ODL’s Literacy Resource Office

Literacy Literacy Resource Office

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   ProLiteracy



Meet the Staff

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.

Kerri Olesen
Coordinator, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Ready to Learn, and Literacy Tracker
Kerri oversees the TANF literacy project, a collaboration between Oklahoma Deparment of Libraries, the Department of Human Services, and five local adult literacy programs. The initiative provides basic literacy instruction to TANF clients referred by DHS caseworkers. She also coordinates Ready to Learn, ODL’s early literacy initiative that promotes emergent literacy skills by providing books and learning activities to more than 1,400 preschool children throughout the state. Additionally, Kerri coordinates the annual Read Across Oklahoma literacy celebration which was attended by more than 5,000 individuals in April 2017. Finally, Kerri is responsible for coordinating the development of Literacy Tracker, a web-based data tracking system for Oklahoma literacy programs.


To contact staff of the Literacy Resource Office, use ODL’s Staff Contact Form or Division Contact Form.