AASL publishes Instructional Classification Toolkit

Contact: Kathy Agarwal
Communications Specialist



For Immediate Release
August 8, 2006

AASL publishes Instructional Classification Toolkit

New tools to help school library media specialists advocate for their role as educators

CHICAGO - Via its Web site,
www.aasl.org, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), published a set of new advocacy tools to support its members' indispensable place in education.
AASL's Task Force on Instructional Classification, chaired by Ann Dutton Ewbank, has developed a toolkit that addresses the issue of the categorization of school library media specialists as currently "non-instructional."

The Instructional Classification Toolkit was designed with a twofold purpose: it aims to help school library media specialists advocate their role as educators within their schools and districts; and it also provides talking points for opposing the "65% solution" legislation which threatens funding for school library media services on the state level.

The legislation, being considered in many states nationwide, mandates that 65 percent of all funding for schools be spent on "direct classroom instruction."
This presents a problem for school library media programs and staff because proponents of the proposed legislation are urging states to use the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) categories to define "direct classroom instruction."
Expenses for school library media services are categorized as "support services - instruction," a technicality that excludes them from the proposed funding formula.

"We hope school library media specialists will use this new toolkit to advocate for their rightful position among the school's teaching staff," said AASL President Cyndi Phillip.
"Through grassroots advocacy, we can educate the public and state legislatures about the impact of quality school library media programs on student achievement and learning."

The Instructional Classification Toolkit contains an extensive FAQ section, a link to the AASL position statement on instructional classification, a sample Op-ed, sample letter to editor and a fact sheet for action.
The complete toolkit can be found on the AASL Web site at


The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media 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 media field.