Explore the AASL Standards through the Lens of Four States in the Jan/Feb 2021 Issue

Why are the AASL Standards so important? Simply put, they give us a focus for what our students need to learn. AASL’s National School Library Standards provide guidance for individual states as they determine what their state standards should be. This issue of Knowledge Quest provides unique examples of how four states used the AASL Standards to develop their state standards.  

The year 2020 certainly brought significant barriers to the work of school librarians. Nevertheless, in their article, Janet and Deborah provide the key to unlocking possibilities: “The most critical thing we’ve learned from this process so far is to be persistent.” With determined vision, purposeful experimentation, and extensive community engagement, the AASL Standards became central to the work of state organizations. The contributors of the Jan/Feb issue of Knowledge Quest invite you to explore how Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Alaska, and Oklahoma were inspired with a laser-like focus to Think, Create, Share, and Grow with the AASL Standards.

The lead learners from each of the four states represented in this issue have approached the adoption of the AASL Standards in different ways, but they each complement one another and move forward the greater vision of the AASL mission to empower leaders to transform teaching and learning. In hindsight, 2020 gave us strength–to imagine, to persist, and to make visible the impact of school librarians as the essential “standard” in education.

About the Content Experts

Allison Mackley, National Board Certified Teacher librarian, is the K–12 library department coordinator and instructional technology coach at Hershey (PA) High School in the Derry Township School District. She is a past president of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. She is a member of AASL member, and has served as a member of the AASL Board of Directors and is a member of the AASL Standards Committee. Allison currently serves on the Pennsylvania Department of Education Governor’s Advisory Council on Library Development, and she is a member of the ISTE Librarians Network Leadership Team. In 2017 she was a finalist for the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Award. She was the 2019 AASL Social Media Superstar Leadership Luminary, and the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association won the 2019 AASL Affiliate of the Year during her presidency. She received her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Cassandra Barnett is the program advisor for school libraries in the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is a board member of the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media. She is a member of AASL and is a past president of AASL. She also serves on the Knowledge Quest Editorial Board. She contributed a chapter to the book Radical Collaborations for Learning: School Librarians as Change Agents (Librarians Unlimited 2020).

Knowledge Quest, Volume 49, No. 3 – The AASL Standards Are the School Library Standards in Pennsylvania


The AASL Standards Are the School Library Standards in Pennsylvania
Allison Mackley

State Standards Revision the Arkansas Way
Cassandra Barnett

AASL Standards Articles

Alaska’s Journey to Adopting the AASL Standards
Janet Madsen and Deborah Rinio

The Oklahoma Standard: Adopting the AASL Standards as State Standards
Kathryn Roots Lewis, Cherity Pennington, Amanda Kordeliski, and Timmie Spangler


Journey for Justice: Helping Teens Visualize the Civil Rights Movement through Primary Sources and Graphic Novels
Karen Gavigan


President’s Column
New Year Offers New Opportunities to Advocate for School Libraries and Learners
Kathy Carroll

KQ Editorial Board Liaison Column
Four Roadmaps for AASL Standards Adoption
Jennifer Sturge


Welcome New 2019-2020 AASL Members

Research into Practice Column
Rethinking Curation
Jenna Spiering and Kate Lechtenberg

CBC Column
Falling through the Cracks: The Importance of Libraries to Low-Income Families
Angela Shante Johnson

Author: Allison Mackley and Cassandra Barnett

Categories: KQ Content

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