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Adult Literacy  

Basic Adult Education (ABE)
Last Updated: May 21, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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The Adult Literacy (Adult Basic Education) collection serves the adult who is learning to read and/or the adult who is learning English as a Second Language (ESL). This collection aims to assist adults achieve their education and/or communication goals.

If you are learning English as a Second Language, please look for links to the subject guides for English as a Second Language (ESL) and World Languages (WL).

This project was made possible by a grant from the Triad Foundation.


Books and Recordings (includes multimedia sets)

TCPL's Adult Literacy collection has English dictionaries, grammar books, current fiction, popular stories, classics, and "how-to books" written for adult learners.  Audio book sets contain CDs and/or cassettes plus matching books for reading practice.  Please ask at the Reference Desk if you need help locating this collection.

Searching the Catalog 
The online library catalog (PowerPAC) lets you find books, recordings and other materials at the library. When you search by keyword, you can find the newest materials by clicking on the arrow next to the "Sort by" menu and selecting "Publication date." If you search by subject, try these subject headings:

Try these series of books. Many of them include audio disc or tape that let you listen as you follow along in the book!

The library's reference staff can show you how to search the catalog and find materials. Come to the Reference Desk or contact us anytime you need help.


  • LearningExpress Library  
    This instructional database assists patrons of all ages prepare for a variety of academic and civil service tests, including TASC, SAT, GED, ASVAB, clerical worker, police officer, firefighter, postal worker and real estate practice tests. There are math, reading, and writing skill-building resources for all students. Job seekers can receive help in creating a resume and cover letter and tips on preparing for a job.
  • Mango Languages  
    Mango Languages is an easy to use online language-learning system teaching actual conversation skills for a wide variety of languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Greek, German, and Japanese. It also includes English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for 14 different languages. Mango uses real-life situations and actual conversations to more effectively teach a new language to learn how to communicate.
  • Rosetta Stone - In library use only
    Rosetta Stone is an interactive language learning program, is available for Library use only on designated computers.
    Rosetta Stone Version 1: English (US) Level 1, 2 & 3
    Rosetta Stone Version 3: English (US) Level 1, 2 & 3
    Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 & 3

Local Resources

2-1-1 Information and Referral Service
Phone: 211 or 1-877-211-8667
Information and Referral (I&R) maintains the a comprehensive listing of services and organizations in Tompkins County.

Family Reading Partnership
A coalition of organizations, individuals, schools, libraries and businesses that is working to create a "culture of literacy" by promoting family reading practices in the community and beyond. 

Tompkins Learning Partners, Inc. (formerly Literacy Volunteers of America)
124 West Buffalo Street ~ Ithaca, New York
Phone: 607-277-6442
TLP provides tutoring services, free of charge, to local residents who need help reading, writing, or speaking English.

TST BOCES (Tompkins Seneca Tioga)
TST BOCES offers a variety of adult educational programs, including basic skills instruction in reading, writing and math; preparation for high school equivalency classes; and ESL classes.


Subject Guide

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Joyce Wheatley

Subject Guide

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Teresa Vadakin
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More Guides

English as a Second Language (ESL)
by Teresa Vadakin, Joyce Wheatley - Last Updated Aug 14, 2014
Read It, Write It, Speak It
376 views this year

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