She spoke as part of the school's Distinguished Speaker Series.
After providing a brief update on her family, Mrs Bush spoke about her early days in the White House, and trying to find her identity as a First Lady, which she said wasn't easy.
"Since everyone seemed eager just to assign me the personality of a previous First Lady ... Who do you want to be, reporters kept asking, Hillary Clinton or Barbara Bush? My answer was always the same. I think I'll just be Laura Bush," she said.
She also believes that every child in the country should learn to read, saying literacy is an essential foundation for democracy.
"And from my own experience as a reader and librarian, I know that books have the power not just to move people as individuals, but to shape our journey as a nation," she said.
Reading isn't just a cause she selected as First Lady, it's one of the guiding passions of her life, Bush added.
She then mentioned her pride in helping organize the first national book festival, held on the Saturday before September 11, 2001.
"Looking back, that was probably the last weekend when people could participate in a gathering like that without every now and then nervously glancing over their shoulders or up into the sky," she said.
Members of the electronic media were restricted to recording only the first few minutes of Mrs. Bush's remarks.
A press release with details about her lecture including the following information:
"Her efforts have earned her honors from the United Nations, the Elie Wiesel Foundation, the Kuwait-American Foundation, Vanderbilt University and the American Library Association, among others.
Bush has never courted controversy and revealed little of herself to the public during her husband's administration. In spite of that, she was a wildly popular figure. Post-administration commentators and readers of her autobiographical book, “Spoken from the Heart,” have found that the former First Lady has a mind of her own and supports a number of progressive positions, such as those on Roe v. Wade, same-sex marriage, Elena Kagan's appointment to the Supreme Court and disagreement with Arizona's immigration law.
While not particularly candid about some issues, Bush has what one reporter has called "a keener eye, a readier laugh and a sharper tongue" than many may have assumed."