Dutch approach to prevent and curate low literacy

LANGENDONK, Adriaan and TOONEN, Maaike (2017) Dutch approach to prevent and curate low literacy. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 138 - Literacy and Reading, Libraries for Children and Young Adults, Public Libraries and School Libraries.

Bookmark or cite this item: https://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1759
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Dutch approach to prevent and curate low literacy

1.3 million Dutch people between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills. They struggle to read, write and communicate. In order to prevent and curate low literacy in The Netherlands, the government initiated the programme Count on Skills. The programme creates synergy by linking various fields in which language plays a role: at school, in libraries and community centres, but also in social neighbourhood teams, youth social services and income support departments. Count on Skills focuses on three domains (family, employment market and healthcare). The preventive approach is called The Art of Reading. This programme (which contains BookStart, The Library at School and reading promotion networks) not only aims to promote a love of reading, but also aims to improve language performance and to reduce low literacy. One of the projects to reach low literate families is Score a Book! This reading promotion project is a joint event of Libraries and Premier League Football Clubs. In the curative approach the main goal is to reach 45.000 adults who lack basic skills (reading, writing and digital skills). The National Library of the Netherlands works closely with the Dutch Reading and Writing Foundation to close the skills gap. The National Library coordinates the national wide program The Library and Basic Skills in which the main goal is to implement a national wide infrastructure in all libraries with a wide range of products and to improve the basic skills of vulnerable target groups, such as low literate people, migrants and unemployed people. One of the curative projects is the cooperation between the Dutch Tax Authority and the Dutch National Library in which volunteers in libraries assists people with low digital literacy skills to fill in their tax-form online.

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