Skip to main content

Ohio Literacy Network is the Gateway to Learning & Earning

January 2009 Articles
Lisa Larson, OLN 

The Ohio Literacy Network is a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to build Ohio’s workforce by strengthening adult and family literacy education. We focus on adult learners, because we know that when they model positive learning experiences for their children, a love of life-long learning develops. Our statewide referral and information hotline (1-800-228-7323) and online learning website were designed to assist adult learners in their quest to achieve their educational goals and to attain economic self-sufficiency. 

Across Ohio over 1.2 million adults lack a diploma or a GED, 450,000 need of basic literacy skills and these numbers are increasing by 23,000 each year as students exiting high school lack many of these same credentials.  The Ohio Literacy Network works to strengthen adult literacy in Ohio by: (1) connecting adult learners to hundreds of free public and home-based educational resources; (2) supporting local literacy programs by referring students and providing resources/materials for student education; (3) building literacy communities via collaborations with libraries, corporations, social service agencies and the media and (4) generating public awareness and advocacy campaigns in support of adult learners and local literacy programs.

 Frequently, adult learners have a profound need for educational support and a low level of awareness about the free resources that are available to them. This is a great opportunity for librarians and the Ohio Literacy Network to work collaboratively to inform and support adult learners in need.  Librarians can refer learners to our hotline which connects 6,000 adults each year to the educational resources they need to succeed at work and home. Our online learning website is another user-friendly, referral resource which connects adults to free education options such as local programs, online and home-based study tools.

Supporting learners in preparing for the GED exam is a significant part of the work the Ohio Literacy Network does with local libraries, cable and public television stations and the Ohio Community Computing Network. They are the statewide distributors of an amazing learning system called the GED Connection. This three part learning system features: 39 half hour video lessons, a set of three workbooks and an online practice and test preparation site. The online learning website provides learners a one-stop, 24/7 GED preparation resource where they can access streaming video or cablecast of the video lessons and they can use the exercises and practice tests available on Learning Express Library or PBS LiteracyLink.

We invite you to visit: This site is a great referral resource librarians can use to connect learners to powerful free educational tools for every skill level and subject area.

The Online Learning Site includes:

GED Connection Video Lessons via:

  • Internet Streaming
  • Television Study Options

GED Online Practice and Preparation Lessons via:

  • PBS LiteracyLink Website
  • Learning Express LibraryBasic  or Workplace Skills and Subject Specific Lessons via:
  • PBS LiteracyLink Website

Take a tour through the Learn button and see for yourself how quick and easy it is to learn 24/7.

How can Ohio’s librarians work with the Ohio Literacy Network to support adult literacy?

  • Connect adult learners to the statewide information and referral hotline by posting or distributing literacy awareness flyers, website information sheets and library website links.
  • Provide adult learners access to 24/7 learning tools like the GED Connection learning system by referring them to the website
  • Generate a User Profile for your library computer lab to provide learners one-step access to use the online learning website study tools and streaming video lessons.
  • Partner with community computing centers to provide increased local access to online study resources.
  • Collaborate on public awareness campaigns aimed at increasing participation with local libraries, adult education programs and with 24/7 study resources.
  • Work with Ohio Literacy Network to build literacy collaborations with social service agencies, community organizations and corporations which raise literacy awareness and access to adult education opportunities.