The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) Tulsa headquarters will have a new addition to its first-floor lobby beginning Monday.
The Little Free Library stand will make its debut for employees thanks to Julia Pearce, a BCBSOK wellbeing health advisor. Little Free Library is a nationwide, nonprofit with the mission of helping build community, inspire readers and expand book access through a free, take-a-book, leave-a-book exchange.
This book-exchange box will feature books that provide perspectives of marginalized voices and incorporate experiences from all identities for all readers, highlighted by the Read in Color® program. Read in Color showcases books that share different perspectives on race and social justice, as well as literature by marginalized authors.
“When I learned about this program, I thought it was wonderful to bring that idea to Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s culture of diversity, equity and inclusion as I feel we are community leaders in this area,” Pearce says.
Pearce is an avid reader and book lover. English novelist and social critic Charles Dickens is her favorite wordsmith. Like the famed author, Pearce hopes to make an impact through literary works. Pearce recently purchased and gifted the Little Free Library through the Health Care Management fully insured team.
Pearce initially broached the topic with BCBSOK Plan President Stephania Grober and her idea later came to fruition.
The Little Free Library will house 24 to 30 adult books and allow employees to take books for free and donate books. Pearce, who will organize and maintain the library box on a volunteer basis, says she hopes fellow BCBSOK employees will take this opportunity to deepen their understanding of each other and their surrounding community.
“The goal of the library is to educate ourselves, break down barriers that will allow us to celebrate our differences and perhaps empower us to tell our own story,” she says.