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Library Media Programs - ALA and AASL Standards

The American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians has developed a set of standards for Initial Programs for School Library Media Specialist Preparation, which was approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in March, 2003. The Portland State University Library Media Advisory Committee and faculty have adopted those standards for their endorsement program and master’s degree.


STANDARD 1: Use of information and ideas

  1. Efficient and ethical information-seeking behavior
    1. Advocate for and demonstrate effective use of current and relevant information processes and resources including emerging technologies
    2. Model a variety of effective strategies to locate, evaluate, and use information in a variety of formats for diverse purposes
    3. Plan reference services using traditional and electronic services that are comprehensive and address the needs of all users
    4. Model and teach legal and ethical practices
  2. Literacy and reading
    1. Are knowledgeable about historical and contemporary trends and multicultural issues in reading material for children and young adults
    2. Analyze and apply research in literacy and reading in order to select and recommend diverse materials in formats and at levels that facilitate the reading process and the development of fluency in readers
    3. Collaborate with teachers to integrate literature into curriculum
    4. Instill a sense of enjoyment in reading in others that leads to lifelong reading habits
  3. Access to information
    1. Analyze and implement library media program scheduling options for different needs by developing flexible and open access for the library media center and its services
    2. Plan strategically to ensure physical and intellectual access to information for the entire school community
    3. Identify means of providing remote access to information
    4. Model and promote the tenets of privacy, confidentiality, intellectual property, and intellectual freedom
  4. Stimulating learning environment
    1. Demonstrate collaborative techniques as they create and maintain an attractive, positive educational climate in a technology-rich library media center
    2. Use research-based data including action research to analyze and improve services

STANDARD 2: Teaching and learning

  1. Knowledge of learners and learning
    1. Ensure that the library media curriculum is documented as significant to the overall academic success of all students
    2. Design library media instruction that assesses learner needs, instructional methodologies, and information processes to ensure that each is integral to information skills instruction
    3. Support the learning of all students and other members of the learning community, including those with diverse learning styles, abilities, and needs
    4. Base information skills instruction on student interests and learning needs linked to student achievement
  2. Effective and knowledgeable teacher
    1. Document and communicate the impact of collaborative instruction on student achievement
    2. Develop a regular communication procedure between home and school
    3. Work with classroom teachers to co-plan, co-teach, and co-assess information skills instruction
    4. Make use of a variety of instructional strategies and assessment tools
    5. Analyze the role of student interest and motivation in instructional design
    6. Create, implement, and evaluate student learning experiences in partnership with teachers and other educators
  3. Information literacy curriculum
    1. Work to ensure that responsibility for an integrated information literacy curriculum is shared across curricular areas throughout the school
    2. Advocate for the information skills curriculum in order to assure appropriate learning experiences for all students, and to address the academic needs of the school community
    3. Incorporate technology to promote efficient and equitable access to information beyond print resources
    4. Assist students to use technology to access, analyze, and present information

STANDARD 3: Collaboration and leadership

  1. Connection with the library community
    1. Employ strategies to ensure connections between the school community and the larger library world of public, academic, special libraries, and information centers
    2. Participate in professional associations
    3. Articulate the role of their professional associations and journals in their professional growth
  2. Instructional partner
    1. Anticipate providing leadership to school and district committees
    2. Share expertise in the design of appropriate instruction and assessment activities with other professional colleagues
    3. Model, share, and promote ethical and legal principles of education and librarianship
  3. Educational leader
    1. Develop a library media program that reflects the best practices of education and librarianship
    2. Have a thorough understanding of current trends and issues in education
    3. Write a plan for professional growth that justifies their professional choices
    4. Engage in school improvement activities by partnering with administrators to help teaches learn and practice new ways of teaching
    5. Share information, apply research results, and engage in action research

STANDARD 4: Program administration

  1. Managing information resources: selecting, organizing, and using
    1. Utilize collection analysis and evaluation research and techniques to ensure a balanced collection that reflects diversity of format and content, reflecting our multicultural society
    2. Design plans for collection development and analysis and policies that ensure flexible and equitable access to facilities and resources
    3. Develop procedures to analyze the effectiveness of library media policies, procedures, and operations
    4. Ensure that policies and procedures are in place to support intellectual freedom and the privacy of users of all ages
  2. Managing program resources: human, financial, and physical
    1. Organize, manage, and assess all human financial and physical resources of the library media program
    2. Advocate for ongoing administrative support for library media program and policies. Actively seek alternative sources of funding for the library media program within and outside the school community
  3. Comprehensive and collaborative strategic planning and assessment
    1. Collaborate with teachers, administrators, students, and others in the community to develop, implement, and assess long-term strategic plans
    2. Align the library media program with the information literacy standards and the school’s goals, objectives, and content standards
    3. Use quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis to assess data and make decisions on which to base plans and policies

For additional information about ALA/AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner, go to: