Deb Kachel formerly was the District Library Supervisor for the Ephrata Area School District, Ephrata, PA, where she also served as a high school librarian for almost 34 years. She assisted in developing the Mansfield School Library & Information Technologies (SL&IT) graduate program and was one of the original part-time instructors in 2000. She has written or assisted in writing most of the competitive scholarship grants that the SL&IT program has been awarded from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). As part of the IMLS grants, she also wrote and facilitated an online school library advocacy program for school administrators, Leveraging School Libraries to Improve Student Learning. The Mansfield school library program ended in 2015.
Since 2015, she has taught online school library endorsement courses for Antioch University Seattle where she also writes scholarship and research grants. She is currently directing a three-year Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant called SLIDE: The School Librarian Investigation--Decline or Evolution? From 2017-2020, she also taught online courses for McDaniel College, Warminster, Maryland, in their School Library program.
As Co-Chairperson of the Legislation Committee for the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA), Kachel has been engaged in legislative actions that would require certified school librarians in all public PA schools, the PA School Library Study (2011) conducted by the PA State Board of Education, and the PA House Hearing on School Library Funding (August 2012). She has also worked closely with the Pennsylvania PTA resulting in the PA PTA Resolution on Public School Libraries, 2011. She directed the 2012 PA School Library Project, an IMLS National Leadership research grant studying the impact of school library programs in Pennsylvania with Keith Curry Lance and the Education Law Center, resulting in the PA School Library Project and impact study.
For her advocacy work, she earned the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Librarians.
Am. Assn. of School Librarians 2014 Distinguished Service Award