Describing Vernacular Literacy Practices to Enhance Understanding of Community Information Needs: A Case Study with Practical Implications

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Literacy -- Missouri, Hispanic Americans & libraries


Key documents guiding U.S. library service, including Reference and User Service Association (RUSA) guidelines and the American Library Association (ALA) Code of Ethics and Bill of Rights, focus on equitable public library service. By viewing literacy practices as an increasingly crucial realm of the social structure, librarians, policy makers, social researchers, and other interested groups can better understand information barriers that result in social inequality. A clear understanding of vernacular literacy will afford librarians greater insight to the information needs of the public, including a greater understanding of nonusers of their libraries.