American Association of School Librarians joins Partnership for 21st Century Skills

For Immediate Release

American Association of School Librarians joins Partnership for 21st Century Skills

CHICAGO -- The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced today that it has joined the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the leading advocacy organization transforming learning in the 21st century.

"The mission of the Partnership in advocating for information literacy as a central component of education is a perfect fit for AASL's program goals," said AASL President Dawn Vaughn. "We are proud to be part of this national coalition working to advance 21st century educational skills." AASL's board of directors voted to join the Partnership at its June 2004 board meeting.

As the Partnership's newest member, AASL will assist the organization in driving the overall adoption of 21st century skills and providing guidance to communities and state leaders that will help them assess their current situations, develop customized learning plans and create implementation strategies leading to 21st century learning environments.

AASL Executive Director Julie Walker will represent the association as a board member for the Partnership. For the past seven years, Walker has been responsible for directing a national implementation plan for Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning, the association's guidelines for school library media programs. She currently serves on the National Education Advisory Board of Cable in the Classroom and the Advisory Committee for the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries. Walker also is a past-Chair of the Alliance for Curriculum Reform, a group of organizations committed to improving curriculum, instruction and assessment in P-12 schools. Prior to joining AASL, Walker was the director of Library & Media Services for the Round Rock (Texas) ISD.

The Partnership was formed in 2002 with support from the U.S. Department of Education. In 2003, the Partnership issued, Learning for the 21st Century: A Report and MILE Guide for 21st Century Skills, which articulates a collective vision for learning in the 21st century and assists schools, districts and states in meeting the challenges of incorporating 21st century skills into their curriculum.

In 2004, the Partnership issued a policymakers guide, online tool, as well as a series of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Literacy Maps designed to assist education stakeholders as they work to integrate 21st century skills into education. The Road to 21st Century Learning: A Policymakers' Guide to 21st Century Skills, provides a guideline to help policymakers integrate 21st century skills into schools, while Route 21: An Interactive Guide to 21st Century Learning, is a Web-based tool that assists education stakeholders in supporting and promoting achievement of ICT Literacy and 21st century skills. The ICT Literacy Maps are designed to illustrate the intersection between ICT Literacy and core academic subjects. The maps are now available in the areas of geography, mathematics, English and science.

About the American Association of School Librarians

With more that 9,600 members, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is one of the fastest growing divisions of the American Library Association (ALA), and is the only ALA division devoted exclusively to school librarianship. It promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. AASL's mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.

About the Partnership for 21st Century Skills

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has emerged as the leading advocacy organization focused on transforming teaching and learning in the 21st century. The organization brings together the business community, education leaders, and policymakers to define a powerful vision for 21st century education to ensure every child's success as citizens and workers in the 21st century. The Partnership encourages schools, districts and states to advocate for the infusion of 21st century skills into education and provides tools and resources to help facilitate and drive change.

Member organizations include: American Association of School Librarians, Apple, Cable in the Classroom, Cisco Systems, Inc., Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Dell Inc., ETS, Ford Motor Company Fund, Intel, JA Worldwide, Microsoft Corporation, National Education Association, Oracle Corporation, SAP, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Time Warner, Inc. and Verizon.

Based in Washington, D.C., and Tucson, Ariz., the Partnership for 21st Century Skills is administered by Infotech Strategies. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 organization.