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AASL National Standards: A few essentials to get started!

AASLessentialtoolsAs a member of the AASL National Standards Implementation Taskforce, I was honored to take part in the rollout in Phoenix.

Whether you were in Phoenix or were #NOTATAASL, you will need to get your arms around the Standards and share them with your colleagues or stakeholders, I’d like to highlight a few of my personal favorite National Standards getting-started resources. All are available on the AASL Standards Portal.

1. AASL Standards Structure is a three-minute introduction to the history and structure of the standards document designed to offer immediate context and great to share with all the personas in your world.

2. It All Fits Together Webinar: The archive of this presentation led by Editorial Board Chair, Marcia Mardis and Implementation Task Force Chair, Mary Keeling mirrored the information shared at the AASL General Session and is the perfect deeper overview to share at professional development. Watch this one soon.  (Listen while you drive or while you prep Thanksgiving dinner.)

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 6.38.50 PM3. AASL Standards Framework for Learners: THIS IS A MUST DOWNLOAD!  DO IT NOW! This eight-page pamphlet presents the standards framework for learners–one of three strands that make up the AASL Standards Integrated Framework. It includes our Common Beliefs. The centerfold on pages four and five, also available as a separate chart, graphically presents the Shared Foundations, Domains, Key Commitments and Competencies along with the numbers and letters that comprise the new “symbology.”

4. The one-pager How to Read the Standards, more clearly explains the structure of our National Standards and describes how to refer to specific competencies and alignments.

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 8.55.41 AM5. A downloadable list of six Common Beliefs central to professional practice expands with summary descriptions.

6. A growing collection of videos includes individual videos in which learners interpret the Shared Foundations.

7. The Persona Profiles PDF document shares a cast of seven characters–four librarians at different career stages and with different needs, as well as three other stakeholders. These personas present a shorthand designed to help us focus on the needs and interests of our colleagues and stakeholders with empathy as we introduce and integrate the standards locally and beyond. Consider who you are–Noah, Inez, Margot or Athena–and try to imagine where your stakeholders fit.
8. Goodies! On the portal, you will also find Presentation and Print Templates and Web Banners that allow us to get the word out with a consistent style.



9. Message Boxes will help you frame brief, core messages and supporting points to share your school library message with a variety of audiences.


10. A collection of six downloadable Shared Foundation Infographics will allow you to easily become familiar with and explain SharedFoundations_Engage_copyright_R3the competencies relating to Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Engage and Explore in terms of the Framework for Learners. Click on each of the SF icons below to download the infographic and start using them now!

There’s much more on the Portal and much more to come. Keep an eye on the growing calendar of events for upcoming webinars, live Twitter chats, community message boards, crosswalks and more to come.

The National Standards Mobile App (AASLSTNDS), is available for $12.99 at the App Store and on Google Play. It allows you to search the Standards frameworks by Shared Foundation or keyword, compare Domains and Competencies across the three strands–learners, school librarians, and school libraries–and to take and share notes.

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 10.35.42 PM

The book, National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries, is available at the ALA Store.

Here’s a little curation of the resources mentioned in this post.

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Sara Kelly Johns says

    Thanks for curating the best resources, Joyce! This is so helpful for those of thus who have been immersed in them as much as it is for those who are working on their own to be proficient. Just super!

  2. Carol Blakeslee says

    Thank you so much for providing such a thorough overview of the AASL Standards!

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