It’s estimated that one in five adults around the world are not literate and two thirds of them are women.
It’s easy for people in the western developed nations to take for granted what seems to be a most basic freedom: the freedom to read and access to books. But according to the "Global Monitoring Report on Education for All” published in 2008 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), many nations in Asia and Africa have high rates of illiteracy which causes a damaging effect on personal and national development. The report shows the connection between illiteracy and countries in severe poverty, and between illiteracy and prejudice against women.
On International Literacy Day, Sept. 8, UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova delivered a keynote address at UN Headquarters in New York on the importance of literacy and increased efforts to invest in and improve women’s literacy around the world. International Literacy Day was first celebrated in 1966 with the aim of highlighting the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.
Libraries, including Great River Regional Library (GRRL), know the importance of literacy to the life of a community, and are proud of the part they play in providing all members of the community with the tools they need to be successful in life. At GRRL, this includes early childhood toddler times and storytimes, adult programming, reading materials for all ages, and computers with Internet access at all 32 locations.