Blueprint for Collaboration

Report outlining ways of initiating and fostering closer collaboration between librarians in K-12 and post-secondary education to the benefit of the constituencies they serve.

by the AASL/ACRL Task Force on the Educational Role of Libraries

Patricia Iannuzzi, Co-Chair

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Janet W. Nichols, Co-Chair

Adamany Undergraduate Library

Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan

Adis Beesting

Florida International University Libraries

Miami, Florida

Betty Bankhead

Cherry Creek High School

Englewood, Colorado

Elizabeth Dupuis

University of Texas at Austin

General Libraries

Austin, Texas

Rebecca Jackson

Iowa State University Library

Ames, Iowa

Gloria Meisel

Westchester Community College

Valhalla, New York

Meb Norton

Metairie Country Day School

Metairie, Louisiana

Dawn Vaughn

Cherry Creek High School

Englewood, Colorado


In 1998 the presidents of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) formed a joint task force to examine the educational role of libraries. This joint committee was charged with recommending ways of initiating and fostering, through the organizational structures of ACRL and AASL, ways and means of affecting closer collaboration between librarians in K-12 and post-secondary education to the benefit of the constituencies they serve.

This joint effort is both timely and appropriate. The associations share the goals of fostering lifelong learning and ensuring that students at all educational levels are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Information literacy skills are necessary for student success. Pedagogical methodologies have been transformed by the current focus on educational reform, the complex information technology environment, and emphasis on lifelong learning. Some new pedagogical strategies include standards-based education, outcomes-based education, inquiry learning, project-based learning, and service learning. Information literacy competencies are important to student achievement in this new learning environment. All educators -- teachers, faculty, and librarians -- share roles in helping students acquire information literacy skills effectively. Collaborative efforts that enhance the ability of these groups to fulfill their mission are imperative.

More than five years ago AASL began writing what is now Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning. Later ACRL began the same process, producing Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Through this process both organizations realized the benefits of collaborating with each other. The Task Force recognizes that there is a shared responsibility among academic and school librarians for information literacy.

Throughout this report, collaboration refers to joint efforts involving school librarians and/or their constituents and academic librarians and/or their constituents. This report does not include recommendations for collaboration between school librarians and their constituents. Such collaboration is addressed elsewhere within AASL. Similarly, this report does not include recommendations for collaboration between academic librarians and their constituents. Such collaboration is addressed elsewhere within ACRL. The exception is the inclusion of recommendations for collaboration among academic librarians, education majors, college of education faculty and library school faculty, since academic librarians are in a position to influence pre-service and in-service teacher and librarian education. Collaboration between K-12 and higher education are represented in the recommendations that follow.

The Task Force conducted an open forum during the ALA 2000 Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Key players from library instruction groups as well as interested association members were invited to review and comment upon the draft recommendations and offer suggestions for additional recommendations. The Task Force recognizes that there is significant infrastructure already in place to address these recommendations. In some cases, existing groups may "adopt" a recommendation to incorporate into their activities. In other cases, new groups may need to form. Finally, the recommendations may drive existing groups to form new alliances or to coordinate activities.

The suggestions of the open forum participants have been incorporated into this document and the organization that has indicated interest in assuming responsibility for the implementation of a specific recommendation has been noted with that recommendation.

As the Task Force researched and discussed opportunities for collaboration, the recommendations that emerged were clustered into four areas:

I. Collaboration

II. Joint Association Activities

III. Continuing Education for Librarians

IV. Outreach

Implementation of these recommendations will create infrastructure to advocate, support, and promote partnerships between academic and school librarians long

after the work of this Task Force is completed.


I. Collaboration

A. Co-sponsor programming on model collaborations related to information literacy at the local, state, and national level, encouraging partnerships between different

types of libraries in a community. ALA's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

B. Formalize relationship with NCATE Standards Steering Committee to promote information literacy competency standards for higher education.

C. Advocate a seamless continuation of AASL's Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning with ACRL's Information Literacy Competencies for

Higher Education
. ALA's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) & ACRL's Instruction Section (IS)

D. Disseminate AASL's Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning and ACRL's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher

to appropriate groups to foster dialogue among those groups.

E. Develop specific information literacy performance indicators and measurable outcomes for education students.

ACRL's Education & Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS)

F. Include academic librarians as members of the instructional team in graduate and undergraduate teacher education programs.

ACRL's Education & Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS)

G. Include academic librarians as members of the instructional team in continuing professional teacher development programs.

ACRL's Education & Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS)

H. Encourage education faculty, library school faculty, and academic librarians and/or school media specialists to engage in research, co-publish, jointly present at

conferences, and pursue other forms of professional collaboration.

ACRL's Education & Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS)

I. Work with ALISE to encourage an instructional component as part of the education of librarians and school media specialists.

ACRL's Education & Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS) & ALA's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

J. Develop relationships with local school boards to create and promote information literacy programs for school librarians' continuing education.

ACRL's Education & Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS )& ALA's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

II. Joint Association Activities

A. Identify organizations involved with information literacy and create a comprehensive list of these organizations. Ensure that this list is linked from the ALA, AASL,

and ACRL web sites. ALA's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

B. Request that AASL and ACRL assume joint responsibility for managing and monitoring information literacy opportunities. Specific functions would include:

creating a centralized process to identify collaborative publishing and grant opportunities in information literacy; acting as a "watch dog" for national opportunities for

librarians and non-librarians to co-present; and establishing shared ownership of an information literacy website.

C. Print and distribute a version of AASL's Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning with ACRL's Information Literacy Competency Standards

for Higher Education

D. Compile a list of information literacy standards and make them accessible from the ALA, ACRL and AASL web sites.

E. Compile a list of state information literacy library programs and post on the ALA, ACRL and AASL web sites to provide general information and as potential

partnership opportunities.

F. Create a list of all academic libraries that have collaborative programs or partnerships with Colleges of Education.

G. Investigate opportunities for collaboration with AASL Affiliate Regions and Information Power implementation (IP2) coordinators.

H. Identify appropriate ALA staff members with instruction related responsibilities.

III. Continuing Education for Librarians

A. Schedule an annual information literacy update session for general membership at ALA Annual Conference. Establish and promote a standard session name,

meeting times and format for first and future sessions. Develop a web site and provide "Information Literacy Updates" similar to the Legislative Update from the

ALA Washington Office.

B. Develop a summer institute or pre-conference to include instruction on writing partnering grants and networking. This workshop could be offered on a regular

basis or by request at national conferences or regional meetings. ACRL's Instruction Section (IS)

C. Encourage participation of media specialists, college of education and library school faculty in the Information Literacy Institute's "Immersion Program" and

workshops. What does this mean?

D. Provide opportunities for education faculty, library school faculty, and academic librarians to participate in planning events that promote information literacy.

(e.g."think tanks") ACRL's Instruction Section (IS)

E. Include school media specialists in teaching and staff development opportunities. ALA's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

F. Develop collaborative programs for presentation at ACRL and AASL National Conferences and state and regional conferences. ACRL's Instruction Section


IV. Outreach

A. Develop an award for collaboration on information literacy projects among libraries, school districts and Colleges of Education. Provide incentives such as paid

travel and stipends to attend conferences where recipients can promote successful models and methods of collaboration.

B. Promote regional networks that provide a regular forum for librarians, teachers, administrators, education students, and faculty to exchange ideas and practical

information about information literacy issues. ALA's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

C. Encourage state and regional library associations to compile models of collaborations and work with the state professional associations to reach local districts.

Examples: Affiliate Assembly of AASL, State & Regional Chapters of National Organizations. ALA's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

D. Develop a "Speakers Bureau" with teams of librarians and teachers throughout the country that have experience presenting together on information literacy


Appendix I: Examples of Collaboration

These examples of collaborative partnerships were identified through an open call on electronic library mail lists. The list is not comprehensive, but contains selected examples of possible partnerships.

Butler University

Participates in formal instruction in collaboration with a private school in the area.

Duke University - Durham Public Schools

Program funded by AT&T to match technology mentors from the university library staff with public school teachers,

offering both formal classes with one-on-one mentor sessions in the use of educational technology. This was developed as a pilot program that could be duplicated in

other school systems.

Link 2 Learn Project

Duquesne University, Gannon University, St. Vincent College and other cooperating institutions propose to address the development of the skills of information

problem-solving generally known as information literacy in the high school population for librarians, teachers, and high school students in the twenty-one cooperating

schools in the Western Pennsylvania region.

Northwestern State University Library

Serves the students of the neighboring "Louisiana School for Math, Sciences, and the Arts" (LSMSA), a boarding high school for advanced juniors and seniors from

all over the state. Each fall, a new class of juniors (approximately 200) arrive at the school. Included in their two day orientation is an introduction to the library, its

resources and services.

Oregon State University

Instructional guidelines have been established in collaboration with local school district media specialists and a representative from the public library.

SUNY Oswego

Has a formal arrangement in which they have a representative who attends all School Library System Council meetings and acts as a liaison between the school

libraries and Penfield library.

University of California Berkeley - Oakland and San Francisco Unified School Districts

Project funded by Department of Commerce-TIIAP Grant to bring Internet technology to K-12 schools. Archival photographs of California history were digitized and a web site created. The current grant covers development of sample lesson plans based on the California Heritage Collection and work within the schools to promote the integration of the Internet and primary sources into the curriculum.

University of California Irvine

The University of California Irvine Libraries recently received a University of California School-University Partnership Program grant to establish a two-year pilot

program that will lay the groundwork for long-term collaboration between the UCI Libraries and target Orange County high schools. The School Partnership for

Instruction, Research, and Information Technology (SPIRIT) Program objectives are to develop partnerships to teach life-long learning skills to high school students

and to help increase the number of students that meet and exceed UCI admissions requirements.

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Currently, in the process of establishing a K-12 information literacy curriculum development pilot project.

University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science

32 library media specialists from 5 states. HEA II-B Grant. Sponsor a weeklong information

literacy institute.

University of Maine at Farmington

Completed a formal collaboration with local school district (funded through a Bell Atlantic Excellence in Education award which was written by the library director)

after extensive discussion with area Superintendent of Schools. The award provided 3 teacher in-service workshops and 20 sessions for area school children 3-12.

University of Nevada

The Learning Resource Center is housed in the College of Education at UN. It is staffed by three school district employees and three university employees. The

Center was founded 10 years ago to assist the students and professors of the University, while also assisting the teachers and student teachers of Washoe County

School District. The Center is also open to private schools and other school districts.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Established policies and procedures for collaboration with high school librarians.

Wayne State University - Ferndale H.S. and Northwestern H.S.

Project funded by Herrick Foundation, local funding source ($20,000). Pilot project planned by administrative, teaching, and library staff from the university and partnering schools. Presented one-day workshop on theory and application of information literacy to representatives from both schools. They in turn planned and presented workshops at their respective high schools to identified departments. Teachers then planned a research unit integrating information literacy into the existing curriculum. The project continued for a second year and funding is currently being sought to replicate on a larger scale.

Appendix II: Selected Grant Opportunities

U.S. Department of Education - Challenge Grants for Technology in Education

Presently (as of 1997) 43 districts are receiving substantial five-year grants. Partnerships involve schools, hardware manufacturers, software developers, telecommunications firms, universities, museums, and libraries.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

Among stated purposes are to stimulate excellence and promote access to learning and information resources in all types of libraries for individuals of all ages, provide linkages among and between libraries.

Department of Education - Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology

Approximately 200-250 one-year grants. Could include formation of cross-disciplinary partnerships among departments and between institutions of higher education and the P-12 educational community. Goal is to improve the technology proficiency of future teachers.

Department of Education - Improving Teacher Quality, Recruitment, and Preparation

Will provide grants to partnerships between teacher preparation institutions and local school districts in high-need areas to strengthen teacher education through activities such as: preparing prospective teachers to use technology and improving prospective teachers' knowledge of academic content.

Disney Grants

$25,000-$100,000 annually for three years for individual schools; $50,000-$200,000 annually for consortium. Applicants generally applied to fund teacher training, especially in technology.

Appendix III: Organizations

ALA-Related Organizations

AASL Presidential Task Force for Coordinating the Implementation of the New National Guidelines and Standards

  • Develop a coherent and coordinated model for AASL/AECT staff to define relevant professional development opportunities and activities.
  • Plan for the incorporation and implementation of national guidelines and standards in a comprehensive advocacy program.
  • Introduce the new guidelines to the school library media profession and broader education community.
  • Develop a plan in consultation with the AASL Affiliate Assembly for a national advocacy campaign for school library media specialists.
  • Develop a coherent and coordinated model for AASL continuing education activities.
  • Work with the AASL staff to define professional development opportunities and activities needed to enable the school library media professionals to implement

    guidelines nationwide.

AASL Teaching for Learning Task Force

  • Develop strategies for supporting AASL members' efforts to learn about and use new methods of teaching including publications, mentoring, pre-conference

    workshops, regional workshops, exportable template workshops, and on line support.

AASL Educators of Library Media Specialists Section

  • Review curricula and develop research activities for educators in colleges and universities whose programs focus on school library media education and training.

ACRL Education and Behavioral Sciences Section

  • Advance the interests of education and behavioral science librarians.
  • Promote library instruction in teacher education programs.
  • Explore problem areas in curriculum materials administration and recommend actions for improvement.
  • Review problems of the subject access systems for education and behavioral science literature and recommend effective ways of improving such systems.
  • Explore possibilities for developing standards or guidelines for education library services for teacher education and educational research.

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Communication Committee

  • Facilitate internal Section communication, through both print and electronic media, about membership activities, achievements, procedures, and publications, and to pursue other appropriate channels of communication outside as well as inside the Section.
  • Responsible for maintaining electronic communications for the Advisory Council and Executive Committee.
  • Responsible for developing and maintaining the Section's electronic information sites and for producing a newsletter and a membership directory for Section officers, chairs, and committee members and for conducting an orientation for Section Interns.

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Conference Program Planning Committee

  • Plan and execute the Section's annual conference program.
  • Work with the Section Chair and ACRL so that the Section's Strategic Plan and the ACRL President's theme are incorporated into the Program.
  • Examine opportunities to co-sponsor the Program with other ACRL and ALA units so as to avoid duplication of topics at the ALA Annual Conference.
  • Follow established ACRL and ALA procedures for providing the Program.

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Education Committee

  • Facilitate and identify continuing education opportunities for instruction librarians as well as to promote the development of library instruction courses in graduate programs.
  • Responsible for maintaining a web site that will identify educational opportunities for practitioners, educators, and students.
  • Oversees Midwinter discussion forums and other continuing education activities, in cooperation with the ACRL Professional Committee.
  • Foster communication between practitioners and graduate school faculty working in the area of library instruction.
  • Monitor the status of library instruction in graduate programs.

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Emerging Technologies in Instruction Committee

  • Promote and facilitate the use of emerging technologies in bibliographic instruction.
  • Act as a resource and information-sharing vehicle for those who use electronic technologies in bibliographic instruction.
  • Interests include new or innovative applications of these technologies in bibliographic instruction.

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Instruction For Diverse Populations Committee

  • Identify, study, and promote issues relating to bibliographic instruction and diversity, including but not limited to issues of gender, age, cultural background, race, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation.
  • Promote equal access to instructional services, materials, and technology regardless of individual differences.

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Learning to Teach Virtual Task Force

  • Create a web-based site for the content of the Section's Learning to Teach Preconference that will be a continuing education opportunity for instruction librarians; to assess the feasibility of task forces that are comprised of members who do not attend ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences but perform their charges through electronic and other forms of communication.
  • Provide a report to the Executive Committee on the feasibility of virtual task forces by the end of Annual Conference, 1999.

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Management of Instruction Services Committee

  • Identify and study issues relating to the management of instruction services.
  • Act as a resource and information-sharing vehicle for those who administer instruction programs.
  • Facilitate and encourage improvement in the management and evaluation of instruction services.

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Model Statement Revision Committee

  • Revise the current model statement published by the American Library Association/Association of College and Research Libraries/Bibliographic Instruction Section in Read This First: An Owner's Guide to the New Model Statement of Objectives for Academic Bibliographic Instruction (1991). This revision should be in accordance with the 1998 Final Report of the Model Statement of Objectives Task Force, the IS "Publication Policies and Procedures Manual" and the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures (Chapter 14, "Standards and Guidelines.")

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Research and Scholarship Committee

  • Promote research and scholarship opportunities in instruction for academic and research librarians.
  • Identify instruction-related topics for study and research for academic and research librarians.
  • Promote library instruction study and research projects, report works in progress and disseminate results.
  • Provide opportunities to share instruction-related research and scholarship among academic and research librarians.
  • Assist library schools and other library education organizations in identifying areas of library instruction that may benefit from graduate level research and scholarship.
  • ACRL Instruction Section (IS) Teaching Methods Committee
  • Identify and promote teaching methods and materials useful to practicing bibliographic instruction librarians.
  • Provide a forum for librarians interested in both the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching methods and the broader issues of instructional design and theory.

ACRL Institute for Information Literacy (IIL)

  • Prepare librarians to become effective teachers in information literacy programs.
  • Support librarians, other educators and administrators in playing a leadership role in the development and implementation of information literacy programs.
  • Forge new relationships throughout the educational community to work toward information literacy curriculum development with a combination of community partners (i.e. academic and K-12; academic, K-12, and public, etc.).

ALA Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

  • Advocate library instruction as a means for developing competent library and information access skills, along with their use, as a part of lifelong learning.
  • Increase professional and public awareness of the need for library instruction as an essential service.
  • Encourage the development of American Library Association policy promoting library instruction.
  • Assist library practitioners in the development, improvement, and promotion of library instruction.
  • Provide opportunities in which librarians from all types of libraries can share ideas about library instruction.
  • Encourage the networking of professional library instruction groups at the state and regional level.
  • Encourage library schools to include education for bibliographic instruction in their curricula.
  • Initiate and maintain communication with groups within ALA dealing with issues relevant to library instruction.

Non-ALA-Related Organizations

Academy for Leadership Development

  • Provide a forum for teacher educators to confront the challenges and the issues faced in Education School administration.

Department of Education Regional Laboratories

  • Ensure that those involved in educational improvement at the local, state and regional levels have access to the best available research and knowledge from practice. There are currently 10 Regional Labs.
  • Ensure that information about exemplary and promising programs as well as other important lessons about school reform developed or learned in one site can be appropriately applied elsewhere.

Partners in Learning: K-12, College of Education, and Community Collaborations

  • Develop and promote programs from AACTE institutions that involve K-16 educators, business leaders, community agencies, and others to improve the preparation of teachers.

International Federation of Library Associations Round Table on User Education

  • Foster international cooperation in the development of all aspects of user education in all types of libraries (including training of librarians).
  • Develop projects that disseminate information on user education experts and programs and that promote development of user education programs in libraries.
  • Encourage the development and disseminate information on appropriate teaching methodologies and materials for user education through the Round Table's mailing list, newsletter, and sponsorship of program at regional library conferences.
  • Promote and monitor the development of education and training for librarians in user education such as via programs, workshops, and projects.

National Forum on Information Literacy (NFIL)

  • Examine the role of information in our lives and integrates information literacy into member organization programs.
  • Support, initiate, and monitor information literacy projects in U.S. and abroad.
  • Encourage the creation and adoption of information literacy guidelines by agencies such as the State Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education.
  • Work with teacher education programs to insure that new teachers are able to incorporate information literacy into their teaching.

All-University Teacher Education Committees (AUTEC) Cal State System

  • Maintain a task force of seven university presidents to develop various collaborative efforts that recognize teacher preparation as an all-university endeavor.
  • Develop ongoing assessment systems, support interdisciplinary courses, and review current undergraduate programs to ensure sufficient advising, model instructional techniques, and adequate student support mechanisms.
  • Revise the current model statement published by the American Library Association/Association of College and Research Libraries/Bibliographic
  • Instruction Section in Read This First: An Owner's Guide to the New Model Statement of Objectives for Academic Bibliographic Instruction (1991).
  • This revision should be in accordance with the 1998 Final Report of the Model Statement of Objectives Task Force, the IS "Publication Policies and Procedures Manual" and the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures (Chapter 14, "Standards and Guidelines.")