AASL's newest publication helps put learning standards into practice

Contact: Melissa B. Jacobsen
AASL Communications Specialist
(312) 280-4381
mjacobsen@ala.org 

NEWS
For Immediate Release
February 3, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is releasing its newest publication, "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action." The publication, along with other excellent books and products for school library media program development, is available in the ALA Store at  http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=2601.

The purpose of the publication is to expand and support AASL's new learning standards, "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner." "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action" includes indicators, benchmarks, model examples and assessments to support school library media specialists and other educators in teaching the essential learning skills defined in the learning standards. It also presents action examples for putting the standards into practice in elementary, middle and high school classrooms.

AASL President Ann M. Martin said, "This is exactly the document that school library media specialists need to lead their school library media program’s instructional program forward. The high expectations created by the ‘Standards for the 21st-Century Learner’ come to life within the explicit framework provided by the strategies and information clarified in this book." 

The learning standards developed by AASL expand the definition of information literacy to include digital, visual, textual and technological literacies. The "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action" takes these essential literacies and helps school library media specialists make them a foundation for lifelong learning. At the core of these standards is the learner. AASL's learning standards recognize that a lifelong learner is nurtured by a strong school library media program that offers a highly qualified school library media specialist, up-to-date resources, active instruction and a belief in these multiple literacies throughout the school community.

The publication is the culmination of months of work from AASL's Learning Standards Indicators and Assessment Task Force, chaired by Kathy Lowe, longtime AASL member and executive director of the Massachusetts School Library Association. With drafts available for member feedback at ALA's 2008 Annual Conference and after, the result can be considered a national effort.

"All the members of the Learning Standards Indicators and Assessment Task Force generously shared their expertise, devoting countless hours and much collaborative energy to this project. Their collective contributions, enhanced by input from practitioners in the field, have resulted in a rich resource for the school library community," said Kathy Lowe, chair of the Learning Standards Indicators and Assessment Task Force.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.