Requirements for School Library Programs: Summary by State

From the PA School Library Project
There is no federal constitutional requirement for school districts to provide school libraries; each individual state, therefore, has the discretion to pass legislation and regulations allowing school libraries to be established, operated and maintained in schools.

The State Educational Technology Directors Association’s State Education Policy Center database is another good source. Click on your state and look under the Instructional Materials section for Library/Media Services. If you see information that needs to be updated, and you are the authorized person (or you know your state’s SETDA member), you can submit changes through the SEPC.


  • Curriculum standards: Does your state have curriculum standards specifically for library learning objectives? This question refers to learning standards such as you would find for mathematics, English or other subject areas.
  • Input standards: Does your state have school library standards for input measures such as physical space, size/age of collections, staffing, number of computers or other quantifiable measures?

Don't see your state?
Please email additions and updates to Becky Russel at, Colet Bartow at, or
Jennifer Maurer at

Additional resources for standards

National: American Association of School Librarians
Guidelines and standards

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
2001 Library Media standards for teachers of students ages 3-18+
Draft Library Media Standards for public review through February 17, 2010

Curriculum standards: No
Input standards
Also see School Library Media Plan

Curriculum Standards: K-12 Library Media Framework


Curriculum standards: 21st century skills are embedded within each page of the 10 content areas. Colorado defines the 21st century skills as Collaboration, Critical Thinking Skills, Information Literacy, Self-Direction, and Invention.

Colorado encourages teacher librarians and administrators to assess his or her library program using the "Highly Effective School Library Program" Evaluation Rubric. See our HESL page for a deeper overview of how we also use this rubric to incentivize our teacher-librarians (and their building principal) to apply for "HESL Recognition" from our Commissioner and State Board of Education.

Contact: Becky Russell, Digital Literacy/School Librarian Instructional Specialist, CO Department of Education, State Library at:

Curriculum standards: No
Input standards: No
In Delaware, school library media specialists are encouraged to use the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner as the tool for school libraries for reaching Delaware's Core Content Standards.
Contact: Denise DiSabatino Allen, Education Associate, Library/Media/Technology, Delaware Department of Education,

Curriculum standards
Input standards: No
Framework was based upon ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) NETS Standards and incorporated components of AASL 21st-Century Learner standards

Contact: Val Fenske, Curricular Materials Coordinator, Idaho State Department of Education,

Curriculum standards:
Contact: Indiana Department of Education,

Curriculum standards: No
Input standards: No
We have school library guidelines based on the Iowa Code. Level 1 is required.


Guidelines: Kentucky adopted the AASL Library standards and provides a set of guidelines for library media programs called Beyond Proficiency @ your library. Contact: Kathy Mansfield, Library Media/Textbooks Consultant, Kentucky Department of Education,

Curriculum Standards
School Library Media Center Standards(2004)

Curriculum Standards: MD Common Core Curriculum Frameworks - English Language Arts (includes School Library Media Indicators)

School Library 21: Measurement Benchmarks for Michigan School Libraries for 21st century schools

Michigan Association for Media in Education - Professional Organization

The State of Minnesota does not have official school library standards. The Minnesota state library agency and the teacher-librarian professional association, Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO), created guidelines for school libraries to use as a tool to assess the library program. The guidelines use five criteria, each with three ranges for Examplary, Recognized and Acceptable. The first document is a template with the criteria. The second document provides the data concerning all Minnesota school libraries for SY2011.

The State of Minnesota does not have official school library curriculum standards. MEMO recently revised earlier recommended curriculum standards that it created.

Curriculum standards:
Note: The Missouri Dept. of Education completed the Information and Communication Technology Literacy grade level expectations for grades K-8 and course level expectations for grades 9-12 in the spring of 2010. This was work completed by the library and technology divisions at the Department.

Input standards:
Published by: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Note: These are really guidelines although the document does refer to them as standards.

Information Literacy/Library Media Content Standards and Library Media Program Delivery Standards

Curriculum standards:
Input standards: No

New Jersey
Curriculum standards:
Input standards: No
NJ media specialists are trying to get the AASL standards accepted as part of the NJ standards.

New York
Curriculum standards: no
Input standards:
Published by: New York State Department of Education
Contact: John P. Brock, Associate in School Library Services,

North Carolina
Curriculum standards: Information and Technology Essential Standards
Grades K-5
Grades 6-8
Grades 9-12
Input standards: IMPACT: Guidelines for North Carolina Media and Technology Programs
Note: IT Essential Standards are to be integrated within other content area curriculum and taught by all teachers in collaboration with Media Coordinators and Technology Facilitators. IMPACT Guidelines were last revised in 2008. They need to be updated to align with AASL's Empowering Learners, new NC Professional Standards for Teacher-Librarians, and new Common Core State Standards and NC Essential Standards.
Contact: Neill Kimrey, Director-Instructional Technology Division, NC Department of Public Instruction,

North Dakota
Library and Technology Content Standards for students in K-12 in North Dakota
North Dakota state school library program rubric, adapted with permission from the New York State rubric.

Curriculum standards:
Input standards:
Notes: A committee is currently working to update Oklahoma state standards so that they align with AASL's Standards for the 21st Century Learner.
Contact: Dr. Perri Applegate, Director Library Media/Instructional Television, Oklahoma State Department of Education,

The Oregon Quality Education Model (QEM) seeks to establish an objective and research-based link between student achievement and the resources devoted to Oregon schools to use as a guide in future efforts to adequately fund Oregon schools. In 2001, the Legislative Assembly created the Quality Education Commission to serve as a permanent body to update and improve the Quality Education Model. Three QEM guidelines relate to school libraries: licensed librarian FTE, support staff FTE, and how much is spent on books and periodicals, both print and electronic. The annual QEM & School Libraries analysis attempts to determine how many school libraries in Oregon meet the QEM guidelines for a quality school library as defined by the Quality Education Commission’s report and interpreted by the Oregon State Library.

Curriculum standards: no

South Dakota


Curriculum standards

We are directed to work with the State Board of Education to develop voluntary school library standards. They are learner centered standards.
Contact: Len Bryan, School Program Coordinator, Library Development Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission,


Curriculum standards: Yes
Input standards: Yes
The curriculum standards and standards for physical space, collection, staffing, etc., are all contained in one document.
Contact: Georgia Loutensock, Library Media Specialist, Utah State Office of Education,


Does not have specific state standards for school libraries as for content subject areas. Does have a Washington Administrative Code for libraries:
WAC 392-204-020
School library media program.
"The school library media program is to include resources that promote a positive impact on student learning, such as a variety of resources for reading advocacy, student communication skills, electronic and print information, and resources that support student mastery of the essential academic learning requirements in all subject areas and the implementation of the district's school improvement plan, consistent with the goals for Washington common schools, as adopted by the state board of education."
In addition, school districts often use the accreditation standards or the National Library standards from ALA-AASL.

Curriculum standards:
Input standards: No
Note: Combines library media with technology standards
Contact: Stephen Sanders, Director, Instructional Media & Technology, WI Dept. of Public Instruction,

Curriculum standards: No
Input standards: Non-binding recommendations on staffing reprinted in Wyoming Library Laws