MLA Platinum Win: Recognizing the Value of Youth Large Print

4 min read

| By Thorndike Staff |

How can your library inspire students to be lifelong readers? Implement an award-winning literacy solution: large print.

Thorndike Youth Large Print is honored to receive platinum in the 2023 Modern Library Awards (MLAs).

What Are the MLAs? 

LibraryWorks created the MLAs to recognize the top products and services in the library industry. The awards are judged by more than 80,000 librarians at public, K-12, academic, and special libraries nationwide to ensure an unbiased, informed assessment. Products are evaluated by functionality, value, customer service experience, and the librarian’s overall satisfaction.1

Thorndike Youth Large Print’s Platinum Modern Library Award speaks volumes to the emergence of large print as an easily attainable accessibility solution for young readers at your library.

Why Is Large Print Making Strides in Young Reading Communities?

In a recent School Library Journal webinar, two school librarians openly discussed evidence-based practices, supports, and strategies to support young readers—including the benefits of offering students large print.

Tasha Squires, teacher librarian at O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove, IL, reminds webinar attendees, “We start learning to read with the print large and, for some reason, we decide we don’t need it when we get older. For so many students, the comfort level is always there with that larger print. I’ve had kids walk in and say, ‘You have large print—awesome.’” According to Squires, students don’t have preconceived notions about who large print is for like many adults do. They often see large print books as an alternate format that may be easier to read.2

Donna Gray, library coordinator for the New York City School Library System, expands on what librarians are seeing as students choose more large print books. Donna insists, “Large print is for everyone, and giving students the opportunity to actually have choice and voice is super important in what we do. And in fact, at the end of the day, we’re all here because we want students to enjoy reading, to enjoy the space to become the better version of themselves, and large print helps with that.”3

Is Large Print Really That Different?

Thorndike large print books are formatted in a 16-point serif font and have expanded spacing between lines and words. This allows for optimum letter recognition, reduced tracking errors, and improved reading fluency in readers of all ages. With fewer words per page, readers can focus on comprehension while turning the pages faster, increasing feelings of accomplishment.

In a nationwide survey conducted with Project Tomorrow®, 69% of striving readers said they enjoyed reading large print text more than any other class books during the school year. In addition, 67% of teachers noted that large print text reduced stress and anxiety in students reading below and at grade level.4

Offering Large Print in Your Library
Giving students more choices in both content and format fuels greater motivation for reading. Leading into this year’s summer reading programs, add large print to your shelves alongside your regular print books to give young readers options for a more accessible format—it may surprise you how many reach for large print.
Explore popular youth large print reads from Thorndike Press to add to your library’s collection. Not sure where to start? Reach out to your rep for recommendations.


  1. “About the Modern Library Awards,” Modern Library Awards,
  2. Gray, Donna. “Simplify Reading for All Students.” Filmed in 2022 by School Library Journal. Video, 62:05.
  3. Squires, Tasha. “Simplify Reading for All Students.” Filmed in 2022 by School Library Journal. Video, 23:40.
  4. “Advancing Literacy with Large Print: Results from a Nationwide Study About the Efficacy of Large Print Books on Student Reading Skills and Mindsets.” Project Tomorrow®. 2020.

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