Elizabeth Ibarra Gaylor is a very busy woman.
The literacy and outreach librarian at Ardmore Public Library teaches classes, organizes events and meets with community members daily - efforts that earned her recognition as one of Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers for 2018.
“During the summer you’d be hard-pressed to find me,” Gaylor said. “I’m out and about in the community a lot.”
She was listed as a Change Agent for her literacy work in Ardmore. Gaylor helped found the Ardmore Literacy Leadership Coalition, the organization that created Literacy Day, an annual event where students can get free school supplies, haircuts, health screenings and other back-to-school essentials. Before Gaylor’s nomination, only six Oklahoma librarians had been recognized.
“You get acknowledged for your accomplishments but then you also become a resource,” Gaylor said. “So if someone wanted to replicate
Literacy Day in like, Wisconsin, they can reach out to me and I can show them through the process.”
The coalition officially formed in fall of 2014. Since then, the event has grown significantly, with 37 community organizations participating this year.  
“It was a relatively small event the first time we did it,” Gaylor said. “We maybe had like 10 or 12 booths and really didn’t have a whole lot of school supplies.”
She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications at East Central University, with minors in Spanish and music. She worked as a branch manager at Southern Oklahoma Library System in Sulphur for three years and, recently, she earned her master’s of library information studies at Oklahoma University.
In 2015, Ardmore Public Library Director Daniel Gibbs hired Gaylor as the literacy and outreach coordinator, a newly created position that she was free to develop and expand.
‘Basically, it’s my baby,” Gaylor said. “There was a rough format. They knew I was going to teach computer classes, and Daniel just let me run with it.”
The library applied for a grant from the American Library Association. “$120,000 is what they gave us here at the library.”
“I’d hate to say we were guinea pigs but we were,” Gaylor said. “That was to create my position, put in a computer lab, I could buy things and create a curriculum.”
She teaches ESL classes, citizenship classes, computer classes and Spanish classes. Other classes for specific subjects or skills, are available by appointment. All of the classes are free through the library and paid for by grants.    
“No day is the same,” Gaylor said. “Every day I come in and my schedule is slightly different, I’m doing English classes, Spanish classes, or I’m off-site working with day cares.”
Gaylor holds bilingual story time at Hickory Creek, Gloria Ainsworth and Cities in Schools. During the summer, she helps organize the Food, Fun and Fiction program at Ardmore public parks along with the Parks and Recreation Department and The Chickasaw Nation. Next, she plans to work with Heroes with Hope.
“That’s the exciting part of making my job what I wanted it to be,” Gaylor said. “Every year I’m here, we’ve added other facets to my responsibilities.”