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Libraries are an important part of every community.

They offer an escape from the mundane and an opportunity to explore and learn about the world around us. Libraries cultivate young minds and broaden the thoughts of the older through a wealth of knowledge stored within. They are a gathering place for those who seek knowledge and compose the backbone of the community.

Friends of the Knox County Public Library 5201 W. Church Avenue Knoxville, TN 37902 Phone: 865-215-8775 FAX: 865-215-8772

Fighting Illiteracy
One Book at a Time

Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open.
-Laura Bush

General Email:

The Problem
Many people in Tennessee are unable to afford books to have at home. Without books there is less incentive to pursue a higher degree of reading ability at a younger age. This severely hampers the reading development of many in the state. According to information obtained by the National Center for Educational Statistics, it is estimated that 13% of the population over 16 years of age lacks basic prose literacy skills (BPLS) in the state of Tennessee.1

Estimates of Low Literacy. 2014. Web. < mates.aspx>.

This means over 1 out of 10 people cannot understand and use information that is used in basic, everyday text like that found in newspapers. This makes it hard for these people to function in society.

2. "The Impact of Literacy." Central Georgia Technical College. N.p.. Web. 22 Feb 2014.< ltlearn/volunteer/literacy.cfm>.

Why Act?

BPLS Proficiency In Tennessee


With such a high percentage of the state unable to understand basic reading material, problems arise with education, employment, and involvement in society. This stops these people from fully achieving their potential in their community and in life. Many will live below the poverty line and become more likely to turn to crime. 2

By simply donating books, multimedia, time, or by helping financially, you will be providing those that cannot read with the opportunity to be more active in their communities, be better employees, and be able to advocate for themselves to avoid disenfranchisement.

Getting Involved
In Knox County, you can help stop illiteracy by donating books and time to the Friends of the Knox County Public


Proficient 87% Not Proficient 13%

1. "Tennessee." United States of America. United States Department of Education. State and County

They work to raise money for libraries to help reach those that cannot buy books. They also donate to other organizations that deliver books to children that

otherwise could not afford reading materials.