10 Ways to Promote Literacy in the New Year

  1. Use your local library by checking out materials and attending programs.  Increased stats means they can ask for more funding.  More funding means more materials and programs.
  2. Donate books to the library, a women’s shelter, a local prison, a school, or a local literacy group.
  3. Start a Little Free Library or a book swap at work or school.  Or simply donate to one.
  4. Write to your representatives asking for increased funding for libraries.
  5. Have a special skill?  Offer to lead a program such as Spanish story time or a signing story time at your local library or another organization that promotes early childhood literacy.
  6. See what types of volunteers local organizations are looking for.  You might be able to shelf read at the library, sort through books for book sales, or help bring books to hospital patients.
  7. Ask if your library would be interested in starting a “pay it forward” campaign to help patrons pay off library fines and regain access to materials and services.
  8. If you have the money, buy books from authors you love.  When publishers have more money, they can take more risks on publishing different types of books.
  9. Spread positive feelings about literacy by being encouraging about someone’s reading or writing skills, even if you don’t personally like what they’re reading or think their writing could improve.
  10. Share your love of reading with others.  Be enthusiastic about your latest finds!  You may just inspire someone to try something new.

What are some others ways can we promote literacy?


24 thoughts on “10 Ways to Promote Literacy in the New Year

  1. Grab the Lapels says:

    Donate books to the library, a women’s shelter, a local prison, a school, or a local literacy group.

    This is a tough one. Almost no prison will take donated books because it’s common for people to put drugs on the pages and then the inmates eat the books. I kid you not. I used to teach in a prison. However, you can send inmates books through approved vendors, one of which is always Amazon (though I know Pages Unbound do not personally shop at Amazon). Donating to a library has been tricky for me. I thought I was donating books TO the library space itself, but they just put my books on a shelf where they sell books for $1 a piece and keep the money. While I’m happy they have a dollar, that’s not really what I was aiming to do….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I think at my last library that the books that were donated to the library (and, yeah, that went to to book sale and not the library’s shelves) were sometimes sorted through by the local prison to find some donations, and I think someone at my university actually did a book drive for the prison. But I agree that it can hard to donate directly.


    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, my library sorts through the books and will keep ones in good condition for the shelves. The rest are sold at the bookstore.

      And I’ve seen articles about sending books to prison that say precisely what you say. But I think people are trying to find new ways to increase access to books. It seems like a bunch of nonprofits are also experimenting with having people buy stuff directly off their Amazon wishlists because people prefer to do that so they know exactly how their money is being used/how they are benefiting the organization.

      Basically, I think it comes down to needing to research what organizations are present locally and how they do things since it can vary dramatically from place to place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephanie says:

    I need to get myself a library card for my local library! Right now I’ve been borrowing audiobooks from my school’s library but I’m pretty sure there are going to be about a million new audiobooks available to me once I get a library card.


  3. Enobong says:

    I never thought about donating books to a local prison. I’m moving and have a lot of books that I unfortunately need to part ways with. That’s such a good idea.


    • Krysta says:

      As another comment pointed out, this has gotten more difficult in recent years due to smuggling. However, I think prisons are looking at different ways to get books as a result, so you’d probably have to see what local policies are in place for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Enobong says:

        Ah but of course. I’ll definitely look into it though and any other ways I might be able to help prison libraries.


  4. Jheelam says:

    In my country, bureaucracy sucks the life out of any noble deed every time. Point 8 and 10- seem the most feasible options to me.


  5. ashley says:

    100% yes to using your library, especially if you can’t afford to buy every new book you want. Review the books that you read not only on Goodreads but retailer websites. Talk about books in general.


    • Krysta says:

      Yes! My library is amazing! I could never afford to buy all the books I borrow!

      And that’s a good point. Authors love when you can review their books on other sites.


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