For immediate release | September 21, 2010

AASL launches online, interactive planning and advocacy tool

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), in collaboration with Britannica Digital Learning, announces the launch of an online, interactive school library program planning module that will change school library program development and implementation.

"A Planning Guide for Empowering Learners" is a program evaluation, planning, implementation and advocacy tool that will ensure school library program planners go beyond the basics to provide goals, priorities, criteria and general principles for establishing effective library programs. The guide includes a revised "School Library Program Rubric," a tool that allows school librarians to assess their program on 16 different sets of criteria.
"We are delighted to partner with AASL to launch this guide as an interactive, online module," said Michael Ross, senior vice president at Britannica and general manager of Britannica Digital Learning. "The Planning Guide module will strengthen education through the development of critical thinking and research skills and will also promote school library media advocacy and leadership."
Subscriptions are $40 for the first year; renewals are $20 per year. AASL members receive a 10 percent discount on subscriptions. AASL is offering bulk pricing for districts ordering the module and purchase orders will be accepted. Ordering arrangements are also available to higher education bookstores. Orders are being handled by Britannica Digital Learning by calling 800-621-3900.
School librarians are encouraged to view the on-demand webinars and attend the chat sessions on the Planning Guide during the next month to get more information on the tool and its uses. In addition, AASL has created an online community in ALA Connect for users to share ideas, success and issues with the implementation of AASL's learning standards and program guidelines. AASL members are also encouraged to contact their state's Learning4Life (L4L) coordinator for assistance during the implementation process.
Attendees of AASL's 2010 Fall Forum, IN FOCUS: The Essentials for 21st-Century Learning, will get a firsthand look at the module with a station set up for demonstrations. For more information on the Fall Forum and to register, visit
"A Planning Guide for Empowering Learners" provides another tool for Learning4Life (L4L),, AASL's national implementation plan created to support states, school systems, and individual schools preparing to implement the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" and "Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs."
Britannica Digital Learning is a division of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. a leader in education publishing whose products can be found in many media, from the Internet to wireless devices to books. A pioneer in electronic publishing since the early 1980s, the company markets a variety of encyclopedias and other reference works, curriculum products for schools, language-study courses and other learning products, many of which are available online at Britannica is active on Twitter and Facebook. The company makes its headquarters in Chicago.
The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library 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 field.


Melissa Jacobsen