Your Voice, Your Standards


Your contributions have influenced learning for the next decade or more!

For the first time in decades the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), embarked on a multilayered survey, data, and research approach to evaluate, revise and remodel learning standards for students and program guidelines for school librarians.

AASL’s standards and guidelines help school librarians establish effective school libraries, and provide goals to advance programs and prepare students (K-12) for college, careers, and life.

A seven-member AASL Standards and Guidelines Editorial Board was appointed to lead the update. The Editorial Board began its research March 2015 and concluded its work at the launch of the new standards in November 2017.

To facilitate the consultation process, AASL commissioned KRC Research to work with AASL and its Editorial Board to develop and implement a member and stakeholder consultation process to widely involve and engage members and stakeholders in assessing current needs and visioning the ideal standards and guidelines for the years ahead.


GOAL: to assess attitudes and perceptions about the current products, including content, usability, and how AASL might improve implementation assistance.

The standards revision process was multiphased and centered on community consultation—you are the foundation of our work!


In March 2015, a seven-member editorial board began meeting with KRC Research, a firm AASL contracted to help assess the opinion landscape related to AASL’s standards and guidelines. Research concluded in June 2016, and consisted of an online survey open to all school library professionals followed by a series of focus groups to further explore key findings.


Consultation Process

Online Survey

National Conference Focus Groups

Affiliate Conference Focus Groups

Conducted between Aug. 31 and Sept. 28, 2015 among 1,191 respondents involved with the school library profession: 659 AASL members and 532 non-members. 6 focus groups (approx. 40 participants) with various school library and stakeholder audiences conducted Nov. 4-6, 2015.

  • State-Level
  • Administrators
  • Supervisors
  • Building-Level
  • Instructors
14 focus groups conducted (approx. 110 participants) at 7 State Conferences in:

  • California, Feb. 4
  • South Carolina, Mar. 2
  • Alaska, Mar. 10
  • Wisconsin, Apr. 10
  • Texas, Apr. 19
  • New Hampshire, May 12
  • Pennsylvania, May 12

Through this process AASL engaged with more than 1,300 school librarians and stakeholders.


Our goal was to identify school librarians’ current needs while preparing standards for the future. The feedback and experiences gathered brought valuable insight to this critically important standards revision project and have influenced learning for the next decade or more!


  • streamline your standards with an easy to use, parallel structure;
  • remove repetitiveness and dated terminology and replace it with language that resonates with stakeholders, including school librarians; and
  • use memorable keyword shortcuts to identify with the standards.

The editorial board leveraged this research to inform their work as they remodeled and developed your new standards for learners and the profession. An infographic was developed to share several high-level findings from the online survey that was conducted in September 2015. AASL also published an executive summary report of the combined key findings from the online survey and subsequent focus group research.

Executive Summary Report

This report summarizes the key findings from AASL’s community engagement process that influenced the development of the standards.

<h3><strong>A Historical Timeline of the Evolution of AASL Standards and Guidelines </strong></h3><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] -->The National School Library Standards reflects a long tradition of standards for learners, school librarians, and school libraries.

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Transforming Learning

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