School librarians lead during pandemic learning conditions

For Immediate Release
Mon, 07/20/2020


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released a document demonstrating the school librarian’s critical role in meeting the needs of learners in a constantly changing learning environment. “School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions” is available as a standalone chart or together with supplemental resources at

“The beginning of a new school year is quickly approaching, and in many parts of the country, decisions about reopenings are still being made,” said AASL President Kathy Carroll. “Some of us will continue to work virtually, some will return to the building, while others may have to navigate a hybrid model. Regardless of how the year begins, school librarians will be ready. AASL has many resources available to support teaching, learning, and safety during these uncertain times, including the recently released ‘School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions.’”

The available chart pairs three different back-to-school scenarios  – face-to-face learning, blended learning, and distance learning – with the five roles of a school librarian – instructional partner, teacher, leader, information specialist, and program administrator. The chart is also available with supplemental resources detailing the learning environments and possible challenges and opportunities for each.

“When we talk to our administrators about our plans and strategies, the information contained in the chart and resources can be used to provide evidence of the important role of school librarians,” added Carroll. “By working together, school librarians will continue to be leaders in education, regardless of our circumstances.”

School library professionals are invited to discuss back-to-school plans during two upcoming AASL town halls. AASL Town Hall: Leading Learning will take place at 6:00 p.m. Central on Wed., August 5, and Wed., September 16. All members of the profession are invited to attend. Registration is required. More information is available at

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