Sometimes when a new set of standards is introduced, it is difficult to know where to start, how to apply them, and how a set of standards fits with existing curriculum and everyday practice.  Luckily, there are some helpful tools included in AASL’s new National School Library Standards to help us unpack the standards and start using them in the most useful way.

First, remember that standards, whether AASL standards, ISTE standards, or Idaho Core Standards, are not the same as curriculum.  It might help to think of standards as the destination and curriculum as the road to get there.  Second, it is not recommended that we implement all these standards all at once. Take one or two things at a time and incorporate them into your practice. Check out this Where Do I Start infographic for more ideas on getting started:

AASL Infographic

The authors of the AASL standards have developed another helpful tool for entering the standards: personas.  This set of personas represent the people inside and outside of the building who will need information about your implementation.  The scenarios that accompany the persona profiles help us use the language and address the needs and concerns of those people.  When presenting this information, keep in mind that many people are unaware that school libraries have standards at all; this might be 100% new information.

In addition, AASL has developed an implementation plan that considers the adult learner.  It is available at

eCollab has free webinars coming up:

Standards for Policy Makers on January 31st.  Register at

Participants will examine the National School Library Standards to mine shareable concepts for discussions with local school and/or state policymakers in order to inform them about the National School Library Standards and to advocate for standards adoption in their district or state. Use the AASL Message Box and learn how to frame conversations that will garner support for standards adoption.

Connecting Competencies: Learner, School Librarian and School Library on February 22nd. Register at

Participants will be introduced to the language of competencies as part of the structure of the National School Library Standards (NSLS). The intentional shift from outcomes to competencies in the standards is designed to better align the AASL framework with other education standards and provide increased opportunities for learners, school librarians, and school libraries to thrive in a more personalized learning environment.

Next month:  Shared Foundations.