What Do You Think about the New AASL Standards? Librarians Weigh In!


Whew, caught your breath from Phoenix and AASL yet? As is always the case with conferences, there was so much to take in. Talks on advocacy, technology, makerspaces, helpful programming in your library, graphic novels, fake news, leadership, growing relationships, Future Ready, young adult fiction, primary sources, media literacy, book awards…so much to do and so little time!

But as we’re all aware, one of the hallmarks of this particular conference was the release of the new AASL Standards. With all the build-up and speculation, we were anxious to hear some initial reactions now that they’re finally available, so we reached out to a few librarians and asked for their thoughts. This is what they had to say:

I’m loving the new Standards. They appear easy to digest, embrace, and can be used as a self-assessment to identify areas for improving. I appreciate that characteristics of inquiry-based learning are woven throughout. They are student-focused and will foster cognitive life skills. Thanks to the hard-working brain trust that developed these.
Paige Jaeger

I especially love the idea that these new Standards are helping school librarians move from best practice to next practice. These Standards help us to acknowledge our legacy of teaching inquiry, research, evaluation, and curation, and advance our thinking forward. How can we collaboratively improve our practice?
Pam Harland

I love how the new Standards connect the learner to the instruction (the librarian) to the programming (the library). This will make it so much easier for librarians to have conversations with their stakeholders about how school libraries and librarians impact student achievement.
Lori Donovan

I am impressed with how well the new AASL Standards complement the inquiry-based learning curriculum that has been developed with teachers in my school using the Guided Inquiry Design® approach. I also really like the visuals, infographics, and handouts that will assist with implementation in my district and also with the state training that I will help facilitate through the state association. I commend the Standards committee for all of their hard work!  
Anita Cellucci

The new AASL Standards are robust frameworks to help teacher librarians engage and lead their learning communities. The Standards are a compass to help us remain relevant for years to come. 
Stony Evans

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: http://standards.aasl.org/. 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.
Judi Moreillon

Recommended in the National School Library Standards is that school librarians “grow” with the standards in evaluation and assessment both in measuring student progress towards a competency and as a measure of our effective teaching. For many of us, assessing student learning was not part of our education to become school librarians. It will be a challenge but a meaningful one! There are some pages in the Standards devoted to simple and effective formative and summative assessments to try out that will help us get started.
Chris Swerling

While I was not able to attend the conference in person, having access to so many of the materials and information as a virtual attendee made it possible for me to understand about the new Standards and how much clearer and usable they will be. I cannot wait to receive my copy of the new Standards so I can dig in!
Liz Deskins

As school librarians our priority is strengthening instruction across the curriculum. IMHO themes that address how we can accomplish this priority show us as leaders while at the same time promote advocacy for students, not libraries.
While the new Standards are for us, perhaps PD related to the Standards could be online. As AASL and state affiliates roll out the Standards, there will be a plethora of ideas generated so choices can be made and transformed.
—Terry Young


So what do you think of the standards? Join in the discussion, create a profile, and share your thoughts below in the comments section. Look for more insight into the standards in SLC’s February issue.

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1 thought on “What Do You Think about the New AASL Standards? Librarians Weigh In!”

  1. Melissa Thom

    Although I was dead tire on my plane ride home from Phoenix back to Connecticut, I read through the first couple of chapters of the new standards book and became more excited, and gained more energy the further into it I read! Everything that I have learned about the standards and what they represent makes me feel that we as a profession are moving in the exact right direction! These standards will provide a powerful and dynamic foundation on which to build our practice moving forward into the future. Student choice, voice, and agency are powerful ideals and I can’t wait to see where we take it. Something I would like to see moving forward is for us to actively invite other content leaders and stakeholders to our discussions as we we work to build an understanding of what these new standards can and should look like in action. We need to serve as the bridge between where our schools are currently and where they need to go in our effort to prepare students for their futures!