The PILLARS Symposium:

Preparation, Information Literacy, Libraries, Academic Resources,

and 21st Century Skills for Transitioning from Secondary School to College

This year’s topic: Accessibility in Education

with Keynote Speaker Judith Heumann


    • Why: A one-day symposium that will bring educators and librarians together to share knowledge on the topic of student readiness for college and beyond.
    • When: Wednesday, July 13, 2022
    • Where: Online via Zoom
    • What: This symposium is designed to introduce educators to a wide range of teaching and learning resources for practical use in the 21st-century classroom. Presenters will share their knowledge on teaching information literacy instruction, writing, using primary resources, bridging the digital divide, or related topics that will prepare secondary students for success in college and beyond all with a focus on accessibility. The format will include formal presentations, breakout sessions, and opportunities to connect with educators around New York State. This symposium is presented by and for educators in New York State, and we welcome the perspective of guests from other regions who will join as presenters and attendees.
    • Who: Presenters and target audience include but are not limited to:
      • Secondary school teachers, counselors, librarians, administrators
      • Academic librarians, professors, administrators
      • First-year college transition specialists
      • Public librarians – both YA and Adult Services
      • Public historians and cultural heritage institution educators
      • Students (recent HS graduates and first-year college students)
      • Others invested in student success with High School to College Transition

    General Schedule

    July 13, 2022

    During each hour there will be two sessions happening simultaneously, with the exception of 2 p.m. when we will hear from our keynote speaker.

    ***All sessions will feature sign language interpretation and will have a CART service for closed captions.***

    10 a.m. – Enhancing Accessibility: Five Strategies to Apply Tomorrow 
    Amber Eakin, Strayer University & Mary Snyder, Strayer University

    11 a.m. – Designing Digital-Age Learning Ecosystems for ELLs 
    Heather Rubin, NYSED Long Island Regional Bilingual/ENL Resource Network @ ES BOCES

    1 p.m. – Helping Undergraduate English Language Learners Through Information Literacy Obstacles 
    Bryan Sajecki, University at Buffalo & Keith T. Nichols, University at Buffalo

    10 a.m. – We’re All Individuals!: Differentiation in Library Instruction
    Kathy Starks, Owego Apalachin Central School District

    11 a.m. – Making LibGuides More Accessible Through a Universal Design Framework
    Lauren Kehoe, New York University

    1 p.m. – Bridging the Gap
    Shawn Lemieux, NYS Talking Book and Braille Library

    2 p.m. – Keynote: A Conversation and Q&A with Judith Heumann

    Caitlin Kenney, Engagement & Education Services Coordinator from Western NY Library Resources Council, will be moderating this session with Judy Heumann to ask about what lessons we can learn from her years of activism for disability rights. The conversation will focus on advocating for resources for students as they enter college, and we will take questions from the live audience. Registrants will also have an option to ask a question when they sign up for the symposium.

    The symposium will be recorded and links to the recordings will be provided to all registrants.

    Registrants will also have access to two pre-recorded sessions:

    Captioning Your Videos for Accessibility
    Jaclyn McKewan, Niagara University Library


    Citation: Preparing Secondary Students for College Level Research
    Marisa Gitto, New York State Library

    Educators in New York State can register on My Learning Plan to get CTLE credit for this symposium. If you register via My Learning Plan you DO NOT have to register via the ESLN website.
    Please use the following link, rather than the button below, to sign up for the event with Eastern Suffolk BOCES School Library System:

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Will attendees be receiving continuing education certificates?

    Yes. Attendees will have the option to request continuing education certificates for each individual session.

    Will attendees be eligible for Continuing Education and Leader Education (CTLE) credit?

    Yes. Attendees will be able to request CTLE credit for each individual session. It will be provided by the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC). For more information contact Caitlin Kenney at

     This event is a production of the Empire State Library Network (ESLN).

    For more information, please contact the planning committee at

    Once again, we’d like to thank our generous sponsors for allowing us to present this event.

    EBSCO logo
    Springshare Logo