A New Independence in Honduras

Judith’s Reading Room opened its 97th Library in Honduras this February with help from Ana Luhrs, former Board member and Freedom through Literacy Award winner, and the students of Lafayette College’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project. Students travelled to the remote village of Zambrano, Honduras to help rural farmers grow their coffee business.

The Lafayette students built a curated library for exceptional women selected by village elders to attend The Leadership Center (TLC) in Zambrano. Ana used the funds she was awarded as a winner of the organization’s 2018 Freedom Through Literacy Award to purchase books, among them autobiographies of women, and create a culture of reading for pleasure.

“Access to information beyond the classroom allows students to take ownership of their educational journey. Library collections, especially well-curated collections, provide a variety of perspectives beyond that of a classroom textbook and an instructor.”

Ana Luhrs, Lafayette College librarian

Women in Zambrano want to become global leaders in the coffee industry, so acquiring the English language skills they need to expand their businesses is a must. Now they have a well-stocked library with books on business that they can learn from.
“Judith’s Reading Room stands with the dozens of young women hand-picked to learn management and leadership skills at TLC so that they can become highly productive leaders in their country,” said Cathy Leiber, Co-Founder, Judith’s Reading Room.  “Thanks to Ana Luhrs, having a library at TLC which is packed with books to encourage a love of reading, students will be able to explore the world when there is little opportunity to leave their country.”

This marks the 97th library opened by Judith’s Reading Room globally. Judith’s Reading Room was established in 2010 to honor the memory and legacy of Judith F. Krug, a librarian. Since 2010, Judith’s Reading Room has dedicated 97 libraries in 20 countries. The organization sponsors the Freedom Through Literacy Award which has disbursed $29,000 in awards to 25 individual champions of literacy.  Additional information and the application for the 2019 Award can be found at www.JudithsReadingRoom.org/freedom-through-literacy-award/

2019 Freedom Through Literacy Award Flyer

Spread the word about Judith’s Reading Room’s 2019 Freedom Through Literacy Award by sharing and posting our flyer. Please download the flyer to print

The 5th annual Judith’s Reading Room “Freedom Through Literacy” Award will honor individual champions of literacy from all disciplines around the world — teachers, librarians, authors, researchers, educators — anyone who has done exemplary work to instill in others a love of reading.

Building first-time libraries, visit by visit

The core of Judith’s Reading Room is the belief that books change lives. At Casa Guadalupe in Allentown, Pennsylvania, children under five are bringing home their first books thanks to a creative partnership.

The first thing you see when you visit the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program at Casa Guadalupe in Allentown is a bright red cart of books. Small books, big books, books with wheels, and books with fuzzy fur poking out the covers. It’s a tantalizing display of literary delight, and it is hard to resist when you are five and under.

“Kids are crying and begging for books every time that they come to their appointment,” says former Freedom Through Literacy honoree and WIC Program Coordinator Dawn Bush. “They even still ask for books over stickers!” Moms love the program, too. At each visit, they can bring home a book to add to their child’s library–a luxury many cannot afford on their own.

Started in April 2013, the Birth-2-Five Initiative was Judith’s Reading Room’s answer to the 30-million word gap. Research shows that by age three, a child in poverty hears 30 million fewer words than a child from a middle-income home. This impacts a child’s ability to compete with his peers once he reaches elementary school and can have damaging effects on confidence, self-worth, and academic growth.

After a recent audit by Maternal & Family Health Services, the overseeing agency of the WIC program, it was recommended that books be added to the nutritionist’s office so children had something to focus on, giving their families quality uninterrupted time to listen to the important information the nutritionist was sharing.

Since the inception of the Birth-2-Five Initiative, Judith’s Reading Room has donated 15,649 children’s books to the WIC Program at Casa Guadalupe, building countless home libraries and changing lives.


Do you know a Champion of Literacy in your community? Do them a favor and share the 2019 Freedom Through Literacy Award application with them!

Alif Laila Society has new photos to share!

Basarat and Alif Laila Society, Freedom Through Literacy 2015 grand prize winner,  continues her project in Pakistan.  She just sent us some fantastic new photos!
Basarat believes that by providing access to quality literature, in a country that spends less than 2% on education, will inspire life-long learners and, most importantly, develop positive attitudes so critical for a tolerant society. Convinced that books are change agents and that libraries for children are places of independent research, critical thinking and imagination power houses, Basarat sets a determined and noteworthy commitment to literacy in Pakistan.

Congratulations to Christopher Dew

Christopher Dew with Cathy and Scott Leiber

Christopher Dew with Cathy and Scott Leiber

Christopher Dew and Lisa Boscola, PA State Senator

Christopher Dew and Lisa Boscola, PA State Senator

Judith’s Reading Room VOLUNTEER, Christopher Dew, received his Eagle Scout award today. His project, establishing a library at Lehigh Valley H. O. P. E., was inspired by his volunteer work at Judith’s Reading Room. Lisa Boscola, PA STATE SENATOR, honored his achievement.

Christopher Dew, one of just 4% of all scouts who achieve the hard-earned Eagle Scout designation.

Christopher Dew

Christopher Dew

Christopher Dew Troup 312 South Mountain District Eagle Application Cover

Christopher Dew Eagle Application Cover

International Day of the Book – Resita City, Romania

Dominique Zara, municipal librarian in Resita City, Romania celebrated the International Day of the book and the Day of English that took place on April 23 this year. Some children at daycare centers in the city who implemented hours of English came to the Judith’s Reading Room liInternational Day of The Bookbrary to read together andInternational Day of The Book enjoy the beautiful books.

“I attached some pictures from our activities. I was happy to had some teenage volunteers participate in this acționează. They were from Italy, Belgia and Spain. They come in our town for 1 year and they wanted to come to our library to assist in Celebrating The International Day of the book.”

On September 8, 2014, UNESCO’s International Literacy Day, five libraries were dedicated in Resita City, Romania. The five libraries, one of which is named the Judith’s Reading Room Library, serves 70,000 residents. The request from municipal librarian, Dominique Zara, is for a total of 6,000-7,000 books, including books to teach English to city politicians. Her goal with respect to that audience is to demonstrate that a library is an indispensable asset in a city and that librarians can do great things for all citizens.

Dominique is a librarian who Walks the Talk, Read more librarian-walks-the-talk

International Day of The BookResita-Group 2

Celebrating English Language in Resita City, Romania

Cathy Leiber and Kimberly Bush made a short video sending a message to Dominique Zara, municipal librarian in Resita City, Romania in honor of International Day of the Book.

Dominique celebrated the International day of the book and the Day of English that takes place on April 23 this year. Some children at daycare centers in the city who implemented hours of English came to the Judith’s Reading Room library to read together and enjoy the beautiful books.

On September 8, 2014, UNESCO’s International Literacy Day, five libraries were dedicated in Resita City, Romania. The five libraries, one of which is named the Judith’s Reading Room Library, serves 70,000 residents. The request from municipal librarian, Dominique Zara, is for a total of 6,000-7,000 books, including books to teach English to city politicians. Her goal with respect to that audience is to demonstrate that a library is an indispensable asset in a city and that librarians can do great things for all citizens.

Dominique is a librarian who Walks the Talk, Read more http://www.judithsreadingroom.org/librarian-walks-the-talk/

Children at Anjali House, Cambodia

A new photo of children using our books at Anjali House, Cambodia.

Anjali House is a local NGO that is supporting 120 students and their families through education, basic care and the arts. All the children and young adults from 5 to 19 years old come from impoverished families who can’t afford the cost of education and most of the time can only provide a meal a day.

Here is a lshort video that introduces Anjali House

Librarian “Walks the Talk”

Reading in Resita City, Romania


The story here is that one fabulous librarian “walks the talk” when encouraging children to learn to read! Dominique Zara, municipal librarian in Restia City, Romania who is on maternity leave shared these wonderful photos of her 11 month old daughter and “she really love to read her but more than this she love to watch books herself. And I am very proud of her and happy because of this books she knows all the animals and plants and many things!”.

On September 8, 2014, UNESCO’s International Literacy Day, five libraries were dedicated in Resita City, Romania. The five libraries, one of which is named the Judith’s Reading Room Library, serves 70,000 residents. The request from municipal librarian, Dominique Zara, is for a total of 6,000-7,000 books, including books to teach English to city politicians. Her goal with respect to that audience is to demonstrate that a library is an indispensable asset in a city and that librarians can do great things for all citizens.

Dominique told me that the 5 Judith’s Reading Room libraries in Resita City continue to provide opportunities for children to learn English.  When she returns to work from maternity leave she will institute a reading program for the elderly and children.