An exemplary school library meets all of the guidelines areas in this broad, general outline. The full set of guidelines can be found in Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs.
I. Developing Visions for Learning
The mission of the school library program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information; students are empowered to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information.
II. Teaching for Learning
The school library program promotes collaboration among members of the learning community, and encourages learners to be independent lifelong users and producers of ideas and information.
The school library program promotes reading as a foundational skill for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment.
The school library program provides instruction that addresses multiple literacies, including information literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, and technology literacy.
The school library program models an inquiry-based approach to learning and the information-search process.
Assessment for Learning
To ensure the program is meeting its goals, the school library program is guided by regular assessment of student learning.
III. Building the Learning Environment
Planning and Evaluating
The school library program is built on a long-term strategic plan that reflects the mission, goals, and objectives of the school.
The school library program has a minimum of one full-time certified/licensed school librarian supported by qualified support staff sufficient for the school’s instructional programs, services, facilities, size, and numbers of teachers and students.
The Learning Space
The school library program includes flexible and equitable access to physical and virtual collections of resources that support the school curriculum and meet the diverse needs of all learners.
The school library program has sufficient funding to support priorities and make steady progress to support the program’s mission, and to attain its goals and objectives.
The school library program includes policies, procedures, and guidelines that support equitable access to ideas and information throughout the school community.
Collection and Information Access
The school library program includes a well-developed collection of books, periodicals, and non-print material in a variety of formats that support curricular topics, and that are suited to inquiry learning and users’ needs and interests.
The school library program is guided by an advocacy plan that builds support from decision makers who affect the quality of the school library.
To sustain and increase knowledge and skills, the school library program includes support for professional development for school librarians and teachers.
IV. Empowering Learning through Leadership
The school library program is built by professionals who model leadership and best practice for the school community.