For immediate release | October 26, 2010

New AASL toolkit helps implement learning standards and program guidelines

CHICAGO – A new resource from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) helps building-level school librarians implement learning standards and program guidelines. The "Building Level Toolkit: Implementing AASL's Learning Standards and Program Guidelines in Your School Library" is designed to help practitioners learn more about the key ideas of the learning standards and share those messages with others.
Developed by Kristin Fontichiaro, member of the AASL Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force and Michigan L4L coordinator, and Melissa Johnston, member of the AASL Learning Standards Indicators and Assessment Task Force, the toolkit includes official AASL materials as well as online resources and additional materials created by L4L coordinators, practicing school librarians, library school faculty members and experts in the field of education.
"This toolkit was prepared as an essential first step in implementing the learning standards and program guidelines," said Melissa Johnston, a PhD candidate at Florida State University. "AASL has given school librarians a series of thinking prompts to guide building librarians in creating a 21st century environment with the school library program as the hub of learning and inquiry. It recognizes the importance of customizing the library program to meet local needs."
The content walks school librarians through important steps in the implementation process, including positioning the school librarian as curriculum leader, gaining support of stakeholders for the vision of a 21st century school library and challenges that school librarians may face as they implement the learning standards and program guidelines.
This toolkit is one of the many resources that AASL makes available to support school librarians as they implement AASL's learning standards and program guidelines. Through a three-to-five-year national implementation plan, Learning4Life (L4L), AASL has created tools and resources to establish the school library program as a robust knowledge center for students.
"I am proud that this toolkit ties together the collective knowledge of many school librarians and library faculty members. As a former classroom teacher and building-level school librarian, I personally know how important AASL's learning standards and program guidelines are to creating a rich learning environment for students. I hope that this toolkit will help current and future school librarians create a vision for their 21st century school library programs," said Kristin Fontichiaro, now on the faculty at the University of Michigan School of Information.
Learning4Life (L4L),, is 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."
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