AASL releases new guidelines

Contact: Melissa B. Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

April 14, 2009

Final publication in the standards and guidelines trilogy

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released the much-anticipated publication "Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs." These guidelines, along with the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" and "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action," complete an essential professional development package for school library media specialists. This publication can be purchased on the AASL pages of the ALA store at
http://www.alastore.ala.org/aasl. Â

"Empowering Learners" provides leadership principles that address how and what is required to master a changing school library environment that is driven by learners and the learning process. It builds on a strong history of guidelines published to ensure that school-library-media-program planners go beyond the basics to provide goals, priorities, criteria and general principles for establishing effective library media programs. The publication advances school library media programs to meet the needs of the changing school library environment and is guided by the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" and "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action."

"The release of 'Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs' completes the triad of updated AASL tools school library media specialists need to lead their library programs," said Ann M. Martin, AASL president. "'Teaching and Learning' guidelines within the book include collaborative partnerships, the role of reading, multiple literacies, effective practices for inquiry and assessment. 'Empowering Learners' provides guidelines and actions for library media specialists to take to ensure students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. School library media specialists need this critical publication because it is the essential connector required to create a 21st century library media program."

Explaining how the three publications work together, Martin said, "The 'Standards for the 21st-Century Learner' is the framework for developing curriculum and focuses on the learning process. The 'Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action' provides support in teaching the fundamental skills identified in the 'Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.' And 'Empowering Learners' places these skills in an environment conducive for developing students who are successful and competent in today’s global world."

"These guidelines will shape how we lead our students into their futures. The 'Standards for the 21st-Century Learner,' the 'Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action' and, now, 'Empowering Learners' will shape our programs and our teaching and need to be on every library media specialist's desk. My copies will soon be as highlighted and filled with notes," said Sara Kelly Johns, AASL immediate past president.

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.