As AASL concludes its school library closure surveys we would like to thank the community of school librarians for supporting AASL and one another during this unprecedented time. Over the next couple of months AASL will apply the survey data and the comments and feedback received through the surveys to develop a new suite of advocacy materials that will be ready to use and customizable to particular practice settings and situations. If there can be an upside to school closures it is that school librarians were recognized by their school community as the go-to person for learners, educators, and parents. AASL knows school librarians have always transformed teaching and learning in the shifting educational landscape, and through these difficult times AASL will continue to shine the light on the profession’s superpowers.
AASL will also be launching surveys specific to district school library supervisors and school librarian educators in the coming month.
Student Outcomes, Expectations, and Accountability
Expectations for assignments, grading, and educator work remained consistent for approximately half of the respondents. Schools/districts are requiring no formal reporting, but students still receive assignments, according to 40% of respondents. Twenty percent reported a shift in expectations to safety/well-being checks, and 17% reported no grades being issued for the semester.
- My school/district expectations have remained as consistent as possible with assignments, grading, and educator work to expectations prior to closure: 48.62%
- My school/district expectations have shifted with students still receiving assignments but there is no formal reporting: 38.74%
- My school/district expectations have shifted with no priority given to student outcomes and more of a focus on safety and well-being checks: 20.36%
- My school/district will not be issuing grades for this semester: 17.00%
Respondents indicated that less than half of their students are consistently meeting expectations, and they have not had any interactions with roughly 20% of students.
- Consistently meets expectations or “attends” classes: 39%
- At least 50% of the time meets expectations or “attends” classes: 22%
- Less than 50% of the time, but more than 25% of the time, meets expectations or “attends” classes: 16%
- Less than 25% of the time meets expectations or “attends” classes: 13%
- Has not met expectations and interactions have been minimal: 16%
- Has not had any interaction with students since school library closure: 19%
The biggest reported hurdles during school closures are students not “attending” (91%), parents/caregivers/guardian unable to monitor or manage learners (79%), and student lack of access to the necessary connectivity (76%).
- There are students who do not check-in and/or attend classes/meetings/gatherings that are scheduled: 90.66%
- There are parents/caregivers/guardians who are unable to monitor and manage learner: 78.79%
- There are students who do not have access to necessary connectivity (weak or limited signal, data limits): 76.01%
- There are students who do not have access to necessary technology equipment (dedicated computer, older computer/software): 54.55%
- Other educators (school library colleagues, classroom teachers, specialist) have technology and/or access issues: 41.16%
- Other educators (school library colleagues, classroom teachers, specialists) lack time or are disinterested in collaboration or co-teaching: 40.15%
- Lack of involvement/invitation to department/grade-level/content-area meetings: 31.31%
- Lack of direction from administrators (due to district/county/state decision process): 24.75%
School Librarian Self-Care
Like many working remotely, school librarians are connecting virtually with friends and family during this difficult time (79%) and adding physical activities to their routine (69%). In managing work, 60% are self-pacing work expectations and 42% are shutting down at a set time each day.
- Connecting with family/friend virtually: 78.80%
- Adding or increasing physical activities (walks, personals workouts, yoga, etc.): 68.85%
- Self-pacing work expectations (can include spacing out digital tool assistance with classroom educators, grading student work, meetings, etc.): 60.21%
- Shutting down/turning off electronics at a set time to end day: 42.15%
- Adding or increasing mental relaxation activities (mediating, quiet time, etc.): 39.79%
The third survey did not reveal any significant changes in school library closure status or timing for reopening.
*The survey launched on Tuesday, May 5, and closed on Tuesday, May 12, with 653 respondents.