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agency visit - tccl 2

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  Tulsa Public Library  1 Rebecca Myers Tulsa Public Library Adult Literacy Program Colorado State University  Tulsa Public Library  2 Abstract The Tulsa City-County Library began as the Public Library Service in the basement of the Tulsa County Courthouse in the early 1900s. Today, the Tulsa City-County Library is a multi level 200,000 square foot building that offers a variety of resources. The Tulsa City-County Library and its affiliate, Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service forged their partnership in 1977. Since that time the two programs have worked to provide education and services to the citizens of Tulsa County.  Tulsa Public Library  3 Tulsa Public Library Adult Literacy Program The Tulsa City-County Public Library offers a variety of learning opportunities for adults. One of those opportunities is through the Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service (Tulsa). The Public Library Service, later known as the Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL) was founded in the basement of the Tulsa County Courthouse in the early 1900s, while Ruth G. Hardman affiliate of the TCCL was founded in 1977(Wikipedia). In the 1960s through grant funding and progress the library was labeled as we know it today, the Tulsa City-County Library. At its inception in 1977, the Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service was the only affiliate with Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) to come west of the Mississippi River. Without the TCCL, the Ruth G. Hardman affiliate would not have had a base of operations. As it was, the only staff member was a volunteer librarian that dedicated ten hours a week to the literacy service (Jennifer). Then in the 1980s, “A Chance to Learn” literacy campaign put the spotlight on the alarming illiteracy statistics in America (Corry, 2018). That campaign led to the need for a full-time literacy coordinator in the 1990s (Jennifer). The TCCL and its affiliates strive to provide the necessary learning opportunities to the individuals in our community that need them. The mission of the Ruth G. Harman Adult Literacy Service is to promote literacy in Tulsa County through adult basic education and English language instruction(Jennifer). The Tulsa City-County Library’s mission is libraries change lives (Tulsa). However, their vision is to envision a Tulsa County that works together, where all are knowledgeable, and where everyone is reaching for his or her full potential (Tulsa). The programs offered through Ruth G. Hardman and TCCL are developed based off  public needs, requests from students and/or tutors, surveys, demographic studies, developments  Tulsa Public Library  4 in the literacy field, and from information obtained from the state Literacy Resource Office (Jennifer). Both agencies work together to provide a multitude of necessary services to the  public. The services offered are adult learning, skill building, career services, citizenship courses, GED test prep, life-long learning, and the courses provided through Ruth G. Harman. Those courses, known as conversation circles, are considered informal literacy services (Tulsa). The funding of the TCCL comes from the Oklahoma State Department of Libraries. However, Ruth G. Hardman affiliates receive funding from multiple sources. Some staff members are funded by the library and are considered contract employees. While the remaining staff members are funded by organizations such as the Betty Kaiser Library Literacy Fund, grants monies from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries(ODL), and by the Kravis Foundation. All programming is sourced via Library Trust or grants. Their main grant sources are ODL, Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Kravis Foundation. Other grant options can include George Kaiser Family Foundation, Dollar General, Spirit Aerosystems, and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) (Jennifer). The Conversation Circle I was invited to observe through the Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service meets one day a week for ninety minutes. The purpose of the class is to practice English speaking and listening skills in a fun and friendly class environment. The class has five students on the roster and five students were in attendance. The students in this particular class were all female, all fifty years of age or older, and all ESL learners. The students were from China, Japan, Mexico, and two were from Portugal. Their skill level ranged from beginner to advanced. All the students were there simply to continue their learning and understanding of the English language. The facilitator, Danielle Merril, is one of the five employees at the affiliate.
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