Keeling, M., & Mardis, M., (2017). Supporting You, Supporting the Standards: AASL’s Implementation Plan. Knowledge Quest, 46(2), 80-85.
What support do teachers need in implementing American Association of School Librarians’ Standards? To personalize stakeholders, they created graphic personas with captions such as “Tony is a teacher. He’s competent and well respected for his strong instructional practice. He’s not sure what collaborating with his librarian will add to his practice.” Introductory material in the plan explains the task force’s vision, the guiding principles behind their work, the cast of characters for whom they planned, and the adult learning theory that guided their choices. The current plan identifies 115 action steps, including the development of branding, learning resources, partnerships, and outreach. The action steps are organized in a spreadsheet format to allow a future standing committee to revise and adjust the plan as conditions in the educational landscape change in the years ahead.
“Successful implementation requires that all school librarians commit to: • continual professional reflection and growth; • adopting and applying the national standards; • iterative, aspirational planning to lead and serve the learning community; • advocating for all students; and • advocating for the school library.” In addition to school librarians, this should read school administrators—as Dr. Ross Todd states in his article The Power of (in) the (Im)Possible, “A commonly stated impossibility centers on getting ‘administrators to really understand what we do so that they would see the instructional value of our programs and not just a place to find a book or schedule an event (closing us down)—some get it, but some really don’t.'” Librarians are highly skilled and motivated individuals—when funded and supported, they make a difference in students’ lives, but the burden cannot be on their shoulders alone without the support and collaboration of the entire school. Ruth Brown was an advocate—unfortunately history reports she was fired because of it!