Library Square Neighbor of the Month – Roberta Jaggers

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We are highlighting different influencers in the Library Square community who are making a difference for our property and residents! This month, we are featuring Roberta Jaggers, President of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. Learn more about her:

What is your favorite part of your day?

Finding out how the Library Foundation helped the Library make a difference for a person or group, and then celebrating that impact with the donors, volunteers and staff who made it happen. Those situations are not only uplifting, but also a strategic opportunity to nurture a strong culture of philanthropy at the Library and Library Foundation. When people feel appreciated and understand why their contributions matter, they are more likely to continue giving, volunteering or working in a joyful, purposeful manner.  

How long have you worked with the Library Foundation?

I have been with the Library Foundation since 2002, starting as our first intern!

Why are literacy programs most important?

Reading is a fundamental skill that paves the way for an enriched, successful life. Communities thrive when citizens are literate and well-informed. To encourage reading in Indianapolis, the Library provides a robust collection to meet our patrons’ diverse interests and offers literacy programs to encourage a love of reading. In 2018, 80 percent of these programs will be funded by gifts to the Library Foundation. Each program has a unique angle that makes it important. For example, with the Summer Reading Program, research shows children who read at least 10 minutes per day can maintain or advance their reading skills. On the other hand, children who do not read during the summer can lose ground, often with disastrous consequences. By ninth grade, two-thirds of the academic achievement gap between low-income children and their peers may be attributed to unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary years. The Summer Reading Program is important because it is accessible to all children (offered free-of-charge at more than 100 locations) and entices them to read using a system of points and incentives. Based on parents’ feedback and studies of similar initiatives in other cities, we are confident our program helps young people become more capable, enthusiastic readers. I am so thankful to the generous donors and dedicated Library employees who make this program happen each year.  

Where do people go to learn more about getting engaged at the library?

You can visit Central Library or your nearest branch. Our web branch, www.indypl.org, is always open! If you haven’t been for a while, you might be surprised by all the resources you can use online. Most Marion County residents can even register for a library card online. There is also lots of information about programs, events and volunteer opportunities.

The Library Foundation’s website, www.indyplfoundation.org, is a great resource for those who are interested in supporting the Library financially. Private contributions help us support Library programs that tax dollars just can’t cover, like the Summer Reading Program. Our website has information on the many ways people can help, whether it’s by donating books to the Indy Library Store, shopping the Indy Library Store or making financial contributions.

What book are you reading currently?

“Call Me Zebra” by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Thank you, Roberta, for your wealth of knowledge and advocacy for the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation! We are thrilled to have you as an influencer in our community.

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