February 17, 2018

Denise Lyons | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Change Agents

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Denise Lyons, Mover & Shaker

Literacy Partner

It’s Denise Lyons job to help libraries across South Carolina deal with challenges, and she takes the issue of literacy quite seriously. Some 30 percent of her state’s children have been found to be unprepared for first grade.

In order to stimulate school readiness and family literacy statewide, Lyons spearheaded the creation of a day-by-day literacy activity calendar. She’s brought together more than 20 statewide partners, including South Carolina First Steps, the state’s preschool initiative, to distribute over 14,000 calendars to libraries, schools, child-care centers, and literacy program providers free of charge.

The calendar can be used in perpetuity as specific dates can be drawn in and erased. Lyons credits the high quality of the illustrations, featuring original artwork of lively animals looking at the reader, as part of the calendar’s success. It is in demand by everyone from high school tutors who teach young students to teenage mothers as well as teachers.

An interactive, web-based version as well as Spanish and large-print/Braille versions are in the works, and a printable version is available online (statelibrary.sc.gov/sc-day-by-day-calendar).

Lyons is using the calendar as a key tool in literacy training, adding a new half-day instructional program aimed at both media specialists and child-care providers.


Denise Lyons, South Carolina State Library, Columbia

CURRENT POSITION Library Development Services Consultant

DEGREE MLIS, University of South Carolina, Columbia, 2004; MS, Public Services Management, DePaul University, 2000

START-UP As an intern at SCSL, she created a summer reading handbook used by five Southern states