Debra E. Kachel
Affiliate Faculty, School of Education
Deb Kachel is an Affiliate Faculty living in Pennsylvania and teaching online graduate courses in AUS’s School Library Media Endorsement program. She was a high school librarian and supervisor of a Pennsylvania K-12 school district library program for over 30 years. She has taught face-to-face and online courses for over 15 years at Drexel University (PA), Mansfield University (PA), and McDaniel College (MD).
As a prolific grant writer and administrator, Kachel is currently the Project Director of SLIDE: School Library Investigation-Decline or Evolution? an IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant, funded for $349,000 from Fall 2020 through Spring 2023. With researcher Keith Curry Lance, RSL Research Group (CO), they will examine the national decline of school library positions, the changing roles of librarians and the expectations of school leaders, and the impact to equity of school library learning opportunities for marginalized student populations.
Kachel wrote and administered several other federal IMLS scholarship grants for Mansfield University (PA) where she previously worked. She was also the Project Director for the Pennsylvania school library impact study of 2012, an IMLS National Leadership Research Project. Collaborating with AUS’s School of Education, Kachel served as lead grant writer on two Alternative Routes Block “ARTC” Grants to address teacher and school librarian shortages in Washington. Funded by Washington’s Professional Educator Standards Board at $560,000 for 2018-2020, and again for $145,000 for 2020-2022, these scholarship programs fund Kent School District para-educators with $8,000 scholarships to earn teacher and add-on endorsements in either ELL or school library media.
As a strong school library advocate, Kachel serves as the Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) and continues to be instrumental in lobbying for school library legislation to mandate school librarians in all public schools.
- MS in Information Studies, Drexel University
- BS in Library Science and Supervisory Certificate, Millersville University (PA)
- What students and parents lose when school libraries and librarians are cut? PTA in Pennsylvania. August 2020.
- The school library website as an advocacy tool. Teacher Librarian, 47(4), 61-63.
- Pa. requires libraries in prisons. But not in schools. Why? | Opinion. Pennsylvania Capital-Star, February 9, 2020.
- “Advocating for Collaboration.” Teacher Librarian, April 2019.
- “The Power of Story as an Advocacy Tool. Teacher Librarian, February 2019.
- “School Librarians as Equity Warriors: Advocating for all Students.” Teacher Librarian, December 2018.
- “Talking to Students about Politics: What’s Acceptable Practice?” Teacher Librarian, October 2018.
- Why School Librarians Matter: What Years of Research Tell Us. Phi Delta Kappan, March 26, 2018. Co-authored with Keith Curry Lance.
- Changing Times: Where Have all the School Librarians Gone? Teacher Librarian, April 2018. Co-authored with Keith Curry Lance.
- A Perfect Storm: National, State, and Local Factors Impact the School Librarian Evolution. School Library Journal, March 16, 2018.
In 2014, Kachel was awarded the prestigious AASL (American Association of School Librarians) Distinguished Service Award for her state and national leadership in school library advocacy work.
Kachel is a frequent conference and workshop presenter and currently writes the advocacy column for Teacher Librarian. She has served on various committees of the American Association of School Librarians and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee to the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association.
Teacher librarians need to not only be well prepared in all aspects of school librarianship, such as, collection management, instruction, collaboration, and library management, but must also be able to defend and build support for the continuation of school library programs and appropriate staffing among stakeholders and decision makers. It is my professional goal to help prepare teacher librarians, as they master necessary content knowledge about school library programs, to develop and apply advocacy skills to ensure that all K-12 students have access to a quality school library program and the expertise of a professionally-trained school librarian.
- “The School Board Presentation.” Webinar for the Madison-Oneida (NY) BOCES School Librarians, February 13, 2020.
- “AASL National School Library Standards Regional Workshop.” Presented at 6 Pennsylvania locations, August 2018 through January 2019.
- “School Library Advocacy Workshop.” Co-presented with Dr. Christie Kaaland. Puget Sound Educational Service District, Renton, WA. April 21, 2018.
- “Grantwriting 101.” Co-presented with Dr. Christie Kaaland. AASL Conference, Phoenix, AZ, November 10, 2017.
- “You’re Worth It, But How Do You Show It? Demonstrating Your Unique Value to Your School Administrators.” Co-presented with Mary Kay Biagini. AASL Conference, Phoenix, AZ, November 10, 2017.