Library Wants More Adult Learners to Improve Their Literacy

The Tulsa City-County Library is inviting adult learners to accept tutoring services to improve their literacy. In January, the library had a shortage of volunteer tutors. Since then, more tutors have emerged and the library wants to accommodate more students accordingly.

"We definitely know they're out there," said Literary Services Manager Cassie Spindle. The library reports one in six adults in Tulsa County struggles with literacy. There are currently about 190 adult learners in the program and 150 volunteers. 11 tutors are waiting to be paired with students.

The tutor program is a confidential one-on-one service where tutors meet with their respective students about once a week for an hour to work on whatever the student requires. Some students are learning English as a second language.

"You need to read very well. You need to write very well. You need to speak very well, proper English. This is my situation. I want to learn proper English," said Jeannette Otero. She teaches nutrition education at OSU Extension in both Spanish and English. She visits with a tutor to practice pronunciation. She has worked with her tutor for about a year and said it has helped her tremendously.

Many of the adult learners grew up speaking English but continue to struggle with literacy.

"A lot of people struggle with filling out job applications, understanding signs on a map, understanding their prescription labels, just struggling with everyday things," said Spindle.

She said it is possible many adults in the community have undiagnosed learning disorders. Also, many moved a lot as children and might have fallen behind. Even though she said it is difficult for people to admit that they need help, the services are beneficial.

The Literary Service Office's phone number is 918-549-7400.