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OLA 2015: Opening Doors: Libraries and Literacy
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Date: Thursday, April 30
Time: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Sponsor: Public Libraries Division (PLD)

Public Libraries have taken leading roles in providing a wide range of services that address the literacy needs of Oklahoma’s diverse population. In addition to providing basic tutoring, library programs have helped individuals learn English and get their US citizenship, distributed free books to children from low income families, and promoted healthier lifestyles for community members and individuals with low literacy skills. Learn how libraries of all sizes can get involved in adult literacy outreach.

Leslie GeldersLeslie Gelders brings more than 27 years of experience to the Literacy Resource Office of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. In this capacity she has provided training, encouragement, and technical assistance to library and community-based literacy programs throughout the state. She oversees a number of statewide initiatives including health literacy and tutor training. Over the years, Leslie has served on state and national literacy task forces, committees, advisory boards, and steering committees.   Her skills in developing partnerships and her success in grant writing have benefited literacy programs throughout Oklahoma.

Marcia JohnsonMarcia Johnson has served as director of the Miami Public Library since 2002.  Prior to that she served as school library media specialist for the Fairland Public School District.  Johnson received her Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma.  She has served as the Public Library Division Chair for OLA, as secretary for the Public Library Director’s Council, and as chair for the Oklahoma Library Technology Network Advisory Council.  She currently serves as Chair for PLDC. Miami Public Library has forged partnerships and taken advantage of grant funds to sponsor Health Literacy programs in the community, an effort that has impacted the library’s mission.

Kathy HaleKathy Hale has been director of the Southern Prairie Library System in southwestern Oklahoma since 1979. During her tenure, successful election campaigns were held to fund library system services, build new facilities, and increase library funding. She has served in a variety of leadership roles for the Oklahoma Library Association, is an Oklahoma Library Legend, and has been active in state and regional efforts in the areas of libraries, information technology and sharing, literacy, and the humanities. Southern Prairie, with its partner the Great Plains Literacy Council, has been a leader in the adult literacy movement in Oklahoma, and has especially been a trailblazer in serving adults who need assistance with learning English and finding the pathway to American citizenship.

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