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Lisa Carrico

The Houston Public Library stands in solidarity with the American Library AssociationTexas Library Association, and libraries of all types in denouncing censorship of library materials and resources.

Free access to information is the cornerstone of freedom, equity, and democracy and book censorship erodes these tenets that libraries have long stood for. Actions taken to restrict access to books and materials from others infringe on the First Amendment rights of our community members. Libraries manifest the promises of the First Amendment by making available the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions, and ideas, so that every person has the opportunity to freely read and consider information and ideas, regardless of their content or the viewpoint of the author.

The Houston Public Library’s collection is as rich and wide-ranging as the diversity of our customers. The fulfillment of the Houston Public Library’s mission to “Link people to the world” requires us to make every effort to provide our customers with free access to a diverse collection of materials representing diverse viewpoints. Our collection development policy is impartial with no consideration given to the potential controversy of a given title. We remain committed to providing unfettered access to information and resources.

Lisa Carrico

HOUSTON - Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Mayor's Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL), along with the Houston Public Library (HPL), hosted the return of a signature charity event, the 2022 Mayor's Literacy Breakfast: A Salute to Adult Literacy. Erica Simon, ABC13 Houston Anchor/Reporter served as the event’s Mistress of Ceremonies.

Astros Manager Dusty Baker served as the event’s honorary chair, and Mayor Turner announced the baseball legend’s new role, serving as the City of Houston’s first Ambassador for Adult Literacy. To view Dusty Baker’s Ambassador for Adult Literacy public service announcement, visit

With the theme of saluting literacy advocates, honorees were feted at the breakfast. The honorees included long-time literacy consultant Margaret Doughty, the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation (BBHLF) and the CITGO Petroleum Corporation. Mayor Turner presented awards to each honoree in recognition of their support for adult literacy in Houston.

During his remarks, Mayor Turner spoke about MOAL’s impact on improving adult literacy in Houston and making a difference in the lives of countless individuals.

“I thank Dusty Baker for accepting my invitation to serve as Ambassador for Adult Literacy. His partnership with MOAL will enhance the team’s ability to continue making a difference in our community. Since its inception, MOAL has increased literacy rates and transformed lives. The work is significant because low literacy affects families and every area of the economy. We are making systemic change, and we need people like Dusty and corporate partners to help more people learn to read, write and seize opportunities for employment and education.” 
The Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy, the only mayoral office of its kind in the United States, was established in 2019 by Mayor Turner in partnership with CITGO Petroleum Corporation. Administered by HPL, MOAL focuses on enhancing adult literacy services and awareness of its impact on our economy, communities, families, and individuals. In 2021, MOAL partnered with BBHLF to publish the Houston Adult Literacy Blueprint, a strategic plan to address low adult literacy rates in Houston.
“Now is the time to celebrate what the Mayor's Office for Adult Literacy has achieved in just three years and to look towards the future,” said Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson. “There is so much potential that can be unlocked through this important, hopeful work.”

HOUSTON (Sept. 8, 2022) – More than 350 third-grade students representing 391 schools from 11 school districts across the Houston area (Aldine ISD, Alief ISD, Alvin ISD, Channelview ISD, Cleveland ISD, Crosby ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Houston ISD, Pasadena ISD, Spring ISD, Stafford MSD) celebrated the launch of the Read to the Final Four program during a launch ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 8 at the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza at the Houston Public Library. The annual literacy initiative is led by the 2023 NCAA® Men’s Final Four and Houston Local Organizing Committee (HLOC).

To engage Houston area youth and leave a lasting, positive impact on students, the NCAA and HLOC teamed up to promote and inspire reading growth for third graders through a year-long, citywide reading initiative. The program centers around a tournament-style reading competition for thousands of Houston third graders.

The Read to the Final Four's purpose is to promote and inspire reading for third graders through a fun and engaging bracket-style competition. Schools compete as third-grade teams and earn points based on a formula that calculates the average minutes read per school. Top schools in each district advance throughout the rounds winning prizes and having fun along the way.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to entice young minds to read through Read to the Final Four, an innovative, fun program. The last time the Men’s Final Four was in Houston, in 2016, we had one school district participate. The growth of the program speaks to our educators’ passion for literacy and the belief in its ability to positively impact the future of our city’s youth,” said Dorita Hatchett, Senior Director of Community Relations at the Houston Local Organizing Committee.

About the 2023 NCAA Men’s Final Four®

Houston will host the 2023 Men’s Final Four® from March 31 through April 3, 2023. Houston Baptist University, Rice University, Texas Southern University and the University of Houston will make history as the first quartet of institutions to host the Final Four. Games will be played on April 1 and April 3 at NRG Stadium. The city of Houston is hosting the event for the fourth time, having previously crowned national champions in 1971, 2011 and 2016. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACTS: Nick Scurfield,, 832-713-2600 Shelby Janik,, 281-705-574

Lisa Carrico

Family Place Libraries is a model for both physical space and family engagement programming with a focus on early learning, early literacy and parent and caregiver education. The goal of the Family Place Play Series (FPPS) is to build a foundation for children's learning in the critical first years of life, with the parent as the child’s first teacher. Through the program, parents become equipped with the tools to develop their child’s social, emotional and cognitive skills so when their child enters school, the child is both ready and able to learn. Each week for 5 weeks, resource professionals are available at sessions to answer any questions families may have about:

  • Literacy
  • Speech, Hearing and Language Development
  • Child Development
  • Nutrition
  • Music, Play and Health

One topic is highlighted each week with activities connected to that topic that allows families to engage with each other.

With the generous support of PNC Grow Up Great, the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Ladies Guild, the Central Library, Collier Regional Library and Park Place Regional Library are set to begin offering Family Place Play Series programs, as well as enhancements to the children’s areas of their respective libraries.

Houston Public Library’s McGovern-Stella Link and Young Neighborhood Libraries are also official Family Place Libraries with a family-friendly design that includes a large youth collection, a children’s nook, toys for children and daily activities for children. The space encourages a caregiver to interact with their child through play. To register for the FPPS, visit HPL Events online.


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