as a great opportunity for speaking Catalan openly. In the region of Catalonia, Catalan and Spanish are co-official languages and both are used in all spheres of society.
Currently, this Club serves three levels of the Catalan Center: two basics levels and one pre-intermediate level with 15 or 20 students for each level. The type of user is very different, for example, people of different regions around Spain or people of different countries. And the age also is very diverse ranging from 18 to 70 years old.

This service is made possible by generosity and networking with other libraries in the Barcelona province and also collaboration with the Easy to Read Association in Barcelona. This collaboration helps us with the formation and extension of services and use of materials.

Finally, just this year,  people who read Easy-to-Read books can now read in the Catalan language without adaptations. This is very encouraging for us to continue our work and also shows how important this material is in the course of learning a language.  It also reinforces a guarantee of democracy in reading and literacy.

This year we plan to expand our Easy-to-Read materials and programmes into new contexts, for example, in a nursing home as a therapeutic activity for residents or as an inter-generational programme with two or more generations reading together.

Marta and her team at work.

Name three things that you think public Libraries in Europe can contribute to help improve the literacy levels of Europe’s Adult population?

-Integrate people at risk of social exclusion and guarantee the democratic right of all citizens to culture.
– Promote accessibility to information to everyone independently of reading or digital difficulties of each.
-Create a net of citizens and local agents interested with lifelong learning .

What would you like to see happen in your country’s libraries in the next 12 months to help improve adult literacy in Europe?

-Adopting public policy to guarantee resources in favour of lifelong learning and the recognition of role of the library in promoting literacy.
-Working together with community partners (schools, organizations, volunteers) for adopting joint ideas and principles.
-And finally, be made aware that easy materials are useful and necessary in our time and people need more editing, literature books or contemporary articles.

What do you think our Literacy for All Network can do to help libraries in Europe achieve these things?

The European Network ‘Literacy For All’ can serve to share good practices, resources and information with European librarians who have the same objectives or problems.
At the same time is a great opportunity for working together, get financing and more recognition for the important role that libraries provide in creating learning opportunities for adults.

What would you say to anyone that is interested in joining our Network?

Welcome, nice to meet you!

If you are interested in joining our Literacy for All Network please email us or find us on Facebook or LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter.

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Member Profile: Lianne Knobel

In a new series of posts profiling our Network members and the work that they do we have asked each member of our network the same questions and we will post the responses here.

Photo of Lianne Knobel

Lianne Knobel

Today’s member profile is about Lianne Knobel, Policymaker Social Domain and Adult Education at Biblioteek Breda in the Netherlands

http://www.bibliotheekbreda.nl

Describe what you do in your job from day to day. (Describe how your day to day practices are related to adult literacy)

I have been working since 2010 as a specialist in the social domain of the public library Breda. Breda is a city in the south of the Netherlands with 178,000 inhabitants.
My job is to innovate and develop activities within the library that has to do with adult education, in particular illiteracy and basic skills ( essential skills).  I work with local, regional and national partners . I am also active internationally with IFLA and in this network Literacy for All.
My work entails mostly policy making  but also setting up activities that help adults to increase their basic skills and their self-confidence and self-reliance .The Public Library Breda has made these activities a priority in their programming implementation plans.

Choose and describe one programme that you did, or would like to do, regarding Adult Literacy in your library or institution.

Examples of activities that we have in the library are: computer courses, language practice groups, reading groups. workshops for low-skilled job seekers. We use a lot of educated volunteers who accompany these activities. Together with other organizations such as municipality, general practitioners, education organizations, we work around themes like family, health and work.
Weekly there are between 5 and 7 different activities in the library

Name three things that you think public Libraries in Europe can contribute to help improve the literacy levels of Europe’s Adult population?

  1. Libraries are accessible, anyone can inside everyone know it. The library belongs to everyone.
  2. The library has the materials,books for the education and encasing basic skills.
  3. The libraries has good and motivated employees who can help lower educated people to find their way.

What would you like to see happen in your country’s libraries in the next 12 months to help improve adult literacy in Europe?

By sharing best practices and knowledge we can expand the network and reach more adult in Europe to gain more basic skills and increase more self esteem. These adults can build a better position to take part in the society.

What do you think our Literacy for All Network can do to help libraries in Europe achieve these things?

The Literacy for all network can help libraries not only by sharing their activities, and being a on-line community,but also to get the subject on the agenda of their own library locally, nationally and internationally.
Also to let Europe know that we exist and what we are standing for by taking parting in European congresses .

What would you say to anyone that is interested in joining our Network?

Join us. Take a look in our Facebook, or LinkedIn. Or just contact one of us.
You are more than welcome

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