For immediate release | May 9, 2014

New AASL publication develops school library collections for the 22nd century

CHICAGO – The newest publication from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), “Developing Collections to Empower Learners,” examines collection development in the context of today’s shift toward digital resources, while emphasizing the foundational beliefs of the school library profession. Written by AASL member Sue Kimmel, the book provides practical advice about needs assessment, planning, selection, acquisitions, evaluation and continuous improvement for collections to support AASL's "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner." The publication is available in both print and e-book formats, as well as a print/e-book bundle, and can be purchased through the ALA online store.

In “Developing Collections to Empower Learners,” Kimmel examines the shifting roles of the school librarian and the place of the school library. She explores what school libraries should collect and how school librarians can support the creation and dissemination of knowledge in their communities. Kimmel gives particular emphasis to questions about access, equity, and learning in order to ensure that all students will be effective consumers and producers of information and ideas heading into the 22nd-century.

Kimmel says that in many ways writing “Developing Collections to Empower Learners” has brought her career full circle. She is currently an assistant professor at Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Her previous experience includes working as a book reviewer, a bibliographer and almost 20 years as a building-level school librarian. Recently, Kimmel chaired the AASL task force on quantitative standards which was charged with examining whether AASL should consider new national quantitative standards for school library collections. Kimmel pulls from all of these experiences as she examines the big questions about collections and practices today.

AASL offers a rich variety of publications on topics essential to school librarians everywhere. For a complete list of publications available from AASL, visit the AASL books and products page. Print copies of “Developing Collections to Empower Learners” will be available for purchase in the bookstore at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference taking place June 26 – July 1 in Las Vegas.

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.


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)