White House Author
Harriet Henderson Coalter
Director, Richmond Public Library, VA
Harriet Coalter is Director of Richmond Public Library, serving Virginia’s capital city of 200,000 residents. Richmond Public Library has embraced working outside the walls of the library in order to reach more children and parents and work toward school readiness. In Richmond, the public library system serves as the lead agency for Richmond’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative. This effort has engaged 30 community organizations to improve the educational outcomes for children ages 0-8. Ms. Coalter also co-chaired the national Public Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read project, which has become the foundation for public library outreach to parents and caregivers of preschool children, as public libraries engage the child’s “first teacher” in preparing children for learning.