The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) recently announced that its school library standards and program guidelines will be revised and that school librarians will have a chance to provide input. On the heels of this announcement comes another from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutes (IFLA). IFLA, an international organization that provides a global platform for library and information science professionals, has announced its new global guidelines for school libraries.
According to the press release, the first edition of the guidelines was published in 2002 (IFLA, 2015). The current edition of the guidelines reflect a culmination of two years of international feedback and collaborative efforts. The process was spearheaded by the IFLA School Libraries Standing Committee with Drs. Dianne Oberg and Barbara Schultz-Jones serving as the editors.
In describing the benefits of the guidelines, Ross Todd (2015) stated that the document:
- provides a strong philosophical and empirical basis for the development of school libraries worldwide
- articulates a strong coordinated and international voice, something that is so critical in the diverse educational contexts around the world
- unifies, because it gives voice to transnational values that we hold very dear – a strong voice that can resonate across diverse cultural contexts and educational frameworks
- provides wonderful flexibility for individual countries, regions, local contexts to establish their own vision, mission and strategic development plans that recognize where countries and regions are at, and the complexities that they face
- is such a strong foundation for the continuous development of libraries world wide.
It is anticipated that the guidelines will assist school library educators, professionals, and advocates around the world with articulating the importance of school libraries. A copy of the guidelines can be found at this link: http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/school-libraries-resource-centers/publications/ifla-school-library-guidelines.pdf
International Federation of Library Associations. 2015. IFLA School Library Guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.ifla.org/publications/node/9512?og=52
Todd, R. (2015, August 11). Re: [Iasl-link] We have IFLA School Library Guidelines lift off! Retrieved from http://www.mlahq.org/mailman/private/iasl-link/
Author: Daniella Smith
Daniella Smith, PhD. is a former school and public librarian. She is currently the Hazel Harvey Peace Professor in Children’s Library Services at the University of North Texas.