January 21, 2022

Bristol’s Literacy Academy Bridges Digital Divide

In Bristol, a city straddling the border of Tennessee and Virginia, the Bristol Public Library (BPL) is taking digital literacy training to the next level. The library employs a small staff of full-time teachers, who have made computer training a key component of BPL’s 25 year-old Patricia Freedman Literacy Academy (PFLA). The academy launched as a GED prep program in the late 1980s, and even then, it offered a small computer component for students who wanted to learn keyboarding, said BPL Executive Director Jud Barry. Computers have since become ubiquitous, and five years ago, BPL opened a new main library with a computer lab, where the teachers are available for one-on-one instruction five days per week.

Print Books, Basic Ebooks may Top Enhanced Ebooks at Fostering Literacy, Says Study

While enhanced ebooks engage young children with their interactive elements, print or basic ebooks may be more effective for encouraging literacy.