We are moving ever closer to having our new Texas State Library Standards ready to roll! At the time of this posting, our proposed document is with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and we eagerly await their comments and approval.
Much progress has been made since our first State Standards Revision Steering Committee meeting in November 2015. Creating vision and mission statements were the first challenges for the committee. We knew these needed to be strong statements, making the case for the necessity of certified professional librarians in schools to impact student achievement.
VISION: Texas school libraries are essential interactive collaborative learning environments, ever evolving to provide equitable physical and virtual access to ideas, information, and learning tools for the entire school community.
MISSION: Certified librarians and trained staff nurture a culture of literacy and inquiry throughout the school community. An integral part of instructional teams, librarians collaborate with teachers on curriculum design and delivery. They maintain a professionally developed collection of print and digital materials and assist learners in locating resources that match their academic and personal interests. Librarians model and teach information literacy and digital citizenship, empowering learners to make ethical, informed choices in an increasingly complex and evolving global environment.
Once the vision and mission statements were in place, they were our guideposts in creating the core values, upon which the standards’ strands and dimensions have been built.
- School libraries are essential, safe, and inviting centers for teaching and learning.
- School libraries support reading for learning and pleasure which are essential skills for college and career readiness and for life.
- School libraries provide access to information for inquiry including the pursuit, creation, and sharing of knowledge, and support for both student and professional learning.
- School libraries promote information literacy requiring targeted instruction to efficiently locate, accurately evaluate, ethically use, and clearly communicate information in various formats.
- School libraries are vital technology centers, providing access to devices and online resources, supporting personalized learning, and teaching digital literacy including privacy, safety, etiquette, creative credit, cyberbullying, and creating a positive digital footprint.
- School libraries are effective when staffed by full-time, certified school librarians at every school, supported by trained paraprofessionals.
Subcommittees were appointed and worked tirelessly to create and flesh out each of the six strands and an appendix with additional data collection measures. Upon completion, these documents were sent to outside experts in the field for comments and revision suggestions.It is important to note that the new state library standards create standards of practice librarians use to teach our content, much like the TEKS are used by classroom teachers to teach their content.
The co-chairs (Donna Kearley and I), along with Liz Philippi from TSLAC, pored over the documents taking into consideration the suggested revisions for both wording and format. This document was presented at TLA in April 2017 and then was posted for public comments for a period of 4 weeks.
Once again the team worked to update the document with the suggestions before presenting it at TASLA (Texas Association of School Library Administrators) in June. Comments were recorded and taken into consideration as the team once again worked to continue to shape the document.
Finally, this latest ideation was presented at TLA’s Annual Assembly. Comments and suggestions were once again taken into consideration as the group prepared the document for final editing and formatting before being sent to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Once we have the green light from TEA, the document will be sent to the State Board of Education (SBOE) for approval. We are hopeful that the document will move from “proposed standards” to “approved standards” before the start of the 2018-2019 academic year.
posted by Sonja Schulz