For immediate release | May 22, 2023

Culturally responsive school libraries

CHICAGO — School librarians have always connected learners’ life experiences, cultures, and communities to materials, projects, and processes. As schools look to make these connections within the classroom and to the curriculum, school librarians are perfectly poised to lead and model meaningful steps toward a culturally responsive mindset. Published by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and ALA Editions, “Embracing Culturally Responsive Practice in School Libraries” celebrates how learners’ cultures shape everything from their communication to how they process information. Author Elisabet Kennedy translates complex concepts into accessible and practical school library strategies while challenging readers to embrace and nurture their personal and professional growth. An authentic and approachable guide to culturally responsive pedagogy aligned with the National School Library Standards, this book features:

  • an adapted framework with actionable steps and activities based on culturally responsive principles that directly relate to AASL Standards;
  • scenarios offering context for learning, demonstrating conflicts, exploring potential harm, and suggesting strategies; and
  • reflective exercises and challenges, introductory definitions, and resources for deeper exploration.

Kennedy works as a school librarian at a high school in New Jersey. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism Media Studies from Rutgers University, went on to earn her Master in Library Information Science from San Jose State University, and most recently earned a Master of Arts in Education from Marshall University. She values continuous professional growth through studying and implementing inclusion and representation initiatives in school libraries, understanding and improving user experience, and learning from antiracist/antibias practitioners.

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

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | Neal-Schuman at

Related Links

"Embracing Culturally Responsive Practice in School Libraries"

"Learning Centers for School Libraries"

"Assessing Learners: Using the AASL Standards to Measure Competency and Growth"



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