JUNE 16, 2021

Changing Lives with Freedom to Read Inc: A Librarian Delivers Literacy Abroad

Prepare to be inspired by this story of a lifelong educator and librarian, Susy Siel of Wisconsin, who transformed her love of librarianship into a commitment to improving literacy beyond her immediate surroundings.

Today, Susy splits her time between Kenosha and the Bahamas where she is busy opening libraries to help bring hope to the residents there through literacy. This is not the touristy part of the Bahamas…rather, the poverty-stricken areas that visitors hardly ever see, where access to literacy is minimal and running water and electricity are not guaranteed.

Susy founded Freedom to Read Inc., a nonprofit, grassroots organization with the admirable slogan of “Changing Lives One Book at a Time.” The goal of the organization’s work is to increase literacy rates in the Family Islands of the Bahamas by providing free access to literacy resources. In addition to improved literacy rates, Freedom to Read Inc. has worked to build and/or renovate 12 libraries, increase job skills, train local library attendants to circulate materials, and provide library services in small communities and neighborhoods.

Join this interesting presentation as Susy Siel and Follett’s Don Rokusek share the story of taking literacy to the Bahamas. Our presenters will discuss how Freedom to Read Inc. came to be, the role Follett and other companies play in the organization’s efforts, and the many reasons librarians like Susy dedicate their life and work to improving literacy in communities near and far.

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