Library Purchases $4,000 of New Material for Underserved Population

Joliet Junior College has a new collection of books for struggling readers and English as a Second Language (ESL) learners, thanks to a collaboration between the JJC Library and Workforce Education. 

Some of the books in the Adult Education Collection.
A few of the books that
are part of the Adult Education Collection
in the JJC Library.

$4,000 in new materials will serve an underrepresented population at JJC and in the community. 

JJC Librarian Amy Chellino and Workforce Education Literacy Specialist Mandy Dwyer spearheaded the project.

“The Adult Education Collection provides struggling readers and ESL patrons with tools for developing and improving their literacy skills. The collection exemplifies the library’s dedication to learning and serving diverse populations,” Chellino said. 

The Adult Education Collection features high-interest, low readability (Hi-Lo) books – mature, complex themed books at lower reading levels. These books can be read quickly and help to improve reading and English language skills.

Dwyer said the program has already seen results. She recalls a special moment with Workforce Education student Kevin Clancy, who had come to her after reading “Spider Bites” by William Kowalski. 

“He brought it back to me, sat down, and said, ‘This is the very first book that I have ever finished. Do you have another one?’ He went on to finish all of the Rapid Reads collection,” Dwyer said. 

In addition to the print books, bookpacks were also purchased for the collection. Bookpacks are audiobooks paired with a print version for a read-along experience. They are used as a tool to improve reading comprehension and retention, expand vocabulary skills and improve fluency. 

JJC students can use their student ID card to check out the new materials from the library. Any community member with a valid Illinois library card can also rent items. Visit the library's website for information.

“The new Adult Education collection in the JJC Library is a huge step toward making a wider range of students feel welcome at JJC, and will encourage them to visit and use the JJC Library,” said Dwyer. “Workforce Education students from all over the district will enjoy the opportunity to take advantage of JJC resources using just their home library cards.”

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