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Children looking at books at Read Across Oklahoma

“Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship.”

– Kofi Annan, seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations

Literacy—The ability to understand, interpret, create, communicate, and compute using printed and written materials. A continuum of learning that enables individuals to achieve goals, develop knowledge and potential, and participate fully in society. (from the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization)

As our world relies more and more on technology, and society is bombarded with text in a wide array of formats, the ability to read is more critical than ever. Children who fall behind when learning to read often become adults with literacy problems. Learning to read as an adult can be a challenging process due to work, family, and other pressing commitment—however, the rewards can be life changing. As one adult learner wrote, “I’ve changed for the better and I’ve come a long way. I read with confidence. I feel better about myself. I see myself as a different person, still being challenged, but now working through it, not running away like before.”

ODL partners with libraries, non-profits and other organizations across Oklahoma to promote literacy.

The mission of the ODL's Literacy Resource Office is to provide leadership, resources, training, and information to Oklahoma’s library and community-based literacy network.

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries has championed the cause of adult literacy since 1983. ODL’s Literacy Resource Office (LRO) provides resources, leadership, and technical assistance to library and community-based literacy programs throughout the state.   Additionally, LRO coordinates several statewide literacy initiatives.

Proud Member of Oklahoma Literacy Coalition and ProLiteracy.   

Leslie Gelders
Literacy Administrator
Leslie brings more than thirty years of experience to the Literacy Resource Office (LRO) as a tutor, trainer, program developer, and public speaker. Over the years she has served on state and national literacy task forces, committees, advisory boards, and steering committees, including three terms as president of the Oklahoma Literacy Coalition. Leslie is responsible for federal literacy projects, and oversees a statewide health literacy project. She offers technical assistance to literacy boards, program directors, and trainers. Her skills in developing partnerships and her success in grant writing benefit literacy programs throughout Oklahoma.

Rebecca Barker
Coordinator, Grants and English Language Learning (ELL)
Rebecca’s responsibilities for literacy grants funded by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries include coordinating the process, reviewing reports, and offering technical assistance. She also oversees ELL activities by arranging training and identifying resources, and coordinates a citizenship and immigration program. With previous experience as a local literacy program director, Rebecca has first-hand knowledge of local needs and challenges. She is a trainer, public speaker, and editor of LRO publications including Celebrating Our Journey, a collection of stories written by adult learners. Rebecca represents the Literacy Resource Office on the board of the Oklahoma Literacy Coalition where she previously served as president.   


March 2:  Read Across America Day


Read Across Oklahoma

Annual Observance of National Financial Literacy Month

Adult Education & Family Literacy Week

National Volunteer Week


Annual Observance of National Literacy Month

September 8:  Annual Observance International Literacy Day


Annual Observance of Health Literacy Month

Annual Observance of LD Awareness Month


Annual Observance of Family Literacy Month

November 1:  National Family Literacy Day

Manuals, Handbooks, and Resources


Certificate Templates


Campaign Posters



To contact staff of the Literacy Resource Office, go to ODL's Office & Staff Listing.

Last Modified on Jan 05, 2023