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Case Study on Adult Literacy and Numeracy at Ibrox Library – Glasgow Libraries

Adult Literacy and Numeracy at Ibrox Library

Glasgow Communities organise community based literacy and numeracy support in Libraries and other local venues throughout Glasgow. The learning programme is based on what the learners want to learn using everyday materials and resources. Literacy and numeracy support is tutored in small groups of no more than six people, and trained volunteers are available at some of the venues to support individual learners. 2015-16 saw 12,500 hours of Adult Literacy and Numeracy support delivered to over 400 learners.

JM, who is in her early 50’s, did not have a positive experience at school, being put in a ‘remedial’ class for much of her time and being labelled ‘thick’.  She left school at the first opportunity.  To hide her struggles with reading, writing and numbers, JM developed coping strategies which unfortunately impacted on her work and personal relationships.

JM began attending Adult Literacy & Numeracy classes at Ibrox Library after her issues with literacy and numeracy prevented her from taking a promotion at work. Following discussions, the tutor suggested that she might actually be dyslexic.  After seeking medical advice, JM was given overlays and corrective coloured lenses for reading by her optician, all of which significantly helped her reading.

Since coming along to the ALN class JM has made excellent progress. Her confidence and self-esteem have improved hugely and she is enjoying the results of her work.

 “I look forward to coming to the class. If there’s something I’ve been struggling with, like my application form or my work stuff, I’ll bring it along. Before I didn’t have anywhere to go to ask apart from my husband and daughter, and I hated asking them stuff all the time because I felt like I was annoying them, so now that pressure and stress has been taken away.

I don’t feel alienated any more, I like being with people who are in the same position as me and it makes me feel better knowing I’m not alone.

I can read aloud now, before I was scared to in case I made a fool of myself but now I’m comfortable reading to the group. Since attending, I read a lot more away from the group, I feel comfortable being handed paperwork at work and I can even ask for help with words, which I never did before because I was too embarrassed.

Coming to this group has made me feel a lot less anxious. I can talk to people here, things I couldn’t talk about before. I used to be embarrassed saying I was coming to an adult learning class but now I’m proud of myself for taking such a positive step to deal with this.” 

JM, Learner


“I come to the class to learn stuff I didn’t learn at school. I didn’t have a great time at school. These classes make you feel normal and you’re treated as such. My confidence is better, the gremlins in your stomach are still there but now I don’t feel sick if I can’t spell a word. I’m not as hard on myself anymore if I don’t get things right. I’m not as panicky, I take a deep breath now and try things anyway.” JD

“It’s good fun, I like having a laugh with the other learners. My reading is getting better and so is my writing. I’ve changed a lot since I started coming here. I’ve quietened down a lot and I’m a lot more confident. I read more at home.” LD

“I like getting involved and learning stuff I missed at school. It’s giving me an interest when before I didn’t. It’s good for me to focus on something new and meet people who are like me. It’s good to know I’m not alone and there’s help out there. It’s opened my mind up to other things; I’m going to do an art class and other courses too. I’m more interested in educational programmes now, before I wasn’t interested.”

MC, Learner

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