Meet Richard, the man behind the vision of LiteracyNation, Inc.
the man is smiling with a lot of books in the bookshelf behind him
Richard E. Ashby Jr.

CEO/LiteracyNation

Mr. Richard E. Ashby, Jr., is the Director of the Yeadon Public Library in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, the Co-Founder and Director of Literacy Nation, and the President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. He became a librarian in order to make a difference in the lives of everyone that he meets.

Librarianship has helped him reach his goals and live his dreams. His amazing journey, however, did not begin as a librarian, although his mother did tell him that he would probably become one eventually.

An upcoming book, due out in Spring 2019, shares seemingly unreal vignettes from Mr. Ashby’s life. His amazing story weaves the reader through experience after experience and adventure after adventure on his arduous path to become the President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Resiliency is a word that has been Mr. Ashby’s friend and has helped him journey through life’s challenges. Due to the many peaks and valleys that he experienced in his life, Mr. Ashby relates well to people from all walks of life. When asked how he can do this with such ease, his answer has always been, “because I have been there… Compassion has been the hallmark of my journey. My libraries are hubs of the community. Let me tell you how to reach the people you serve in more tangible ways.”

Mr. Ashby received a Bachelor of Science degree from the New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, NY, and a Master of Library Science degree from Queens College, Flushing, NY.

He was the first African American male librarian and director in Delaware County, PA. He was the 2014 Librarian of the Year, the past president of the New York Black Librarians Caucus, and the Co-Pastor of the Church of Christian Fellowship, Upper Darby, PA.

He is a Certified GED Tutor and a Certified Adult Literacy Tutor.

Awards and Presentations:

  • 2018 — Presenter / Georgia Library Association Conference
  • 2018 — Keynote Speaker / South Carolina Library Association Conference
  • 2018 — Speaker / NY Library Association Conference
  • 2018 — Speaker / New York Black Librarians Caucus Special Session
  • 2016 — Speaker / Indiana library Association
  • 2016 — Key Note Speaker / Library Journal Movers and Shakers Award
  • 2015 — Guest Speaker/ Youth Night Ou
  • 2015 — Guest Speaker / Christian Comedy Show- Life-Changing Ministries
  • 2015 — Guest Speaker / James Varrick AME Zion
  • 2015 — Panelist Participation / Black Caucus American Library Association, NCAAL
  • 2015 — Panelist Participation / New York Library Association
  • 2015 — Panelist Participation / American Library Association
  • 2015 — Key Note Speaker / Gamma Phi Children Day Program
  • 2014 — Key Note Speaker / Men’s Day Emmanuel Baptist Church
  • 2014 — Panelist Participation / Penn. Library Association
  • 2014 — Panelist Participation / New York Library Association
  • 2014 — Vice president / President Elect for the Black Caucus American Library
  • 2014 — Librarian of the Year / BCALA
  • 2014 — Affiliate of the Year / BCALA – NYBLC
  • 2013 — Panelist Participation / Reforma Northeast Division
  • 2013 — Panelist Participation / Harlem Book Fair
  • 2010 — Martin Luther King Elementary Librarian Service Award
  • 2009 — North American Black Business Woman Service Award / Ethiopian Embassy Washington DC
  • 2006 — Town of Babylon Community Service Award
  • 2006 — Suffolk County Community Service Award
  • 2003-2007 — Wyandanch School District Community Service Awards
  • 2005-2007 — Feed African People Service Awards
  • 2004-2005 — Wyandanch Public Library Community Service Awards
  • 1999, 2006 — Wyandanch Family Community Organization Community Service Awards

Attended Conferences:

  • May 2008 — Youth Summit, Reaching and Encouraging Youth, Philadelphia, PA
  • April 2008 — OCLC, Arlington, VA
  • March 2008 — Public Library Association (PLA), Minneapolis, MN
  • January 2008 — American Library Association (ALA) Mid Winter, Philadelphia, PA
  • June 2007— Black Caucus American Library Association (BCALA), Fort Worth, TX
  • May 2007 — ALA, Washington, DC
  • May 2009 — ALA, Chicago, IL
  • June 2010 — ALA, Washington, DC

Memberships:

  • Present — President / New York Black Librarian Caucus
  • Present — Member / American Library Association, Black Caucus Library Association, Young Adult Services Library Association
  • Present — Board of Trustee / New Beginnings Halfway House
  • 2009-Present — Leadership Training Institute, Inc. Mentoring Advisory Board
  • June 2000-Present — Member / Community Watch
  • May 1978-Present — Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.