Thursday, May 29, 2008

Libraries are Key to Building Local Economic Base Says New Study

If true for U.S., imagine relevance for village Africa? Here's the link to the study, and an excerpt:
Public libraries build a community’s capacity for economic activity and resiliency, says a new study from the Urban Institute. Making Cities Stronger: Public Library Contributions to Local Economic Development adds to the body of research pointing to a shift in the role of public libraries -- from a passive, recreational reading and research institution to an active economic development agent, addressing such pressing urban issues as literacy, workforce training, small business vitality and community quality of life. ... As the strong correlation between investments in early literacy and long-term economic success is documented, public libraries are expanding beyond their traditional story time services, engaging in high-impact strategies with community partners. They are leading public awareness campaigns, reaching new mothers with materials and resources that promote reading early and often. Extensive community-wide training on early literacy with home and professional child care givers is increasing levels of school readiness and success. From Providence (RI) to San Luis Obispo (CA), public libraries are reaching young children and families in diverse neighborhoods. These services are the first link in a chain of investments needed to build the educated workforce that ensures local competitiveness in the knowledge economy.

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