In this School Library Journal webinar, school librarians discuss evidence-based practices, supports, and strategies to ensure all students get the reading support they urgently need. The lively conversation explores the importance of accessibility from content and format perspectives and how vital reading is to academic recovery. Both librarians share insights from students of various reading abilities and how youth large print has become an invaluable resource in their collections.

Get to Know the Presenters

Donna Gray

Donna Gray is a Library Coordinator for the New York City School Library System. She has over twenty years of experience in K-12 education, library services, and higher education. Donna has previously worked at the New York Public Library as a Senior Young Adult Librarian, at Teacher’s College, and the New York City Department of Education. Donna is currently the chair of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association & School Library Journal’s Children & Young Adult Literary Awards, an executive committee member of Project Cicero, and an adjunct instructor at St. John Fisher Univerisity. She received her Master’s in Library Science with a School Library Media concentration at Queens College, CUNY, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Bankstreet College. Donna has worked in K-12, public, and reference library settings. She is interested in developing strategies and programs that help students become engaged, informed, active citizens and learners in their communities and beyond.

Tasha Squires

2015 Follett Challenge winner, Tasha Squires started her career as a Young Adult Librarian in a large public library district serving a diverse Southwestern suburb of Chicago, Illinois, where she spent many hours book talking in and working with the middle and high schools in the area.  Later, she made the move to school libraries and is currently the Teacher Librarian at O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove, IL where she spends her days engaging students and teachers in the process of furthering their 21st-century skills and developing a love for reading. She is the author of Library Partnerships: Making Connections Between School and Public Libraries published by Information Today, INC. She is the creator and main contributor of the blog and podcast Books In the Middle.

Sabine McAlpine

Sabine McAlpine is a National Sales Director, who partners with librarians and teachers to inspire students to become stronger readers while building their confidence and finding joy in reading. Before starting at Thorndike Press 20 years ago, Sabine volunteered at public libraries, running story time, reading with children of all ages, and putting the FUN in reading. A reluctant reader herself, her compassion and drive to reach children where they are continued as she was accepted as a reading coach, volunteering weekly at local schools, supporting and helping to create a culture and love of reading. Currently, Sabine travels the U.S., meeting individually with educators at conferences and workshops, speaking about the importance of choice with striving readers and sharing research that offering an abundance of formats expands their ability to find what fits and what works for them.

Watch the Webinar

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