L4L Trainers ready to implement AASL standards

Contact: Melissa Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

July 21, 2009

CHICAGO – On Thursday, July 9, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) trained more than 60 state-level coordinators from 46 states in the development of customized implementation strategies for AASL's standards and guidelines.

Now those coordinators will return to their home states ready to implement those standards and guidelines into each state’s standards.

The all-day summit, Training4Trainers, held July 9 was part of Learning4Life (L4L), AASL's national implementation plan for the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" and "Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs." The summit was underwritten by AASL and partially offset by a generous donation from Verizon Foundation/Thinkfinity.org.

The goal of the summit was to send the coordinators back to their state with the necessary tools and resources to begin aligning their state's standards with AASL's. Working collaboratively with AASL leadership, the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force and AASL staff, the coordinators discussed strategies to build stakeholder support in the standards and guidelines.

“The enthusiasm with which the state coordinators embrace AASL’s Implementation Plan is contagious. We’re counting on that as they return to their constituents and communities and begin to help position L4L and the standards and guidelines as the foundation for real 21st century teaching and learning. Our work together has only just begun and we will continue as an L4L community to focus in on sharing ideas, best practices, research and evidence to get the word out that school libraries and school library media specialists, are at the core of student achievement,” said Susan Ballard, chair of the Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force.

During the summit, attendees also had the chance to hear from three states that have implemented the standards. Valerie Diggs of Massachusetts, Becky Robinson of Illinois and Nance Nassar of Colorado shared their success stories with implementation. The main point conveyed to attendees was that L4L works because it is not a one size fits all strategy. Each success story shared how they fit the standards and guidelines specifically to their state.

The remainder of the session was dedicated to crafting communication plans for the various audiences attendees will be reaching out to, including school library media specialists, administrators, curriculum coordinators, teachers and the general public.Â

“The L4L Affiliate Coordinators are our ambassadors for AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner,” said AASL President Cassandra Barnett. “When they go home, they will share resources and build recognition for the role of school librarians and school libraries. Key to this recognition is the example they set in collaborating with learning partners to integrate their state content frameworks with our learning standards.”

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.