In my last post “Literacies and Fallacies,” I introduced Deborah Brandt’s conceptual approach of sponsors of literacy that connects individual literacy development to the economic development of literacy. I also shared a rationale for why libraries should use this critical interpretive lens and offered an initial list of questions as focal points of inquiry to consider.
By exploring “who or what underwrites occasions of literacy learning and use” (Brandt, The Sponsors of Literacy 2), librarians are much better positioned to better understand and contextualize these three key issues identified by Brandt (6):
1. How the access, organization, and privileging of literacy opportunities are impacted by issues related to race, class, and gender.
2. How literacy sponsors contribute to what Brandt defines as the literacy crisis: the perceived gap between rising standards for achievement and people’s ability to meet them.
3. How might sponsors of literacy interpret their ability to provide resources and opportunities that help people transform their uses of literacy that facilitate identity development, agency and social mobility?