The library is prevalent as a beacon of literacy in society. The library is accessible to everyone, whether to check out books for reading or to attend classes. People of all ages are welcome at the library, from the very young to the very old. Libraries offer many programs to better society, including programs aimed at improving literacy, job searching, homework help, and more. Some examples of programs run by libraries include:

  • The Los Angeles Public Library, in partnership with Gale/Cengage, offers adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online (Source: LAPL)
  • De Bibliotheek and HEMA in the Netherlands offer free online courses in ICT and social media (Source: CODA)
  • The DC Library’s Story Time programs introduce young children to books, rhymes, music and other fun activities, increasing literacy at a young age (Source: DC Library)
  • Stockholm Public Library offers various programs aimed at young children, including special pre-school hours, and United Nations day for kindergartners (Source: Stockholms Stadsbibliotek)
  • Libraries in Barcelona offer courses and workshops on digital literacy (Source: Biblioteques de Barcelona)

With the economic crisis, libraries have faced all kinds of financial problems, leading to less staff and fewer opening hours. Consequently, the accessibility of the information the library has to offer becomes more important than ever, as visitors access more information by themselves at home or on the digital facilities at the library. In addition to the free programs offered by libraries, computers with Internet access are available for use by everyone. ReadSpeaker works with libraries to increase accessibility by speech-enabling online content, with libraries including: