Updates - Affiliate Organizations


AASL HotLinks - August 2014
AASL HotLinks - July 2014
AASL HotLinks - June 2014
AASL HotLinks - May 2014
AASL HotLinks - April 2014
AASL HotLinks - March 2014

ew American Libraries supplement examines major trends in digital content (May 28, 2014)
Leading library visionaries and experts discuss trends in digital content technology and the current state of library ebook lending in “Digital Discoveries,” a new digital supplement from American Libraries magazine.
Developed by ALA’s Digital Content Working Group (DCWG), the digital supplement examines the ways that public and school libraries are defining their roles in the evolving digital publishing environment in a variety of new and interactive ways. The digital supplement also details ALA’s progress in advocating for equitable access to ebooks produced by the world’s largest book publishers.

ALA State of America's Libraries Report 2014
Libraries continue to transform to meet society’s changing needs, and more than 90 percent of the respondents in an independent national survey said that libraries are important to the community. But school libraries continue to feel the combined pressures of recession-driven financial tightening and federal neglect, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, and school libraries in some districts and some states still face elimination or de-professionalization of their programs. These and other library trends of the past year are detailed in the American Library Association’s 2014 State of America’s Libraries report, released today during National Library Week, April 13– 19.


Causality: School Libraries and Student Success (CLASS)
In April 2014, fifty research scholars from across the nation gathered in Chicago to plan a national research agenda focused on demonstrating the positive influences of effective school librarians and quality school libraries on student learning. Convened by AASL and funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the forum resulted in a white paper titled “Causality: School Libraries and Student Success (CLASS).” Comments regarding the CLASS white paper are being accepted until October 15, 2014. If you would like to provide feedback, please submit comments to Allison Cline (AASL) at: acline@ala.org

Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada 2014 (June 2014)
Presents a model for the development and implementation of the school library as a library learning commons. It provides educators with a common set of standards of practice for moving forward. CLA President Marie DeYoung stated that the organization considers this publication as a “definitive learning support that is critical for all Canadian schools.”

Fencing Out Knowledge: Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later (ALA - June 2014)
Schools and libraries nationwide are routinely filtering internet content far more than what the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires, according to a report released today by the American Library Association (ALA). CIPA requires public libraries and K-12 schools to employ internet filtering software to receive certain federal funding. “Over-filtering blocks access to legitimate educational resources, and consequently reduces access to information and learning opportunities for students,” said Barbara Stripling, ALA president. For example, some school districts block access to websites containing information about foreign countries, such as China and Iran, even as those websites are required online reading for the Advanced Placement curriculum. For the full report (pdf):

School Librarians Ahead of the Pack on Digital Content - Speak Up 2013 National Findings (July 2014)
Results from a recent Speak Up 2013 survey find that school librarians far outpace administrators, teachers, and students regarding their desire for digital content and educational mobile apps. The survey finds that 56 percent of librarians say they are helping teachers find digital content such as games and animations to use within their lessons. Eighty-six percent of school and district administrators said mobile learning improves student engagement. School leaders also indicated that mobile learning is helping prepare students for college and career.

Clarifying Ownership of Teacher-Created Digital Content Empowers Educators to Personalize Education, Address Individual Student Needs (June 10, 2014)
SETDA and Creative Commons U.S. examines important legal considerations regarding the ownership and use of teacher-created digital instructional materials. The paper identifies a range of policy options for education leaders, including those related to open educational resources (OER). The brief also provides recommendations to encourage the creation, sharing, and repurposing of high-quality, teacher-created instructional tools and materials – including OER – to enhance instructional practice and improve student outcomes.

The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations:
Speak Up 2013 National Findings K-12 Student (April 2014)
For the past eleven years, Project Tomorrow’s® annual Speak Up National Research Project has provided schools and districts nationwide and throughout the globe with new insights into how today’s students want to leverage digital tools for learning based upon the authentic, unfiltered ideas of students themselves. With this year’s national report on the views of 325,279 K-12 students representing over 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts nationwide, we focus on getting beyond the anecdotally- driven stereotypes of student technology use to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the myriad of different ways that students are currently personalizing learning using technology.

"Leading In and Beyond the Library" released January 28th by the Alliance for Excellent Education. This paper explains the key role that school librarians and libraries should play in state- and districtwide efforts to transition to digital learning, or the effective use of technology to improve teaching and learning. The report calls for district and school leaders, policymakers, and boards of education to support, encourage, and fund the evolving role of librarians and libraries as facilitators of content creation, personalized learning, and professional development. CoSSLC contributed to this report.

“Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Librarian” released October 31st and distributed at the recent American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Conference to all attendees. This Action Brief for school librarians is a starting point, designed to increase awareness of the standards, create a sense of urgency around their implementation, and provide these stakeholders — who are faced with dramatically increased expectations in the context of fewer resources — with a deeper understanding of the standards and their role in implementing the standards. Achieve, in partnership with the American Association of School Librarians, released this with support from the MetLife Foundation. Excellent examples are provided throughout the document which paint a picture for school librarians and other stakeholders in your schools what the potential role for school librarians can and should be in regard to implementation of the CCSS and the change in school culture needed to effect that change.

"The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action" released January 8, 2014 by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

"Friends Groups: Critical Support for School Libraries" by Sally Gardner Reed, Executive Director, United for Libraries, is a free toolkit geared toward school librarians looking to create a Friends group of parents, faculty, and community members and/or a Student Friends Group. (Released November 2013).

"Learning the Ropes: How Freshmen Conduct Course Research Once They Enter College" by Allison J. Head, Ph.D. -- presents findings about the challenges today’s college freshmen face, and the information-seeking strategies they develop, use, and adapt as they make the transition from high school to college and begin to complete college-level research assignments. (Released December 5, 2013).

"Access Denied: School Librarians’ Responses to School District Policies on the Use of Social Media Tools" by Jeffrey DiScala, PhD Candidate, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, and Dr. Ann Carlson Weeks, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park -- Public school districts often block access to online social media tools. While considered a preventive measure to ensure student safety and limit district liability, this policy strips school librarians and their collaborating teachers of opportunities to instruct students in using social media tools creatively and responsibly. Using one school district as a case study, this study examined the perceptions and responses of high school librarians to district policies that limit the use of social media tools. (Published December 13, 2013).

"Professional Staffing Levels and Fourth-Grade Student Research in Rural Schools with High-Poverty Levels" by Karla Steege Krueger, Assistant Professor, School Library Studies, University of Northern Iowa and Jean Donham, Professor, School Library Studies, University of Northern Iowa -- Rural schools in high-poverty areas are often understaffed. This descriptive phenomenological study examined fourth-grade state research projects in high-poverty rural Iowa schools to reveal the influence of school librarians’ staffing levels on student learning of research skills. (Published December 13, 2013).

"Device & Conquer: SLJ’s 2013 Tech Survey" (December 5, 2013)
As education technology has evolved, so, too, have the kinds of digital tools that school librarians use with their students, as shown in School Library Journal’s 2013 School Technology Survey. Handheld tablets and devices are coveted items for classroom and instructional use, along with access to online sites and apps that school librarians believe can revolutionize the way they instruct—and the way students learn. More than 750 school librarians responded to SLJ’s survey, representing K–12 public and private schools across the country. According to the data, school librarians make the most of what they have, learning one day and sharing that knowledge the next. They not only make tech tools available for students and teachers, but teach them how to use the tools as well. Full report and infographic available at: