Common Core State Standards Implementation Assistance Toolkit

The Common Core State Standards present a transformational opportunity and a call to action for school librarians. The transformational opportunity challenges school librarians to revise their programs and focus on the critical role the library can play in engaging and supporting student learning through:

Reading Comprehension
The Six Shifts +1
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The call to action challenges school librarians to collaborate with classroom teachers to:

  • Integrate the new standards into instruction

  • Provide leadership in their implementation

  • Share resources with others in the field

  • Promote the role of the school library program in student achievement

According to Loertscher and Lewis (2013) in an AASL and Achieve action brief, Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Librarian, real implementation of the Common Core State Standards in schools and school libraries cannot happen without these three steps:

  • Step 1: Understand It

  • Step 2: Create a Plan

  • Step 3: Act on It

The purpose of this toolkit is to assist school librarians in (1) understanding the Common Core State standards, (2) creating plans with classroom teachers for implementing the standards, and (3) acting on these plans. Further, this AASL Common Core State Standards Implementation Task Force suggests that school librarians must become stellar in these roles. As such, the Task Force has produced a toolkit of resources to support school librarians in meeting these challenges. This toolkit offers practicing school librarians, school library educators, administrators, and other stakeholders a variety of publications and online resources for transforming school library programs and services to meet the rigor and relevance of the Common Core State Standards and responding to the call for action in promoting their critical role in student achievement.

AASL Resources

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Librarian pdf icon from AASL & Achieve
Description: This action brief was created by AASL members who were asked by the American Association of School Librarians, in partnership with Achieve, to create the action brief on the role of school librarians in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Its purpose is to help librarians and school leaders navigate and implement the standards to truly make our students college and career ready. 

Reading Comprehension

AASL's School Librarians Role in Reading Toolkit
Description: This toolkit was created by an AASL task force to help school librarians coteach reading comprehension strategies. The toolkit focuses on seven strategies and provides background information and handouts for each strategy. Additionally, there are PowerPoint presentations on collaborating with other literacy professionals, research in reading, and using Web 2.0 tools to support students' reading development. The toolkit also provides elevator speeches, scenarios, and a self-assessment tool that librarians can use to measure their work in coteaching reading comprehension.  

Common Core State Standards
Description: English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects | Appendix A includes research supporting  key elements of the standards and a glossary of key terms.

Maniotes, L. (2013). Demystifying text complexity. School Library Monthly, 30 (2), 29-32. Description: A practitioner piece that describes text complexity in a easy-to-read format that practicing school librarians can use for collection development and readers advisory.


Empire State Information Fluency Continuum pdf icon

Library Of Congress Professional Development on Inquiry external link icon

New York City Common Core Library external link icon

New York State Library - Division of Library Development external link icon 

School Librarians in the 21st Century pdf icon

Ted Talk Video on Inquiry external link icon

Harada, Violet H. and Coatney, Sharon., eds. (2013). Inquiry and the Common Core: Librarians and teachers designing teaching for learning. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Ratzer, Mary Boyd, and Jaeger, Paige. (2014). Rx for the common core: Toolkit for implementing inquiry learning. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Six  Shifts + 1 external link icon

Engageny - Common Core Shifts external link icon

Delaware Department of Education's Guide to the Shifts in the ELA Common Core State Standards pdf icon

Engageny - Common Core Video Clips external link icon

English Language Arts Standards > Key Design Consideration external link icon

How the Brain Learns - Books by David Sousa external link icon

Other Resources

Bringing the Common Core to Life external link icon

Common Core Writing...Let the Librarian Help You external link icon

Library of Congress Common Core Resource Center external link icon

NEA Common Core State Standards Toolkit pdf icon

Position Statement on the Common Core College- and Career-Readiness Standards