Bridge the Gap between Libraries and Curriculum

7 min read

| By Meghan Moulton, Education Sales Consultant |

When I left the classroom in 2021 after a decade as a special education teacher and coordinator, it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made.

I became an educator because I felt called to ensure that every child who passed through my classroom knew what it felt like to be supported and celebrated, how to advocate for themselves, and the intrinsic joy of overcoming hurdles to engage in authentic learning.

How could any impact I made outside of the classroom compare to the one I made in it?

Despite my trepidations, I took the plunge and moved into my role as Gale’s Education Sales Consultant.

This position sees me spending time with teachers who are passionate about guaranteeing that every student in their classroom gets precisely what they need, when they need it. Unfortunately, many of them don’t have the proper support systems in place to do so effectively.

On the flip side, I’ve also had many wonderful opportunities to see how Gale In Context: For Educators helps teachers find more time for what matters—personalized instruction, intervention programs, social-emotional learning, etc.—without compromising the quality of the learning material.

One of those recent opportunities was attending NYSCATE 2023, where I had the pleasure of attending a session led by Jamie Haug, the Director of Technology in the Pearl River School District.

Today, I’d like to share her story of how Gale In Context: For Educators gave Pearl River High School the tools to help library and teaching staff collaborate to better support all learners.

“Research Renaissance: Redefining the Library Experience for the Next Generation”

Libraries are one of education’s most under-utilized resources, to the detriment of teachers and students alike. After all, who better than the staff with first-hand familiarity with these vast collections of information to help curate learning materials?

Jamie puts this misunderstanding into perspective by listing what Pearl River School District library staff spends a significant amount of time on—facilitating Chromebook repairs, exchanging books, pulling materials, and overseeing the library collection.

While these are all essential parts of a school library, there are so many more possibilities for integrating libraries with classroom curricula, particularly regarding pulling research materials.

The Problem: How Can Students and Teachers Access Accurate, Unbiased Materials?

At Pearl River High School, they recognized that when students turned to Google to find information about a topic, they encountered several problems.

First, the materials needed a vetting process to determine whether a particular resource from Google was accurate and unbiased. Students could easily engage with fundamentally incorrect or socially harmful materials without even realizing that what they were reading was not an appropriate resource.

Second, even when students found a reliable source, there were concerns over whether they could read and comprehend the text because it was outside their Lexile range.

In an age where much of the information learners get comes from social media feeds and questionable Google search results, how can students learn to conduct research effectively while ensuring they are using accurate, appropriate resources from diverse perspectives?

The Goal: Effective Utilization of Library Staff

After speaking with stakeholders, which included teachers, the team agreed that the best way to ensure students had opportunities to explore authentic, appropriate materials rested in the hands of the school’s stewards of research database access—the library media staff (LMS).

They set off to review their existing collection of database subscriptions, but quickly ran into a rather unwieldy set of issues: These resources weren’t being utilized, didn’t cater to diverse learning needs, and often required scheduling appointments with the library, which meant transitions further limited learning time.

They knew there had to be a more streamlined approach that would make the research process more intuitive and less time-consuming.

The Solution? Gale In Context: For Educators

Rather than continuing to rely on old-school databases that didn’t support learners at every level, Pearl River High School invested in Gale In Context: For Educators, a one-stop shop that empowers the LMS and teaching staff to collaborate in support of every learner. What’s more, educators and librarians can access support materials 24/7 on Gale’s curated Support Site.

According to Jamie, Gale In Context: For Educators was a game-changer. Previously, they would have pulled materials from the databases in a process that limited the scope of accessible resources for diverse learning needs.

Not only did the teacher get exactly what they needed to facilitate authentic learning, but it was accessible and equitable for all students.

I’m very honored to have been present to hear Jamie speak about what Gale In Context: For Educators did for Pearl River High School, and it only further affirmed that my team is making an impact in the classroom, even if we’re not the ones teaching.

What Can You Gain from Gale In Context: For Educators?

Jamie’s story is just one example of what For Educators brings to the table for teachers and their students.

Let’s talk about what it can do for you.


Learning is a far more meaningful process when students see themselves reflected in the content—and that’s not something single-author textbooks and the literary canon can offer.

To push back against the implicit biases found so often in academic materials, one of Gale’s missions has always been to curate content featuring diverse voices. This cause matters to us because the safety of your classroom is the perfect space for students to empower themselves by speaking out, expressing their feelings, taking a stance, and accepting mistakes.

We want to give all teachers the tools to validate their students’ experiences and help those historically marginalized students find their voice through the words and stories of those often omitted from traditional learning materials.


For students who read below grade level or are English language learners, every research project means doing exponentially more work than for those students who aren’t experiencing those same setbacks.

Instead of being able to pour their concentration and energy into the end result—the creative, exciting projects and presentations—struggling readers spend much of their time wading through primary sources and complex texts.

If students struggle to read the research materials, how can they possibly synthesize them into meaningful learning?

Gale In Context: For Educators gives teachers access to differentiated instruction materials with leveled content that spans abilities, age ranges, and more than 40 languages, so every student has equitable access to their education.


Today’s learners exist in a multimodal, digital world. They are constantly interacting with different forms of media—watching videos on YouTube, reading tutorials in video games, listening to podcasts—sometimes all at the same time!

No wonder they often struggle to slog through academic journals and classic novels when there are so many ways to learn new things.

We want to support all learning styles in the For Educators platform, so our content in many different formats to appeal to every student, including:

  • Primary sources
  • Biographies
  • Experiments
  • Case students
  • Infographics
  • Academic journals
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Books
  • Images
  • Videos

Better yet, our curated content collections group all these resources about a topic into one folder, so you spend less time searching for resources online and more time engaging your students in learning.


As past classroom teachers, we know that much of the success of a resource depends on how easy it is to use. When a new platform is complicated, it’s much simpler to fall back on our tried-and-true processes.

You won’t have to worry about a steep learning curve with Gale In Context: For Educators because it integrates seamlessly with the tools you’re already using. Post a video to Google Classroom, upload an article to Schoology, or give a formative assessment in Canvas from one easy-to-use platform.

Are you looking to reclaim your weekends from lesson planning? For Educators offers teachers more than 1,000 pre-built, standards-aligned lesson plans, each with 2-5 formative assessments so you can monitor student progress and give personalized interventions.

No matter what your classroom needs, Gale In Context: For Educators has the resources, lesson plans, and assessments to help you increase collaboration, keep every learner engaged, present diverse perspectives, and save time in one cost-effective solution.

To learn more about Gale In Context: For Educators, request a demo.

Watch these webinars to learn more about how Gale in Context supports instruction:

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