The hard-working and giving nature of AASL volunteers never ceases to amaze me. Take for example, the new Pre-Service Toolkit for Principals and Teachers developed by the AASL Educators of School Librarians Section (ESLS). The newly released toolkit, developed in response to a concern previously raised by the Affiliate Assembly, is relevant, timely, and practical. As we celebrate School Library Month #slm16 and ESSA begins to be unwrapped, this toolkit will be a valuable resource to pre-service and practicing school librarians to help them increase awareness among administrators and teachers of school librarians’ instructional partnership role. I strongly encourage everyone to take a look at the toolkit developed by ESLS Chairs Karen Gavigan (2015-2016), Rebecca Morris (2014-2015), and their teams as I firmly believe every one of us, developing and veteran librarians, will find something of value.
A 2008 SLR study found that more than 75% of CAEP accredited principal preparation programs do not include information about school library programs in their coursework.1 In addition, a study reported in Knowledge Quest found that, 65% of principals indicated that their primary source of knowledge of the instructional role of the school librarian was derived from interactions with the school librarians during their career.2 Therefore, it is up to school librarians to educate administrators and teachers on what an effective school library program looks like and the key instructional role school librarians play in a young person’s education.
The Pre-Service Toolkit for Principals and Teachers provides guidance and crucial resources necessary to start the conversation and continue administrator and teacher education on the importance of an effective school library in a young person’s education. The toolkit includes a plethora of annotated resources, including links to articles, blogs, books, brochures, infographics, posters, reports, videos, and school library impact studies. There is something for every kind of learning style, every type of training opportunity, and every length of time available for imparting wisdom.
Be sure to bookmark the Pre-Service Toolkit for Principals and Teachers as you will find yourself referring to it over and over again.
- Church, Audrey P. “The Instructional Role of the Library Media Specialist as Perceived by Elementary School Principals.” School Library Media Research Vol. 11 (2008).
- Alexander, L. B., R. C. Smith, and J. O. Carey. 2003. “Education reform and the school library media specialist.” Knowledge Quest 32(2):10–13.