Right to Read Librarian Panel Panelists and Moderator

  • Emily Drabinski is a critical pedagogy librarian at the Mina Rees Library at the Graduate Center City University of New York. She is incoming president, American Library Association, 2023-2024.
  • Chancey Fleet is the Assistive Technology Coordinator at the New York Public Library where she founded and maintains the Dimensions Project, a free open lab for the exploration and creation of accessible images, models and data representations through tactile graphics, 3d models and nonvisual approaches to coding, CAD and “visual” arts. Chancey Fleet is a 2018-19 Data & Society Fellow and current Affiliate-in-Residence whose writing, organizing and advocacy aims to catalyze critical inquiry into how cloud-connected accessibility tools benefit and harm, empower and expose communities of disability.
  • James Gleason is Deputy Director/Special Services Librarian for the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library. He serves those interested in non-English materials. James is a voice for access to assistive tech and other accommodations by serving on various state-wide committees for the Massachusetts Library System, and Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
  • Candice Mack is the Managing Librarian, System-wide Young Adult Services at Los Angeles Public Library and is on the Board of Directors of the Public Library Association. Candice advocates for library services for youth and the adults who support them.
  • Melissa Rodriguez is a Library Services Coordinator at Braille Institute, San Diego. She previously worked at San Diego Public Library where she connected with Latino communities and organizations, offering library information and services to underserved areas of the San Diego region.
  • Kayla Smith is an Assistant Law Librarian at the Harris County Robert W. Hainsworth Law Library in Houston, Texas. She challenged book banning at her neighborhood library and is a member of the Texas Library Association and the Texans Right to Read.


BIOS Astronomers

Dr Nic Bonne [he/him]

Public Engagement and Outreach Fellow/Tactile Universe Project Lead
Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation
University of Portsmouth

Originally from Australia, Dr Nic Bonne is a vision impaired astronomer with a background in galaxy research. He currently works in the UK as a Public Engagement and Outreach Fellow at the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. Dr Bonne is a co-founder of, and currently leads the Tactile Universe public engagement project, which is developing resources and activities to help vision impaired students across the UK and internationally access current topics in astronomy. He also consults on a number of other vision impaired accessible projects both nationally and internationally.

[And here is a great interview with Dr Bonne https://tactileuniverse.org/2018/09/17/meet-the-team-nic-bonne-project-lead/ and this for kids https://spacej19.imascientist.org.uk/profile/nicolasbonne/]

Dr. Carol Christian

Hubble Space Telescope Outreach Project Scientist
Space Telescope Science Institute

Dr. Carol Christian is the Hubble Space Telescope Outreach Project Scientist at Space Telescope Science Institute. She is responsible for the scientific accuracy of HST information produced for students, educators, the media and the general public. She is a collaborator on several programs investigating studies of star clusters in other galaxies. She also co-hosts bi-weekly Hangouts supported by the American Astronomical Society and has created a number of educational and outreach programs based on astronomy. She is co-founder of the HST 3D Astronomy program creating tactile resources for visually impaired individuals.

Dr. Thomas Madura

Associate Professor in Astronomy at California State University, San Jose

Dr Thomas Madura specializes in astrophysics and astronomy education for blind and visually impaired persons. Dr. Madura was one of the researchers awarded a $1.5 million dollar Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula for students with blindness and visual impairments (VI).

Ken Silberman, Esq

Ken Silberman holds a masters degree in aerospace engineering, a bachelor’s in astronomy and is a patent lawyer. Ken has worked for the National Space Science Data Center which archives and disseminate publicly all data obtained from NASA space flights, other spacecraft, and to develop computer systems facilitating this work. He has been blind since birth.