Libraries are among America’s most democratic institutions— places of equitable access to education, information, and lifelong learning that strengthen communities and help create a more literate and just society. Libraries are also among the first institutions immigrants turn to for help with accessing and using technology and with learning how to read, write, and speak English.
Since 2008, the American Library Association (ALA) and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation have offered grants to U.S. public libraries to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development.
The American Dream Literacy Initiative helps libraries augment their print and digital ESL collections, increase computer access and training, provide job training, hold English language, GED, and citizenship classes, and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations.
This 10-year retrospective report celebrates the many ways that American Dream libraries have transformed lives, strengthened their communities, and advocated tirelessly for lifelong learning. With just a small amount of grant money, these libraries have had outsized impact on the thousands of adults who turn to them for support.
That’s why ALA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation are proud to invest in libraries and the communities they serve. Together, we can help all Americans achieve the American Dream.