New standards cause educators to sit up and take notice. The release of the National School Library Standards for Students, School Librarians, and School Libraries (ALA 2017) at the #AASL17 conference has created a treasure trove of resources to support practicing and preservice school librarians, school librarian supervisors, and school librarian educators in studying and adopting the standards.
As a member of the School Library Connection (SLC) Editorial Board and a regular contributor to the magazine, I was asked along with others to give my initial reaction to the new standards.
This is what I submitted: “The online support for AASL’s National School Library Standards is effective and will support practicing school librarians as they explore and adopt the new language and content of the book. In the book itself, the ‘Standards Integrated Frameworks’ that align the learner and school librarian competencies and school library alignment for each shared foundation and domain may help clarify this initiative for readers.”
You can read all of the comments at “What Do You Think about the New AASL Standards? Librarians Weigh In! ”
The following are just some of the resources that can help you learn more about the standards and consider how they can help you move your practice of school librarianship forward.
Members of the AASL Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force and others have been writing posts on the Knowledge Quest blog. These are three of them:
“Counting Down to the Standards Release”
Mary Keeling provides background and vocabulary information to help you navigate the new standards.
“Leading with Your Leader: Preparing Your Administrators for the New AASL Standards”
Kathryn Roots Lewis and Sara Kelly Johns share strategies for sharing the new standards and a suggestion for aligning your work with your administrators.
“Something Familiar, Something New: Unpacking the Standards”
Daniella Smith provides a list of features that she appreciates in the new standards.
Joyce Valenza wrote a comprehensive blog post to get you started that includes links and annotations to the online resources for the standards: “AASL National Standards: A few essentials to get started!”
Peggy George, Susie Highly, and Jane Loften created a #notataasl Livebinder with information about the new standards, including videos and Webinars.
These are some questions you might use to frame your exploration of the new standards.
1. For #SchoolLibrarianLeadership blog readers who were familiar with the previous standards (Standards for the 21st-Century Learner 2009), what similarities and differences do you note between the 2009 common beliefs and standards and those in the new document?
2. For both seasoned and new school librarians, how do the new standards for students or for school librarians compare or align with other initiatives such as Future Ready Librarians or the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Students and Standards for Educators?
3. What are the connections that you make between the priorities of your administrators and colleagues and the National School Library Standards?
4. How will you implement the new standards for school librarians and school libraries?
If you have comments regarding the standards, I invite you to post them here.
Image Credit: Book Jacket copyright by AASL
These new standards effectively support the many hats SLMSs wear and elevate our practice with language that is supportive, thorough and progressive. I especially appreciate the 3 domains (learner, SL and library) and the shared foundations; these are powerful tools. However, there are 2 aspects that are profoundly disappointing: the cost of the book is borderline insulting (to me, the message is, “we want to empower you but you must pony up quite a bit of cash”), and while there is support material online, it reads as if one is wading through layers of marketing material before getting to the what and how. Many of us in the field are working with limited staff, limited budgets and limited time. It would be great to have more “here’s what they are in a nutshell” and “this is how you can use them — practically speaking” and less “this is why they are great”.
Thank you for sharing your perspective, Amy.
#mwlibchat and #txlchat participants shared their responses, comments, questions, and connections to the new #AASLStandards on 11/28/17. This is an archive of that Twitter chat: https://tinyurl.com/txlchat112817