AASL Governing Documents

Bylaws  |   Essential Functions  |   Mission and Goals  |   Policies   |   Strategic Plan   |   Values   |   Vision

Essential Functions of AASL

Eight essential functions for AASL fall into four major areas. None of these functions is discrete. They overlap, are interrelated and support each other.

Responsibility to the Field Function

Vision and Voice: Developing, implementing, and articulating a vision for the profession through standards, frameworks and guidelines.

Development of the Knowledge Base: Developing and disseminating theory, best practice and research to move the field forward.

Continuing Issues: Continuing support for the major issues in the field such as funding, reading, technology and intellectual freedom.

Responsibility to Members Function

Communications: Disseminating information through a variety of formats.

Professional Development: Providing opportunities for continuing education.

Community: Building a sense of community and creating connections to others.

Outreach Function

Advocacy: Reaching out to constituencies and decision-makers who affect the quality of school library programs.

The Association

Association Maintenance: Maintaining an association that is fast, focused, friendly, flexible and fun.

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Mission & Goals


The American Association of School Librarians empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.


AASL works to ensure that all members of the school library field collaborate to:

  • provide leadership in the total education program

  • participate as active partners in the teaching/learning process

  • connect learners with ideas and information, and

  • prepare students for life-long learning, informed decision-making, a love of reading, and the use of information technologies.

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The values for AASL that have been identified are:

  • AASL will make a difference for members of the field/profession by addressing the important issues.

  • AASL will have a national presence and a national identity.

  • AASL will encourage diversity in its membership.

  • AASL will be organized to clearly address the identified essential functions.

  • AASL's structure will allow members to be represented in the decision-making process.

  • AASL involvement opportunities will be varied and geographically dispersed.

  • AASL will be fast, focused, friendly, flexible and fun.

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Vision Statement

The American Association of School Librarians is:

  • A proactive organization that addresses issues, anticipates trends, and sets the future agenda for the profession;

  • An advocate for the indispensable role of school library programs with school librarians, for best practices in school librarianship, and for the core values and ethics of the library profession;

  • An open, friendly, welcoming organization that embraces cultural and ethnic diversity;

  • An inclusive professional home for all school librarians and a partner in mutual interests with educators, technologists, researchers, vendors, and other librarians;

  • An essential resource for school librarians seeking professional development, leadership opportunities, communication with peers, and the most current information, research, and theory in the field; and

  • A flexible, responsive organization that models effective management practices.

Adopted by the AASL Board of Directors, January 2003.

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