CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
Judith’s Reading Room to Host Mobile
Literacy Stories Round Table in Acapulco, Mexico
Organization has supported literacy in Mexico since 2017
October 2, 2023 — Lehigh Valley, Pa — Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization best known for its network of 105 libraries in 23 countries and its annual “Freedom Through Literacy Award” announced plans to host a mobile Literacy Stories Round Table in Acapulco, Mexico, November 7-8, 2023.
Capitalizing on its mission to “enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy,” the organization has invited the participation of, among others, Biblioteca Publica Municipal Rosendo Pintos Lacunza, Biblioteca Carmen Romando de Lopez Portillo and Biblioteca Publica Ramon Nogueda Lopez. Librarians and Judith’s Reading Room board members will engage on questions such as: What are the greatest obstacles librarians face in championing literacy in their community?
In 2017, Judith’s Reading Room committed to Mexico when it established its 96th library in conjunction with The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, Mexico naming that organization a 2017 Freedom Through Literacy Award ‘Honorable Mention.’ The $500 award was used to purchase 50 children’s books in English and Spanish for their Biblioteca Infantile ‘Bridge to English’ reading program serving more than 160 children. Again in 2020, in conjunction with Judith’s Reading Room’s 10th Anniversary, The Palapa Society was declared one of its ‘Stand Out’ libraries and was once again awarded $500 to purchase new books.
Judith’s Reading Room has set three priorities for its inaugural mobile Literacy Stories Round Table in Mexico: First, geographically expand its commitment in Mexico by pinpointing an organization that would benefit from a Judith’s Reading Room library; establish a timetable for its dedication. Second, amplify awareness of the organization’s 2024 “Freedom Through Literacy Award” and encourage qualified champions of literacy to apply. Third, single out potential winners for the organization’s Founders’ Award and Literacy Chair Award.
Judith’s Reading Room
Judith’s Reading Room, a 501 (c) 3 literacy organization was founded in 2010 in the memory of the founders’ first cousin, Judith F. Krug, who served as Director for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association for over 40 years. Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy. We have fulfilled that mission by establishing 105 libraries (and counting) in 23 countries with over 132,000 donated books.
Applications for the 2024 Freedom Through Literacy Award will be posted on October 5, 2023 at www.judithsreadingroom.org. The Award honors individual champions of literacy from all disciplines around the world — teachers, librarians, authors, researchers, nonprofit literacy organizations and educators — anyone who has done exemplary work to instill in others a love of reading. Since 2015, $53,500 in prizes has been awarded to 60 literacy champions in 17 countries.
The Founders’ Award, inaugurated in September 2022, is a cash prize at the discretion of Judith’s Reading Room founders to honor literacy heroes who have had to overcome immense obstacles in order to enrich lives through literacy. Ms. Basarat Kazim, Alif Laila Book Bus Society, Lehore, Pakistan and Ms. Simon Ke, Anjali House, Siem Reap, Cambodia were the 2022 recipients, each receiving a cash award of $1,000.
The Literacy Chair Award, inaugurated in October 2022, is in honor of or in memory of a champion of literacy nominated by a Judith’s Reading Room member of the Board of Directors. The Literacy Chair Award is a non-cash award presented with a one-of-a-kind piece of art to illustrate the power of literacy through art. Dr. Lisette Caesar, former principal and founder of Mosaic Preparatory Academy in East Harlem, NY was named recipient of the inaugural 2022 Literacy Chair Award. In 2023, the Award went to the Chautauqua-Cattaragus Library System of 38 libraries and its Bemus Point librarian, Shannon Donovan, for their “CCLS Road Trip” summer program that seeks to reduce ‘summer slide.’