Your Voice, Your Standards

Learning from and with Our Learners

 

The November 2017 launch of AASL’s National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries marked a critical milestone for the school library field and activated school librarians and connections across the educational landscape. In order to ensure the National School Library Standards continue to meet the needs of the educational community, AASL has continued with its commitment to community consultation.

Evaluating the impact and effectiveness of the AASL Standards and implementation tools is essential to long-term planning and to growing an enduring and useful catalog of support resources for school librarians and stakeholders. You are the foundation of our work! Visit the FAQ and overview of the research process for more information.

AASL Standards Research—Executive Summary  

 

This report summarizes familiarity, usage, adaptation, and implementation of the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries (2018) and its supporting materials.

In 2015–2016, AASL worked with KRC Research to conduct an evaluation and needs assessment among more than 1,300 school librarians and stakeholders to help guide the work of an editorial board in remodeling and rewriting new standards for learners and the school library profession. Research findings also informed a task force responsible for developing an implementation plan focused on increasing awareness, understanding, and commitment to the revised standards within the school library profession and stakeholder communities.

The goal of the 2018–2020 research is to gather insights from a variety of school library professionals and stakeholders around the newly deployed National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. This study will:

  • Measure awareness, familiarity, and perceived value of the AASL Standards and collateral;
  • Identify implementation challenges and ways to overcome challenges;
  • Measure the usefulness of AASL’s implementation tools and templates, and identify areas for improvement and consistency;
  • Explore whether AASL Standards reflect practice, align with the goals of stakeholders, and have increased understanding of school librarian job roles; and
  • Determine impacts of AASL Standards on culture change, collaboration, and advocacy.

Current research followed a pattern similarly used in the 2015–2016 research, beginning with online surveys and leading to more in-depth focus group discussions. Results from the online surveys informed the development of further research conducted with focus groups at AASL’s National Conference in Louisville, KY, in November 2019, and through targeted virtual focus groups in the fall.

The AASL Board of Directors and AASL Standards Committee will use the finding to help inform financial and resource distribution to support those activities most needed and impactful to advance the role of the school librarian and the National School Library Standards.

X Project Kick-off October 2018
X Development of Online Surveys November 2018 – March 2019
X Distribution of Online Surveys April – May 2019
X Data Analysis and Focus Group Development June – September 2019
X Virtual Focus Groups (Stakeholders & Association Partners) October 2019
X In-Person Focus Groups (AASL National Conference) November 2019
X Analysis of Findings Dec 2019 – Jan 2020
X Research Summary February – March 2020
X Strategic Implementation Plan Update April – June 2020

Who conducted this research?

To conduct the research and to ensure the confidentiality of your remarks, AASL partnered with KRC Research, an independent research firm based in Washington, DC.

The AASL Board of Directors and AASL Standards Committee will use the finding to help inform financial and resource distribution to support those activities most needed and impactful to advance the role of the school librarian and the National School Library Standards.

Who was invited to participate in the research?

The school library community, including both AASL members and non-members, was the primary audience for this research. Secondary audiences included stakeholders in the educational community, including building-level and district administrators, classroom and content-area educators, and other instructional collaborators.

Will AASL share its research with the profession?

Yes. The AASL Board of Directors and the AASL Standards Committee reviewed the combined findings from the online surveys and focus groups over the spring and summer 2020. A full research summary report is available on the AASL Standards web portal.

AASL is committed to keeping its membership, school library professionals, and the education community informed as we work to assess and apply community needs to AASL Standards implementation planning and resource development. AASL will continue to share progress, resources, and insights through press releases, e-mails to membership, Knowledge Quest blog posts, the AASL Digest and School Library SmartBrief e-newsletters, and other vehicles.

Additional questions?

If you have questions specifically regarding the survey or the focus groups research, you can email AASL at aasl@ala.org, or contact Katie Snediker of KRC Research directly at KSnediker@krcresearch.com.

All other questions about AASL Standards, implementation resources, and strategic planning can be addressed to AASL at 312-280-4382 or aasl@ala.org.


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