For immediate release | May 18, 2021

Survey Results Show School Librarians Are Integral – During Pandemic School Closures and Beyond

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released the results of its last survey in a series of surveys capturing the state of school libraries during pandemic school closures. Launched in the spring of 2020, AASL’s surveys have shown the school librarian’s integral role in uncertain circumstances. Results are available at

“The results of AASL’s final snapshot survey confirmed what school librarians have known all along,” said Kathy Carroll, AASL President. “During these often-tumultuous times, we have tirelessly served our learning communities and have been at the forefront of teaching and learning. Whether we virtually provided instruction or adhered to government guidelines to create safe in-person spaces for students, school librarians successfully pivoted and adjusted to our new reality. Our ever-increasing contributions should be considered when upcoming budget decisions are made.”

The survey results established school librarians as essential in helping and often leading the efforts of their educator colleagues to transition to remote teaching and learning. Respondents noted that their role in their school district or building increased during the current school year. Some of the increase in responsibilities included leading more professional development, teaching more classes, assisting classroom teachers with technology, and curating digital tools and other online resources.

Regarding practices, respondents indicated they were doing more technology troubleshooting, e-book promotion, virtual professional development, and step-by-step instructional material for use of online tools and databases.

As school systems plan the 2021-2021 school year, survey results are a powerful advocacy tool to be used in discussions with administrators to show the critical contributions of school librarians in transforming teaching and learning. They show the critical need for a dedicated school library budget with added support for continuing education for school librarians.

As school librarians unpack the past year and use lessons learned to plan for future teaching and learning, the 2021 AASL National Conference will reflect the evolution of the school librarian’s role and present sessions focused on best practices in collaboration, leadership, and technology. School librarians planning to attend are encouraged to look into using monies available as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to help offset costs.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)