ALLACCESS leverages libraries to innovate and integrate adult education and workforce services to meet the varied and diverse needs of adults in Rhode Island. The program will serve all adults but with a particular emphasis on underserved populations: adults with low levels of digital literacy, low education attainment, low English literacy, and adults with disabilities.
With the help of two years of funding from an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership grant, program partners Providence Public Library and the Cranston Public Library will develop and implement access and service models to establish best practices and demonstrate the potential for libraries to engage the community in education and workforce services. Both libraries have been responding to the demand for technology access, digital literacy, and education and workforce services through creative programming. With the expanded resources, partnerships, and focus, these libraries expect to substantially increase their ability to provide services and tools for these underserved adults.
While positioning the libraries to be community anchors for underserved adults in their service areas, ALLACCESS will also be developing resources at the state level. It will also provide a blueprint for other libraries to develop similar programs and resources, replicating both the program and its impacts and transforming the role of libraries across Rhode Island and the United States. ALLACCESS is highly adaptable and will produce not only a model for these type of information services but also data to support their provision.
Data from the program will be used to continue to build the case for libraries as vital providers of informal adult education and workforce services by providing actionable and robust insights to the public library field. Specifically, we will analyze data from demonstration sites, use that data to capture educational and workforce outcomes for patrons who engage at the library; and use it to inform ongoing outreach and communication to program partners, collaborators, and key constituents.