Supporting literacy in our communities

Committed to advancing literacy in our community and to the work we do every day
September 14, 2020
We celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8, as a reminder of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. The library is committed to advancing literacy in our community and it is fundamental to the work we do every day.

With books being our foundation, we hope to instill a lifelong love of reading, writing and learning by supporting you with our literacy programs such as Career Online High School, English Conversation Groups and Adult Literacy programming. Reading and writing are the most basic yet essential skills, and we are proud help build that foundation for all members of our community at any age.
Career Online High School
Since 2014, the library has provided access to educational opportunities through Career Online High School program (COHS) and has helped 173 students total graduate high school and prepare to re-enter the workforce.

COHS is a nationally accredited online high school diploma program, run by Smart Horizons. The library serves as a gateway for students to enroll in the program and earn their diploma for free with 10 career path options, including Child Care and Education, Food and Hospitality, Office Management, Certified Protection Officer, Commercial Driving and more. Students receive support from an academic coach assigned to them, provided by Smart Horizons.

A total of 70 students are enrolled in COHS this year and 22 have graduated. Here is what our graduates are saying about this program:

"I did this to prove to myself that I could do it and in the process, I found out that I am smarter than I realized, but I also did it to be an example to my kids, showing them it's never too late to educate oneself," said Israel.

"What I've learned in the program is not only about high school subjects, but also office management, which I need to learn for getting a job in the future," said Yumiko.

"My life has been hard because I did not have a diploma. I couldn't get certain jobs as well. I was ridiculed. It's a major confidence boost for me, and I don't have to be ashamed anymore," said La Keishia.

"Earning my High School Diploma through the library has opened a new door for me to be able to go to college. I am so thankful that I had this opportunity to study at home while I took care of my family. My dream came true to get my high school diploma and to go to college. Thank you, Sacramento Public Library, for your amazing support," said Ana.

For more info on this program, visit Additional career resources are available through our Adult Learning Center with live one-on-one academic coaching, practice test center, writing lab and skill building. You can log in to the online service with your library card at

English Conversation Groups
Adult learners seeking to improve their English language skills can take advantage of our free language learning groups led by volunteers and online resources for you to track your progress from beginner to advance with our English Language Conversation Groups.

Since September, the library has hosted 11 virtual sessions for a total of 23 beginners, intermediate and advance participants.

One of our attendees wrote to us and said, "I would like to thank you for the weekly English Conversation Group! It has been a great opportunity to learn English. I have a big fear of speaking English, and I had no hope of learning English anymore, but now I see it is possible."

Visit here for more info about this program,

Adult Literacy
The library assists all adult learners in meeting their literacy goals. Since 1984, thanks in part to significant grant funding from the State Library, we serve an average of 250 to 350 adult learners a year in all program areas. Last year, adult learners received 19,677 hours of tutoring, provided by about 200 volunteer tutors.
This program also helps our learners in a broad range of ways, from obtaining a better job to reading a book to their children at night.

According to Literacy Tutor Chris Clay, not only have our learners' spelling (proficiency) significantly increased, but also their new skills have given them a boost of self-esteem. Examples of personal goals they have achieved include obtaining a better job, sharing a book with children or a family member, reading health information, becoming a citizen, voting, getting a driver's license and accessing community resources. Learn more at