Action brief helps school librarians support Common Core State Standards implementation

For Immediate Release
Tue, 11/12/2013


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians, in partnership with Achieve, has released an action brief on the role of school librarians in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The brief was designed not only for school librarians who are supporting higher standards for student learning, but also for school leaders as they rethink and re-envision the role that the library can and should play in a major school initiative. The action brief is available on the AASL website at

“This action brief is a starting point,” said AASL President Gail Dickinson. “It was designed to increase awareness of the Common Core State Standards, create a sense of opportunity around their implementation, and provide school librarians — who are faced with increased opportunities in the context of fewer resources — with a deeper understanding of the standards and their role in implementing them.”

"To fully implement the CCSS in schools — and ensure all students learn the English and math they need for college, careers and citizenship — will require ‘all hands on deck.’ Teachers, school leaders and resource experts all play critical roles in bringing the CCSS to life for students. Librarians play an especially important role, as this action brief illustrates” said Sandy Boyd, Achieve chief operating officer and senior vice president. “The brief — written by and for librarians— provides librarians with a deeper understanding of the CCSS and the dynamic role they can play in supporting implementation of the new standards, with, among other things, text selection, making cross-disciplinary connections, and integrating research and media into students’ learning environments. Librarians can impact teaching and learning and this brief will give them new strategies to do so."

Written by AASL members David Loertscher and Kathryn Lewis, the action brief provides no-cost takeaways, talking points, action steps and examples that school librarians can begin to put into practice in their schools today.

“We are embarking on a new era in school libraries, and the Common Core State Standards provide a monumental opportunity for us. As school librarians we are uniquely positioned to provide leadership and support for the elements of the CCSS,” said Lewis. “School librarians can significantly change the learning landscape by blending the CCSS, the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner, and the unique opportunity to co-teach with our colleagues. My hope is that this document will shape our work and, more importantly, the lives of our students by sparking ideas, meaningful dialogue, and influencing teaching and learning as we strive to ensure the quality education that students deserve and demand.”

“The CCSS is a fresh leadership start for every librarian in the nation,” Loertscher concurred. “This action brief illustrates multiple opportunities for school librarians to move themselves to the center of teaching and learning in their schools and breathe new life into their programs. The document also serves as an excellent advocacy tool to help build essential partnerships with principals and teachers to implement the CCSS.”

Attendees of the AASL 16th National Conference & Exhibition will be provided a copy of the action brief in their conference packet. Additionally, Loertscher and Lewis will present a concurrent session titled “The Library Funnel Meets the Learning Funnel: The Achieve Document and the Common Core” from 1:00-2:15 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 16.  


About AASL

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

About Achieve

Achieve is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization dedicated to working with states to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability. Created in 1996 by a bipartisan group of governors and business leaders, Achieve is leading the effort to make college and career readiness a priority across the country so that students graduating from high school are academically prepared for postsecondary success. When states want to collaborate on education policy or practice, they come to Achieve. At the direction of 48 states, and partnering with the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, Achieve helped develop the Common Core State Standards. Twenty-six states and the National Research Council asked Achieve to manage the process to write the Next Generation Science Standards. Achieve has also served as the project manager for states in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, which are developing next generation assessments. And since 2005, Achieve has worked with state teams, governors, state education officials, postsecondary leaders and business executives to improve postsecondary preparation by aligning key policies with the demands of the real world so that all students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills they need to fully reach their promise in college, careers and life. For more information about the work of Achieve, visit

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation is committed to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide, through a focus on empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities. In education, it seeks to strengthen public schools through effective teaching and collaborative leadership, and to prepare students for access to and success in higher education, particularly during the crucial first year. The Foundation's grantmaking is informed by findings from the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. More information is available at