AASL encourages SLMS to promote Information Literacy Month

Contact: Melissa Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

October 6, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is joining President Barack Obama in working to ensure that all Americans have the skills necessary to effectively navigate the Information Age.

On Oct. 1, the president issued a statement proclaiming October 2009 as National Information Literacy Awareness Month. In his proclamation, the president said, "I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the important role information plays in our daily lives, and appreciate the need for a greater understanding of its impact."

The president further stated, "Our Nation's educators and institutions of learning must be aware of -- and adjust to -- these new realities. In addition to the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, it is equally important that our students are given the tools required to take advantage of the information available to them. The ability to seek, find, and decipher information can be applied to countless life decisions…"

AASL's guidelines, "Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs," documents the current and lasting change in the responsibilities of school library media specialists as information specialists. By increasing formats available to students for accessing and acquiring information, school library media specialists are best equipped to help students understand how to effectively acquire and interpret this information. According to the guidelines, the school library media specialist has the additional task of teaching students, teachers and other members of the school community the ethical use of information.

AASL offers these ideas to its members for sharing the month with their school and local community:

  • Ask to be on the agenda of your school board's monthly meeting to discuss the importance of information literacy in your school library media program.

  • Print out a PDF of the proclamation, listed on http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Presidential-Proclamation-Na…, post it in your library and share it with your school community.

  • Invite the local paper to do a story on how you teach information literacy in your library media program.

  • Ask volunteers to write to decision makers telling them why information literacy is important for education.

More ideas on promoting your school library media program's efforts to make students information literate during National Information Literacy Awareness Month and throughout the year can be found at www.ala.org/aasl/toolkits.

AASL encourages members to share ideas about other ways to educate their school and local community on the importance of information literacy on the AASL Division page on ALA Connect at: http://connect.ala.org/aasl.

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.