Getting to the Core: Librarians and Common Core State Standards

The common core state standards (CCSS) bring three key shifts to English language arts/literacy (ELA) curricula: regular practice with complex text and its academic language; reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational; building knowledge through content rich nonfiction. CCSS calls for 50 percent of reading in elementary and middle grades to be nonfiction. Librarians will be essential in the shift to common core as teachers look for the best content-rich, grade level-appropriate literature to support learning across the curriculum. ELA and other content-area teachers will especially need help from librarians finding appropriate resources and a wider selection of materials. This course will help prepare participants to meet those needs of teachers in the elementary and middle grades.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Become familiar with the Common Core State Standards for English language arts & literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects
  • Become familiar with qualitative and quantitative methods for assessing text complexity
  • Become familiar with examples of text exemplar and be able to select texts of comparable quality and complexity appropriate for all subject areas
  • Identify resources that will assist content-area teachers find appropriate materials aligned to CCSS
  • Obtain a broad knowledge of content-rich, grade level appropriate literature to support learning across K-8 curricula

Who Should Attend

Public and school librarians, paraprofessionals, and support staff who work with classroom teachers in K-8 grade levels; language arts and reading teachers of children in grades K-8.


Ed Sullivan has sixteen years of experience working as a librarian for children and teens in elementary and middle schools, and for The New York Public Library. For many years, Ed has been an active member of ALA, ALSC, AASL, YALSA, the International Reading Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English, holding numerous committee and leadership positions in those organizations. Ed presently serves on NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Awards committee. He has published hundreds of articles, bibliographies, and reviews in such journals as Book Links, Booklist, English Journal, Horn Book, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and VOYA. Ed has taught undergraduate courses in composition and literature for Memphis State University and graduate course in children's and young adult literature for St. John's University and the University of Tennessee. To learn more about Ed's background and accomplishments, please visit

Credits &/or CEUs Heading

College credit and CEU's are not available at this time.  ALSC's online courses are the equivalent of a one day face-to-face workshop.  An electronic certificate of completion will be emailed to each participant upon successful completion for each course taken.

Requirements vary by state and school district regarding certification and continuing education credits.  The decision to grant CEU credits remains entirely up to your state or school district.  If you are in need of credits, check with your state and/or school district before enrolling to determine eligibility.  Some states will review your certificate of completion and course syllabus to determine eligibility.  A PDF copy of the syllabus can be provided to you upon request.


If you have questions about the course material, please contact the course instructor Ed Sullivan.

If you have questions about registration, please contact ALA's Member and Customer Service Department by email or by calling 800-545-2433 ext. 5.

All other inquiries, including sponsorship questions, can be directed to Kristen Sutherland, ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education via email or by calling (312) 280-4026.

Cancelation and Transfer Policy

Cancelations must be made in writing and postmarked or faxed to the ALA/MACS department by no later than seven days before the class starts.  Cancelations will result in a full refund less a $35 processing fee.  NO phone cancelations will be accepted.  Refunds will be processed two weeks after the start of the course.  ALSC reserves the right to cancel a course for reasons including insufficient numbers of students. Cancelations after the course has begun will not be accepted.

If you are registered but unable to take a course you may transfer your registration to another student if that student falls under the same registration category.  For instance, an ALSC member may transfer her registration to another ALSC member free of charge.  If you would like to transfer your registration to someone in a different category the difference between prices must be paid at the time of transfer.  All requests for registration transfers must be made in writing no later than seven days before the start of the course.  Please address all requests, including the reason for the transfer and both parties' membership numbers, to ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, Kristen Sutherland.  Transfers may not be made once a course has started.